12 user 4 critic

Blind Alley (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 May 1939 (USA)
Gangster Hal Wilson takes psychiatrist Dr. Shelby hostage. While captive, the doctor analyzes Wilson as though he were a patient.



(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Dark Past (1948)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An escaped psychopathic killer who takes the family and neighbors of police psychologist hostage reveals a recurring nightmare to the doctor.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: William Holden, Nina Foch, Lee J. Cobb
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden
Biography | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin
The Big Trees (1952)
Action | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A Quaker colony tries to save the giant sequoias from a timber baron.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eve Miller, Patrice Wymore
History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" ... See full summary »

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane
Juarez (1939)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep ... See full summary »

Director: Garson Kanin
Stars: Ginger Rogers, David Niven, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Devil arranges for a deceased gangster to return to Earth as a well-respected judge to make up for his previous life.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Paul Muni, Anne Baxter, Claude Rains
Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Three ex-cons buy a luggage shop to tunnel into the bank vault next door. But despite all they can do, the shop prospers...

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, Broderick Crawford
The Bowery (1933)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"In the Gay Nineties New York had grown up into bustles and balloon Sleeves ... but The Bowery had grown younger, louder and more rowdy until it was known as the 'Livest Mile on the face of... See full summary »

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Wallace Beery, George Raft, Jackie Cooper
Marius (1931)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Marius is faced with a choice whether to fulfill his passion by sailing the seas or stay and marry the woman he loves.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Raimu, Pierre Fresnay, Fernand Charpin
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A dying tycoon gives million-dollar windfalls to eight people picked from the city directory.

Directors: James Cruze, H. Bruce Humberstone, and 6 more credits »
Stars: Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, W.C. Fields


Complete credited cast:
Linda Curtis
George Curtis
Doris Shelby
John Eldredge ...
Dick Holbrook (as John Eldridge)
Stanley Brown ...
Fred Landis


Following a prison break, Hal Wilson, a ruthless killer takes refuge in the home of a psychiatrist, Dr. Shelby. While Wilson is attempting to make a safe getaway, Dr. Shelby is busily trying to analyze his captor and find out just what, in his dark past, made him the man he now has become. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


STAND IN HIS WAY..AND DIE! (original 3-sheet poster-all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Afsporet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Warwick's play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 24 September 1935 and closed in January 1936 after 119 performances. The opening night cast included George Coulouris as Dr. Shelby and Roy Hargrave as Hal Wilson. Also in the cast were Jay Adler, Lloyd Barry, Ruth Fallows, Mabel Montgomery, James Truex and Katherine Warren. See more »


The gangster's fingers are supposedly paralyzed, but when he pushes the "Insanity and the Criminal Mind" book back onto the shelf, you can clearly see him flick it into place with one of his "paralyzed" fingers. See more »


Remade as The Dark Past (1948) See more »


Far Above Cayuga's Waters
(ca 1870) (uncredited)
(Cornell University's "Alma Mater")
Music (from the song "Annie Lisle") by H.S. Thompson (1857)
Played during the opening scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Ridiculous and improbable, but fun to watch
26 March 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a film that you just have to watch without thinking too much--particularly if you realizes how silly the film is from a psychological point of view. Chester Morris and his gang take a group of people hostage while hiding out from the police. With very little provocation, Morris kills one of the hostages and in response, the psychiatrist (Ralph Bellamy) decides to mess with Morris' mind in order to drive him over the edge. Much of the movie is spent watching Bellamy slowly gain Morris' trust and later they begin exploring the meaning and significance of Morris' recurring dream. This is amazingly silly, not only because the cops might burst into the home at any minute but because in only a short time they are able explore and work out ALL of Morris' problems!! Also, while the style of therapy and theory behind it seemed pretty sound for the 1930s, today a lot of this just seemed like very silly mumbo-jumbo. Still, if you can ignore the silliness of all this and Morris' over-acting, then it is an entertaining little film.

By the way, for a much better film without the mumbo-jumbo, try watching THE DESPERATE HOURS. This film is also about a vicious gang taking a family hostage but is far more realistic and compelling.

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who is the Actor Who Plays the Killer's Father? OldFilmLover
Discuss Blind Alley (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: