The Pay Off (1942)

Passed  |   |  Action, Crime, Film-Noir  |  24 November 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 95 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

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
Ian Keith ...
Inspector Thomas
Robert Middlemass ...
Lester Norris
John Maxwell ...
John Sheehan ...
Sergeant Brenen
Harry C. Bradley ...
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:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Great Dialog and a great cast is the reason to watch this truly enjoyable (if not really mysterious) mystery
18 August 2007 | by (Glen Cove, New York) – See all my reviews

Lee Tracy plays Brad McKay a smart mouthed reporter loved, or at least respected by both the police and the criminals. When a reforming special prosecutor, who's work he had been covering, is killed McKay is thrust in to the thick of things since its assumed that he may have a clue as to who might have killed the man. Tracy, an expert at playing fast talking wisenheimers, is in great form here delivering a steady stream of pontifications and wise cracks that not only amuse but also bamboozle the people around him giving him room to solve the case. I really liked this film a great deal since its a rare that a B-movie of this type had so many witty lines and comedic comebacks, it's almost like being hit by a machine gun of jokes. Tracy is aided by a great cast of character actors who manage to make their roles into something more than pieces to be moved around the chess board. If there is real weakness in the movie its that it becomes pretty clear who the bad guy is much too early in the film (the problem is simply that there really isn't anyone else it could be).It's not fatal but it sort makes what happens a foregone conclusion. Despite its short comings this is a movie that you're going to watch for, especially if you like great dialog and witty exchanges.

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