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Illegal (1955)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 861 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 11 critic

After an overly aggressive district attorney unknowingly sends an innocent man to the chair, he resigns, turns to drinking, and acquires a criminal clientèle.

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Title: Illegal (1955)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ellen Miles
...
Ray Borden
...
...
Frank Garland
Howard St. John ...
E.A. Smith
...
Miss Hinkel
...
Ralph Ford
Jan Merlin ...
Andy Garth
...
Joe Knight
Jay Adler ...
Joseph Carter
Henry Kulky ...
Taylor
James McCallion ...
Allen Parker
Addison Richards ...
Steve Harper
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Al Carol
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Storyline

Ambitious D.A. Victor Scott zealously prosecutes Ed Clary for a woman's murder. But as Clary walks "the last mile" to the electric chair, Scott receives evidence that exonerates the condemned man. Realizing that he's made a terrible mistake he tries to stop the execution but is too late. Humbled by his grievous misjudgement, Scott resigns as a prosecutor. Entering private practice, he employs the same cunning that made his reputation and draws the attention of mob kingpin, Frank Garland. The mobster succeeds in bribing Scott into representing one of his stooges on a murder rap and Scott, in a grand display of courtroom theatrics, wins the case. But soon Scott finds himself embroiled in dirty mob politics. The situation becomes intolerable when his former protege in the D.A.'s office is charged with a murder that seems to implicate her as an informant to the Garland mob. Can Victor defend the woman he secretly loves and also keep his life? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a guy who marked 100 men for death - until a blonde called 'Angel' O'Hara marked him for life! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 March 1956 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Schakale der Unterwelt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character is very loosely based on Bill "The Great Mouthpiece" Fallon, one of the great criminal defense attorneys of the 1920s, who successfully defended gambler Arnold Rothstein in the "Black Sox" Fix of the 1919 World Series. See more »

Goofs

When Victor Scott addresses the jury he refers to the 45 revolver used to kill Gloria Benson in the opening scene. The gun in fact is a semi-automatic pistol, not a revolver. See more »

Quotes

Frank Garland: Get up that $10,000, or you won't be chasing ambulances anymore. They'll be chasing you!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Mouthpiece (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Jayne Mansfield
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I Don't Blame People; I Bury Them!"
16 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie may not look like a film noir, but there are some great film noir-type lines here, like the one I used in the subject head. I heard at least a dozen that I almost laughed out loud at because they were so good and/or clever. This is a not a "B" film with its dialog and terrific cast.

I agree it's not one that is terribly exciting, either, but it has more than its share of good points. One good starting point is the star: Edward G. Robinson. It's tough to knock a film with him in the lead. It's a little talky but there are some dramatic, surprising moments, too, with Robinson's "Victor Scott," doing some things you have to see to believe.

Nina Foch, Hugh Marlowe and Albert Dekker are all good in key roles, but I found it more interesting at times to see familiar faces in the supporting characters. Actors such as Ellen Corby ("Miss Hinkel"), DeForest Kelley ("Edward Clary"), Edward Platt ("Ralph Ford"), Jayne Mansfield ("Angel O'Hara"), Henry Kulky ("Taylor), Jan Merlin ("Andrew Garth") and a few others, were all fascinating. I liked Corby, in particular. You may not know all their names, but you know their faces. Kelley starred for years on "Star Trek" and Platt was the boss in "Get Smart." In Mansfield's case, you know more than just her face!

This is the first half of a film noir twin-bill recently offered on DVD. The other film is "The Big Steal," so you get two pretty good movies for the price of one.


25 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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