5.9/10
94
6 user 4 critic

Sergeant Madden (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Family | 24 March 1939 (USA)
A highly respected Irish cop is pleased when his son follows him onto the force. Unfortunately, the son is more interested in rewards than in upholding the law. When he shoots a child ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Josef Von Sternberg)

Writers:

(story "A Gun In His Hand") (as William A. Ulman Jr.), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sgt. Shaun Madden
Tom Brown ...
Albert 'Al' Boylan, Jr.
...
Dennis Madden
...
Eileen Daly
Fay Holden ...
Mary Madden
...
'Piggy' Ceders
Marion Martin ...
Charlotte LePage
David Gorcey ...
Punchy LePage
Donald Haines ...
Milton
...
Henchman Stemmy
Etta McDaniel ...
Dove (Madden's maid)
John Kelly ...
Henchman Nero
...
Philadelphia (as Horace MacMahon)
Neil Fitzgerald ...
Casey (police broadcaster)
...
Dennis Madden, as a boy
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Storyline

A highly respected Irish cop is pleased when his son follows him onto the force. Unfortunately, the son is more interested in rewards than in upholding the law. When he shoots a child caught stealing, the others frame him and he is sent to prison where his attitude becomes even worse than before. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Beery as the law . . . blasting his way in thundering thrills See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Au service de la loi  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Trowbridge replaced George Irving as the Commissioner for the retakes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beery With A Brogue
13 October 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Wallace Beery pulls out all the stops in scene stealing and as an extra has a touch of the brogue in his speech as Sergeant Madden of the NYPD. Of course when we first meet Beery he's merely Patrolman Madden who finds a baby girl on his doorstep and brings him home to wife Fay Holden. Beery and Holden already have a boy of their own and a neighbor's kid who hangs around so much he's like one of the family.

The kids grow up to be Laraine Day, Alan Curtis, and Tom Brown respectively. Curtis is a newly minted patrolman himself fresh from the Academy and burning with ambition and now married to Day although Brown has a thing for her.

He shoots a young punk David Gorcey caught in the act of a robbery although he could have with some effort taken him alive. That whole incident shows how times have changed, today Curtis would be suspended, maybe kicked off the force for shooting an unarmed suspect. As it is he gets a leery well done, but earns the ire of local hood Marc Lawrence whose girl friend Marion Martin was Gorcey's sister.

Lawrence arranges a nice little jackpot for Curtis and I won't say any more because the plot of Sergeant Madden gets more maudlin and unbelievable as it continues.

Although the private Wallace Beery was hardly matching the lovable oafish type Beery portrayed in sound films even as a villain, Sergeant Madden is the kind of film that Beery was asked to carry strictly on the strength of that appeal. Beery carries Sergeant Madden to an average rating for me, strictly on that appeal.


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