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Strange Alibi (1941)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 19 April 1941 (USA)
A gambler comes into town to testify before the grand jury. He is killed by the mob before he can testify. Joe Geary (Kennedy) is fired from the police force for being soft on crime. This ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Devlin
Chief Sprague
John Ridgely ...
Governor Phelps
Cliff Clark ...
Captain Reddick
Lieutenant-Detective Pagle
Wade Boteler ...
Captain Allen
Joe Downing ...
Benny McKaye
Dick Rich ...
Big Dog
Paul Phillips ...
Crips Vossen
Joe King ...
Warden Morrell


A gambler comes into town to testify before the grand jury. He is killed by the mob before he can testify. Joe Geary (Kennedy) is fired from the police force for being soft on crime. This is a setup between him and the Police Chief so that Geary can infiltrate the gangsters. Geary then goes to prison when the police chief is killed. Geary escapes from prison and with the governor's help proves he is innocent and cleans up the mob. Written by <finley@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"I'm Innocent of Murder...and I'll even kill to prove it!" See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 April 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Estranho Recurso  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Captain Allen surprises Joe Geary (just escaped from prison), Alice Devlin and Katie at Katie's place as they try to figure out what to do after Benny McKaye dies, and Allen tells the others that corrupt policeman Pagle was promoted to Detective Captain, Geary repeats the news but refers to Pagle as "Lieutenant Captain" Pagle. See more »


It Had to Be You
Music by Isham Jones
Second tune played by the band at Durkin's Cafe
See more »

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User Reviews

Kennedy, Bates almost redeem backward-looking crime drama
11 April 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Strange Alibi harks back to the quick, crude Warners crime-and-corruption movies of the 1930s, showing none of the more nuanced, ambiguous style that started to coalesce in the early 40s. It's a rough and ready programmer, just watchable because of a few of its cast members.

Arthur Kennedy, in one of his earliest roles, plays a cop who stages a dishonorable discharge from the force in order to work the shady side of the street. But, framed for the murder of the one man who can vouch for his honesty, he ends up in the Big House, a target both of other cons (since he was a cop) and the guards (since they think he was a dishonest one; Howard Da Silva plays a particularly sadistic screw). He's in for life, which promises to be nasty, brutish and short, but a few fast friends on the outside are trying to get him exonerated. Chief among them is gold-hearted vice queen Florence Bates, one of the movies' most formidable old battleaxes (before taking to acting, she was the first woman to practice law in Texas).

The plot races and bumps along but manages to work itself out with passable cleverness: Kennedy contrives a scheme in which his innocence is proved by the "testimony" of a corpse.

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