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The Great O'Malley (1937)

Approved | | Drama | 13 February 1937 (USA)
A by-the-book patrolman who cares more about the letter of the law than justice feels guilty when his inflexibility sends a family man to prison.



(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Phillips
John Phillips
Judy Nolan
Mrs. Phillips (as Frieda Inescourt)
Captain Cromwell
Attorney for the Defense
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Pinky Holden
Gordon Hart ...
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. O'Malley
Mabel Colcord ...
Mrs. Flaherty
Father Patrick
Lillian Harmer ...
Miss Taylor
Delmar Watson ...


Officer O'Malley arrests John Phillips for a traffic violation and costs him a chance at a good job. Phillips has a wife and crippled child, so he commits robbery and O'Malley sends him to prison. After this O'Malley becomes closer to Phillips' family. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Tale of a Heartless Policeman




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| |

Release Date:

13 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Making of O'Malley  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Judy Nolan: Can't you understand? It's not only Phillips, it's a whole parade of Phillipses and Barbaras, and Heaven knows how many Mrs. Phillipses. You're not a human being; you're a machine. You're right; you're always right! That's what's wrong with you!
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Version of The Making of O'Malley (1925) See more »


Hänschen klein
Old German Folk Song
Sung by the children
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User Reviews

"That guy's brains run with nothing but city ordinances."
16 July 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Pat O'Brien plays an obnoxiously by-the-book policeman who's hated by the people on his beat and not exactly loved by his fellow officers. He's forced to rethink his outlook when a man (Humphrey Bogart) turns to crime to support his family after O'Brien's rigidity inadvertently costs him his job.

Interesting if not wholly successful drama from Warner Bros. O'Brien's character actually reads up on archaic laws just so he can write people tickets for breaking them! That would be bad enough today but imagine doing that at a time when most people didn't have two nickels to rub together. It's got a nice cast and that helps a lot. Any movie with Bogie is worth seeing.

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