IMDb > The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940)

The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
6.5/10   39 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 59% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for The Man Who Wouldn't Talk on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 January 1940 (USA) See more »
WHO is the man without a past?... WHAT secret sealed his lips?
A man involved in a crime (Nolan) kills his key witness by mistake and resigns himself to death. He changes his name so as not to harm his family... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
The film that wouldn't surprise See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Lloyd Nolan ... Joe Monday
Jean Rogers ... Alice Stetson
Richard Clarke ... Steve Phillips
Onslow Stevens ... Frederick Keller
Eric Blore ... Horace Parker
Joan Valerie ... Miss Norton

Mae Marsh ... Mrs. Stetson
Paul Stanton ... Attorney Cluett
Douglas Wood ... Walker
Irving Bacon ... Paul Gillis
Lester Sharpe ... Henri Picot (as Lester Scharff)
Harlan Briggs ... Foreman in Jury
Elisabeth Risdon ... Jury Member (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Renie Riano ... Lilly Wigham
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Alexander ... Soldier (uncredited)

Stanley Andrews ... Colonel (uncredited)
Herbert Ashley ... Jailer (uncredited)
Hooper Atchley ... Finney's Lawyer (uncredited)

Marie Blake ... (uncredited)
Stanley Blystone ... Police Announcer (uncredited)
Gary Breckner ... Announcer (uncredited)
Harry Burns ... Italian (uncredited)
John Butler ... John Finney (uncredited)
George Chandler ... First Clerk (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Ryan (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Mrs. Finney (uncredited)
Chester Clute ... Pompous Man (uncredited)
Frank Dae ... Judge (uncredited)

Jean Del Val ... Jacques (uncredited)
Harry Denny ... Third Man (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Soldier (uncredited)
George Douglas ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Guard (uncredited)
Eddie Dunn ... Jim (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Guard (uncredited)
Edward Earle ... Officer (uncredited)
John Eberts ... Peon (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Juror (uncredited)
Fern Emmett ... Housekeeper Annie (uncredited)
Edith Evanson ... Hannah (uncredited)
Don Forbes ... (uncredited)
Gus Glassmire ... Juror (uncredited)

William Haade ... First American (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Tom Hanlon ... Main Commentator (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Dan (uncredited)
John Hiestand ... (uncredited)
Jean Houghton ... Mrs. Sawyer (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Little Man (uncredited)

Selmer Jackson ... James Sawyer (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Warden (uncredited)
Robert Emmett Keane ... Ed Harvey (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... Bailiff (uncredited)

George Lynn ... Convict (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Policeman (uncredited)
George Melford ... Juror (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Officer (uncredited)

Mantan Moreland ... Robbins (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Second Man (uncredited)
Paddy O'Flynn ... Soldier (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Laboratory Technician (uncredited)
Franklin Parker ... Reporter (uncredited)
Imboden Parrish ... Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
Arthur Rankin ... Fingerprinter (uncredited)
Cyril Ring ... Reporter (uncredited)
Leona Roberts ... (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno ... Miguel (uncredited)
Walter Soderling ... (uncredited)
Edwin Stanley ... Officer (uncredited)
Charles Stevens ... Mexican (uncredited)
Paul Sutton ... Second American (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ... Reporter (uncredited)
Charles Trowbridge ... Judge (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan ... Assistant to the District Attorney (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Fred Walburn ... Boy (uncredited)
George Walcott ... Second Clerk (uncredited)
Bruce Warren ... Assistant to the District Attorney (uncredited)

Directed by
David Burton 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Clark Andrews  contract writer (uncredited)
Lou Breslow  contract writer (uncredited)
David Burton  contract writer (uncredited)
Robert Ellis 
Edward Ettinger 
Owen Francis  contract writer (uncredited)
Holworthy Hall  play
Helen Logan 
Robert Middlemass  play (as Robert M. Middlemass)
Lester Ziffren 

Produced by
Sol M. Wurtzel .... producer
Original Music by
Samuel Kaylin (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Virgil Miller 
Film Editing by
Alex Troffey 
Casting by
Owen McLean (uncredited)
Walter Whaley (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
George Dudley 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Costume Design by
Herschel McCoy 
Makeup Department
W. Fieldz .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Sam Wurtzel .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jack McEdward .... assistant director (uncredited)
Henry Weinberger .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Don B. Greenwood .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Joseph E. Aiken .... sound
William H. Anderson .... sound
William Grefrath .... cableman (uncredited)
Joseph Mazzoletti .... recordist (uncredited)
William Pillar .... boom man (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Campbell .... best boy (uncredited)
Paul Garnett .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Fred Kelly .... gaffer (uncredited)
Roger Murphy .... grip (uncredited)
Ted Weisbarth .... assistant camera (uncredited)
William P. Whitley .... camera operator (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Nick DeMaggio .... cutter (uncredited)
Stanley Rabjohn .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
Music Department
Samuel Kaylin .... musical director
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
William Eull .... follow-up man (uncredited)
Frank L. James .... technical director (uncredited)
William Koenig .... production staff (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Did You Know?

Told that he might wind up in the electric chair, Joe Monday says he once heard a coward dies a thousand times. He's paraphrasing Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar."

"A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come."See more »
Movie Connections:
Remake of The Valiant (1929)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
The film that wouldn't surprise, 19 November 2014
Author: Alex da Silva from United Kingdom

Lloyd Nolan (Joe Monday) is put on trial for the murder of Onslow Stevens (Keller). As the title suggests, Nolan doesn't give much away, especially his true identity. Jean Rogers (Alice Stetson) identifies Nolan as her brother who was presumed dead from the 1st World War. However, he denies this. Just who is the mysterious Joe Monday? And why has he shot Stevens?

Well, after a few poem recitals, I think we all know who Joe Monday is. And I found that to be a problem with the film. It deprives us of any sort of surprise – we all know who he is. The title of the film sets the audience up for some kind of mystery concerning a man who won't talk and what his true identity is. We have a man who won't talk, but no mystery as to who he is. Fail.

The story as it unfurls isn't too bad, although everything about it is predictable. The cast are fine and Nolan leads the proceedings well. But, Rogers and her poems……oh dear me….. Here's a childhood poem that I remember – There was a man called Bill, who swallowed the atomic pill, his penis corroded, his arsehole exploded, and his balls ended up in Brazil. Now, that's a proper childhood poem - not the namby pamby nonsense spouted by Rogers.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (4 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
That I May Live Key Largo The Man in Blue A Few Good Men Les Miserables
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits IMDb Crime section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.