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The Devil's Sleep (1949)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  18 May 1949 (USA)
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The head of an illegal drug ring uses a women's health spa as a front for his sleeping pill racket.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Rosalind Ballentine (as Lita Grey Chaplin)
Will Charles ...
Inspector Darnell
William Thomason ...
Detective Sergeant Dave Kerrigan
Timothy Farrell ...
Fred Smith ...
Tony Donardi
Muriel Gardner ...
Ruby McKenzie
Laura Travers ...
Jerri Wilson
Jim Tyde ...
Bob Winter
Stan Freed ...
Hal Holmes
Tracy Lynne ...
Margie Ballantine
Bob Lenihan ...
Frankie Clinton
Pat Lawless ...
Police Officer
Stan Modic ...
Mildred Davis ...
Tesse T. Tesse


The head of an illegal drug ring uses a women's health spa as a front for his sleeping pill racket.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drugs | sleeping pill


Today's Moral MENACE !.. Daring expose of the devil drug traffic in 'Bennies', 'Goofies' and 'Phenos' as it really exists.


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

18 May 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Até o Diabo Dorme  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


It's Raining
Written by John J. Potpinko
Sung by Annette Warren
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User Reviews

The exercise I'm giving these fat dames won't reduce a fever!
29 September 2005 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

(Some Spoilers) With the kids running rampant in the streets and popping pills at parties and social gatherings the local authorities are desperate to get a handle to just who's the main supplier of illegal prescription drugs to these uncontrollable juvenile delinquents.

The big break comes when young Frankie Clinton is busted after he broke into a warehouse high on uppers. Clinton is the major pusher for the head drug dealer in Homestown Umberto Scalli who's been using a gym, the Diana health System, to work off the pounds of overweight middle-age rich women as a cover for his sleazy drug operations.

Scalli's top deputy Hal Holmes recommends that his friend Bob should replace Clinton as chief drug pusher since he's very popular with the teen crowd. Bob can get the local teenagers to attend drug parties thrown by Hal at Scalli's mansion. What Hal, and Scalli, doesn't know is that Bob is going study with Margie Ballentine who just happens to be the daughter of crusading Judge Rosaliner Ballentine. Judge Ballentine is out to put an end to all this teen crime and drug use. The Judge also had Scalli put away for five years for drug trafficking and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Shocked at first that his #1 dealer has a girlfriend that's the daughter of a judge, who swore to put him away behind bars for good, Scalli realizes what a gold mine he just stepped into! Scalli plans to get Margie to attend one of his parties at the mansion and after getting her high then having her photographed in the nude. Scalli can then blackmail her mom, Judge Ballentine, into laying off him and his criminal activities in and around town.

Early drug-related youth crime film that goes a bit over the top with nudity and at the same time honesty about the good and bad things about prescription drugs, there was no illegal drugs like heroin or marijuana in the movie. There's also a very thought provoking speech by the doctor (John Mitchum) who was attending Margie who just tried to overdose on pills, after she found that Scalli had a photo of her in the buff, that was as informative now as it was when the film "Devil's Sleep" was released back in 1949.

Bob who's sister Jerri was going study with Det. Dave Kerrigan, who was assigned by Judge Ballentine to crack the Scalli/Holmes drug racket, got wind of his friend's Hal involvement with the ex-con and drug kingpin Scalli. Bob tries to set up the entire Scalli gang but is knocked out and left for dead by Pug the manager of Diana Health Club who's also Scalli's #1 muscle man. Speaking of "Muscle Men" there's also Mr. America 1948 George Eiferman in the movie in a small part as an exercise instructor to the fat women at the club.

Judge Ballentine shocked at the bind she's been put in by the blackmail photo of her daughter Margie disqualifies herself from prosecuting Scalli. Terri then goes undercover, and in her underclothes, as a member of the health club to get the negative of the Margie nude photo only to get caught by Scalli. This all leads to a free for all when Bob, who recovered from the beating he got from Pug, and his friends as well as muscle man Eiferman detective Dave and the Homestown PD come to Jerri's rescue in a scene that looked like it came from a "Three Stooges" comedy short.

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