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Illegal (1955)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 804 users  
Reviews: 26 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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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:

The 'fixer' took care of everything! 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

Frank Garland's impressive collection of Impressionist art actually was loaned to the film by collector Edward G. Robinson. Included are works by Gaugin, Degas, Duran, and Robinson's wife, Gladys Lloyd. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 23 mins) During the chase scene, the film is flipped for all three cars as they make a left turn; the steering wheels are on the right side, the license plates are backwards and all the building sign-age is reversed. 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

References Miracle in the Rain (1956) 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

 
Powerful
20 August 2007 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

This remake of an earlier movie packs a punch. The opening scene is marvelously lurid. It's a book jacket from this genre come to life: An attractive blonde is making up in her bathroom. Suddenly someone enters her apartment, shoots her. She screams; it's over for her.

This is NOT Jayne Mansfield, though she makes her movie debut here. She's good, too. (She was generally good but she's more restrained than the out-sized characterizations she took on later.) Edward G. Robinson plays an ambitious prosecuting attorney who nabs the killer in a good court room scene. But IS he the killer? I'm giving nothing beyond the first ten or 15 fifteen minutes away to say that he's not. The sequence in which Robinson desperately tries to get through to the prison where the guy is about to be executed is an eloquent plea against capital punishment.

Nina Foch is excellent as the woman who views Robinson as a father figure. She isn't given a whole lot to do but she has a very strong presence. There's a lot of Joan Fontaine in her appearance and delivery. And she presages the young, glamorous Kathleen Turner.

The supporting cast players are well cast too. Ellen Corby (yes, of "The Waltons") stands out among them.

This is not a great movie. Maybe that's because it's a reasonably faithful remake of a movie I've already seen. It's a thriller, though; so be sure to give it a try.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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