The city's District Attorney is murdered, and a newspaper reporter investigates. He starts finding out that everything wasn't quite as cut and dried as it appeared to be.



(screenplay), (original story)

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Cast overview:
Guy Norris
Tina Thayer ...
Phyllis Walker
Alma Dorn
John Angus
Inspector Thomas
Robert Middlemass ...
Lester Norris
John Maxwell ...
Sergeant Brenen
Dr. Steele (as Harry Bradley)
Hugh Walker
Pat Costello ...


Special prosecutor Lloyd Pearson has been murdered and there is strong evidence that gambler Moroni committed the crime, but he has an air-tight alibi, spending the evening with Brad McKay, star reporter of the Chronicle. Norris, the publisher, send Brad and his son, Guy Norris, to cover the story. Brad learns that Moroni did commit the murder, but has no way to prove it. Moroni tells Brad that the murdered prosecutor was getting a payoff, and was killed by his assistant Hugh Walker following a quarrel. John Angus, proprietor of the Hi Lo Club, tells Moroni that Brad suspects him. Phyllis Walker tells Brad that her father is in danger from Moroni. Hugh Walker has given her a key to the public locker where some money is hidden. That night, Brad finds Moroni dead. He realizes there is a higher-up that had Moroni kill Pearson, and then has had Moroni killed. He learns that Walker has been kidnapped, but secures the money from the locker and hides it in his apartment. He meets Alma Dorne ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

24 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danaro e sangue  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

An Hour-Killer
4 December 2009 | by See all my reviews

I agree with many of the previous comments about "The Payoff", although I'm just not that enthusiastic about it.

The film is a page straight out of the part-crime-mystery / part-comedy genre of the day. It's true that the dialog is snappy and if you're in the mood it can be quite engaging.

But it's also true that "The Payoff" is really more of a theatrical-style of presentation than film. Lee Tracy immediately goes over the top, and stays there, with a very stage-style performance. Too loud, too gestural, too self-entertaining, just plain "too". The other characters are mostly cliché, too.

I wouldn't avoid The Payoff if you enjoy 40's urban crime features. It's a terrific feature if you're home sick and need to fill an hour. But I wouldn't go to any extraordinary measures to see it, either.

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