The Pay Off (1942)

Passed  |   |  Action, Crime, Film-Noir  |  24 November 1942 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
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)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Red House (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Lon McCallister, Judith Anderson
Inner Sanctum (1948)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A man fleeing the police after having committed a murder hides out in a boarding house in a small town.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Charles Russell, Mary Beth Hughes, Dale Belding
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An out-of-work architect meets a married woman who has a business proposition for him. The architect begins to suspect the woman's interest in him is not just financial and may actually be deadly.

Director: Paul Guilfoyle
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Keith Andes, Douglass Dumbrille
Quicksand (1950)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After borrowing $20 from his employer's cash register, an auto mechanic is plunged into a series of increasingly disastrous circumstances which rapidly spiral out of his control.

Director: Irving Pichel
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Jeanne Cagney, Barbara Bates
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A naive young girl, looking to escape from a bad family situation, falls in love with a man who turns out to be a cad, and leads her down the road to ruin.

Director: Christy Cabanne
Stars: Robert Lowery, Doris Merrick, Eddie Quillan
The Capture (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A badly injured fugitive explains to a priest how he came to be in his present predicament.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man dreams he committed murder, then begins to suspect it was real.

Director: Maxwell Shane
Stars: Paul Kelly, DeForest Kelley, Ann Doran
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A WWII veteran goes back to England after the war only to discover that his wartime sweetheart has got mixed up with a dangerous spy ring.

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Moira Lister, Alan Wheatley
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young manipulative woman moves in with her fiances family and turns a happy household against itself.

Directors: John Brahm, John Cromwell, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Aline MacMahon
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The first of three Pine-Thomas productions for Chester Morris finds him as wise-cracking private detective Humphrey Campbell who impresses his boss, Oscar Flack, no end by not only finding ... See full summary »

Director: Frank McDonald
Stars: Chester Morris, Jean Parker, Rose Hobart
The Payoff (1935)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Joe is a reporter who is looking for his big break and he gets it when he takes over George Gorman's sports column. Marty is a hood who would fix any sporting event he could and Joe keeps ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Florey
Stars: James Dunn, Claire Dodd, Patricia Ellis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After a prison sentence an American GI stationed in Italy discovers that his hidden loot has disappeared and goes searching for it.

Director: W. Lee Wilder
Stars: Lloyd Bridges, Lea Padovani, Aldo Fabrizi


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


AN AIR-TIGHT ALIBI? He thought he had an air-tight alibi...but a fast-talking newshawk punched holes in it! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »




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
See  »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Didn't Lee Tracy invent the fast-talking newspaper reporter character?
18 October 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Lee Tracy pretty easily carries the show in this fast-moving drama featuring fast talking and a set of familiar supporting characters ranging from the cub reporter to the police inspector needing help to the shady club owner to the girl whose father is in trouble. Evelyn Brent is the one other somewhat interesting character—as the wise female on the wrong side of the law, she's a challenge for Tracy to try and pull over to his side.

Tom Brown is the publisher's son who doubles as the cub reporter trying to learn the business; he's not particularly exciting but eager and fresh-faced and he does throw one punch. Tina Thayer as the daughter of the missing suspect doesn't have much to do and isn't given much to say, but she wears a worried look the best she can. Many other familiar faces populate the rest of the cast—the usual assortment of cops, crooks and reporters.

Oh, the plot? It's fairly complex, actually, having to do with a murdered special prosecutor investigating corruption and a $100,000 payoff that gets chased around for most of the picture.

The script is full of snappy dialog, some of it having to do with the plot, some just clever filler (Brown asks Tracy what they're going to do now, to which Tracy responds, "Slight pause for station identification."). Tracy also tells Brent in the first moments after their meeting, "After one drink, I propose," which adds a little nicely-calculated tension to their future encounters.

Worth a look for those of us who like rapid-fire dialog and don't mind a few clinkers or clichés.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Pay Off (1942) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: