I Am the Law (1938)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  25 August 1938 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 292 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 3 critic

Law professor John Lindsay is asked by a civic leader to become a special prosecutor to go after the racketeers in town.



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Complete credited cast:
John Lindsay
Jerry Lindsay
John Beal ...
Paul Ferguson
Frances 'Frankie' Ballou
Eugene Ferguson
Arthur Loft ...
Tom Ross
Eddie Girard
Douglas Wood ...
District Attorney Bert Beery
Robert Middlemass ...
Moss Kitchell
Ivan Miller ...
Inspector Gleason
George Leander
Louis Jean Heydt ...
J.W. Butler
Fay Helm ...
Mrs. Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert McWade ...
Law Student (as Robert McWade Jr.)


Law professor John Lindsay (Edward G. Robinson)accepts the job of special prosecutor offered him by civic leader Eugene Ferguson (Otto Kruger) against the wishes of his wife Jerry (Barbara O'Neil). Paul(John Beal, Ferguson's son, aids Lindsay, not knowing his father is boss of the crime syndicate. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Fighting Prosecutor Runs Racketeers Ragged! (original print ad) See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

25 August 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Derrocada do Crime  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Existing prints bear 1955 re-release titles, with lettering in the center of the screen so that they would not be cropped in wide screen projection; these restyled opening credits also include an erroneous 1933 (MCMXXXIII), instead of 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) copyright date. See more »


The good guys plant a movie camera in the wall of the villain's apartment to spy on them. We see the lens barely peeping from the wall behind a china figurine. Yet, when they show the film later as evidence, the camera tilts, pans, and frames all the action from various angles, which would not have been possible given the setup. See more »


Referenced in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Programmed To Fail, But Eddie Crosses Them Up
20 August 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Back in the Thirties when Thomas E. Dewey was becoming a national figure by putting all kinds of racketeers behind bars, the special prosecutor was considered a fearless figure and good subject matter for a film hero. In this loan out film for Columbia Pictures, Edward G. Robinson plays a law professor appointed just such a city prosecutor while he's on a year's sabbatical.

Robinson who plays a character with the soon to be famous name of John Lindsay has been programmed to fail because some of those same city fathers that want him in the job are those heading the rackets. And it's not like there isn't competing gangs within the underworld. But Eddie proves to be pretty resourceful and gets the job done. At least Dewey had a hand at picking his own staff.

Coincidentally enough the John Lindsay who became New York's Mayor did a stint in the Eisenhower Justice Department before he was a Congressman and then Mayor.

Columbia Pictures and Harry Cohn gave their visiting star as good an ensemble cast as he normally would have gotten at Warner Brothers for this kind of film. Barbara O'Neil, next year to be Scarlett O'Hara's mother in Gone With The Wind, plays Eddie's loyal supporting wife. John Beal is his ace graduate and number one assistant.

Wendy Barrie plays a sob sister newspaper columnist with a sideline and Otto Kruger is her sugar daddy and father of John Beal. Both are deceptive characters.

I Am The Law is a typical programmer, not too much different from what Robinson was doing at Warner Brothers at the time. Still fans of Mr. Robinson will enjoy and appreciate.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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