6.5/10
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20 user 7 critic

King of the Underworld (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 14 January 1939 (USA)
After the killing of her husband by friendly fire during a police raid, Dr. Carol Nelson tries to find gangster Joe Gurney to clear her name with the medical board.

Director:

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carol Nelson
...
Bill Stevens
John Eldredge ...
Niles Nelson
...
Aunt Josephine
...
Dr. Sanders
Raymond Brown ...
Sheriff
Harland Tucker ...
Mr. Ames
Ralph Remley ...
Mr. Robert
Charley Foy ...
Slick
...
Eddie
...
Porky
Elliott Sullivan ...
Mugsy
Alan Davis ...
Pete
John Harmon ...
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Storyline

Niles and Carol Nelson are married doctors who save one of gang lord Gurney's men. Gurney exploits them, then kills Niles leaving Carol to take the fall. He next kidnaps writer Bill Stephens to write his biography. Knowing Bill will be killed when the biography is finished, Carol takes matters into her own hands. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Drop That Gun, Killer! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unlawful  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in just two weeks during the summer of 1938. See more »

Goofs

The night scenes of the raid on the Gurney hideout are mismatched. It goes from day-for-night to what appears to be genuine darkness. See more »

Quotes

Joe Gurney: [Entering the doctor's office] Dr. Nelson?
Niles Nelson: That's right.
Joe Gurney: [Taking in the doctor's shabby office] I don't get it.
Niles Nelson: Whatta yuh mean?
Joe Gurney: A guy with a pair of million dollar hands in a dump like this!
Niles Nelson: Oh?
Joe Gurney: Yeah! You're wastin' your time down here. You oughta be uptown with the big dough.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Diese Drombuschs: Abschied im Zorn (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Jezebel
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Joe receives the telephone call before the operation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'm a moronic type."
8 December 2013 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Decent remake of Dr. Socrates changes a few things, including the gender of the doctor. In the original it was the great Paul Muni. Here, it's Kay Francis. The real star of this film, however, is Humphrey Bogart. This was made during the period when Warner Bros. still had Bogie playing villainous gangster characters. This is one of the better movies that are considered "lesser" Bogart pictures. He's great fun in the role and steals every scene he's in. The plot is about a falsely-maligned female doctor (Francis) who sets out to prove her innocence by infiltrating Bogart's gang. There's a few holes in the plot but it's a short, smoothly-paced WB gangster flick so you don't really care that much. Just sit back and enjoy some good old fashioned popcorn entertainment.


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