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You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  20 May 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 481 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 9 critic

Youthful tough Johnny Stone has fallen under the influence of petty crook Frank Wilson, who involves him and robbery and murder using his sister's boyfriend's stolen gun.



(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Frank Wilson
Gale Page ...
Madge Stone
Billy Halop ...
Johnnie Stone
Attorney Carey
Harvey Stephens ...
Fred Burke
Harold Huber ...
Joe Sawyer ...
Joe Downing ...
Joe King ...
Principal Keeper (as Joseph King)
Joseph Crehan ...
John Ridgely ...
Gas Station Attendant
Herbert Rawlinson ...
District Attorney
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nat Carr ...
Convict (scenes deleted)


Johnnie learns crime from petty thug Frank Wilson. When Wilson kills a pawnbroker with a gun stolen from Johnnie's sister Madge's fiance Fred Burke, Fred goes to Sing Sing's death house. Wilson uses all the pressure can to keep Johnnie silent, even after he and Johnnie themselves wind up in the big house. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Explorando o Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Three actors listed in Studio records as being in this film were not seen in the movie. These were (with their character names): Nat Carr (Convict), Lane Chandler (Guard) and Joe Devlin (Prisoner). See more »


Even though Bogart's character asks for 5 gallons of gas (90 cents at 18 cents a gallon), gas station attendant John Ridgely is able to pump it in only 8 seconds, faster than any gas pump on record. See more »


Sam: [after shining his shoes] There you are, Pop. There's one you can see your face in.
Pop, Sing Sing Librarian: What I want is one I can see YOUR face in.
[Sam laughs]
See more »


Referenced in Invisible Stripes (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Warner/Bogart Flick
22 January 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)

*** (out of 4)

Nice crime flick from Warner has the young Johnny (Billy Halop) looking up to tough guy Frank (Humphrey Bogart) and soon the two are pulling jobs together. Johnny steals a gun from his sister's fiancé, which Frank uses to kill a guy but the police pin it on the fiancé. Soon Johnny and Frank are behind bars for another crime while the kid soon starts to feel guilt over an innocent man about to die. This 78-minute movie features a lot of plot and some might say there's too much plot but there's no denying that this is 100% pure Warner action as not only do we get the best of their crime films but also a pretty good prison drama as well. There's a lot going on in this film and I think most fans of the genre are really going to eat this thing up. Of course, it all starts with Bogart playing another one of his tough guy roles and naturally he handles the material very well. Everything people love about Bogart from that wicked voice to that personality is on full display here as his character chews up each scene he's in. Halop doesn't do too bad either, although I must admit that his character was so annoying in certain scenes that I was wanting to punch him myself. Gale Page and Harvey Stephens are good as the sister and fiancé and then we have Henry Travers in a good part of the elder con trying to steer the young kid in the right direction. Character actors George E. Stone and Joe Sawyer also appear in minor roles. The screenplay pretty much tries to throw everything at you at once and while the film does lose focus in a few spots, that doesn't mean the thing ever gets boring or slow. The director keeps everything moving at a pretty good pace and I must admit that the film ended a lot differently than I expected. The prison escape was pretty intense as was a few earlier scenes were Bogart wants to seek his revenge. All in all this movie certainly deserve to be more wildly seen as it contain the some great "tough guy" stuff that film buffs will eat up.

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