Underworld U.S.A. (1961)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,662 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 17 critic

Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge.



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
China Gate (1957)
Action | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1954, during the French Indochina War, an Eurasian female smuggler and a group of French Foreign Legion mercenaries, infiltrate the enemy territory in order to destroy an arms depot.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Barry, Angie Dickinson, Nat 'King' Cole
Forty Guns (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Planted in a Tokyo crime syndicate, a U.S. Army Investigator attempts to probe the coinciding death of a fellow Army official.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Kelly, a prostitute, finds redemption in the town of Grantville, where she arrives working as a medium-time seller. There, she meets Griff, the police captain of the town, with whom she ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Michael Dante
Verboten! (1959)
Thriller | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young American serviceman, stationed in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich, jeopardises his position with the Marshall Plan relief effort by breaking the non-fraternisatiom rule ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: James Best, Susan Cummings, Tom Pittman
Park Row (1952)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pickpocket unwittingly lifts a message destined for enemy agents and becomes a target for a Communist spy ring.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Bent on winning a Pulitzer Prize, a journalist commits himself to a mental institution to solve a strange and unclear murder.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans
Adventure | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill leads the 3,000 American volunteers of his 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), aka "Merrill's Marauders", behind Japanese lines across Burma to Myitkyina... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Ty Hardin, Peter Brown
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A privately-financed scientist and his colleagues hire an ex-Navy officer to conduct an Alaskan submarine expedition in order to prevent a Red Chinese anti-American plot that may lead to ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen


Complete credited cast:
Tolly Devlin
Dolores Dorn ...
Beatrice Kay ...
Paul Dubov ...
Robert Emhardt ...
Earl Connors
Larry Gates ...
John Driscoll
Richard Rust ...
Gus Cottahee
Gerald Milton ...
Allan Gruener ...
David Kent ...
Tolly - Aged 14
Tina Pine ...
Woman (as Tina Rome)
Sally Mills ...
Connie Fowler
Robert P. Lieb ...
Neyle Morrow ...
Henry Norell ...
Prison Dr. Meredeth


Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Threat To a Nation! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alles auf eine Karte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Finnish censorship visa # 58211 delivered on 14-6-1974. See more »


Sandy: Why don't you take a good look at yourself. What do you see? A doctor? A scientist? A businessman? You see a scar-faced ex-con. A two-bit safecracker. A petty thief who don't know when he really made the big time. Where do you come off to blast her? No matter what she's been, what she's done. She's a giant! And you wanna know why? Well, I'll tell ya. Because she sees something in you worth saving. If only one tenth of one percent of all the good in her could rub off on you, you'd be a giant, ...
See more »


Featured in The Best of Film Noir (1999) See more »


The Anniversary Waltz
Written by Dave Franklin and Al Dubin
Hummed by Mrs Farrar when Tolly visits her
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

one of those finite definitions of a gritty B-noir, done just right
25 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer/director Samuel Fuller is not personally attached to the material he presents in Underworld USA in the sense of it being autobiographical. But it is pretty likely, from listening to interviews with him and just from seeing his other work in the noir-esquire realm of motion pictures, that he knew at least the world these characters are in. Or at least he knows what kinds of emotions and what lies underneath certain aspects of lesser pulp fiction- and has a kind of journalistic sensibility that is all his own, telling it like it is from the mean streets of who-knows. It's got an assured eye working the gears, and it by-passes some usual clichés to get at some more interesting bits within some of the conventions. This is in the bones just a tale of revenge, but Fuller wants the little things and moments that make up such a tale, and how the characters can be more realized than might usually be. I liked, for example, early on when Tolly Devlin is 14 and makes a comment to his mother about something in the middle of their conversation- the mother doesn't say anything, but there's a quick, tight close-up of her face to catch the moment. It actually stuck with me longer than I expected, even as the main parts of the scene went along.

Another part that really, really impressed me was when Devlin (Cliff Robertson, not bad at all in a part that gets to stretch his skills somewhat), nearing the end of his prison term, and finally finds one of the men who beat his father to death when he saw when he was 14. The scene is very tense, but somehow very human too, as Tolly has to contend with a dying man that he has to kill with his own hands. Soon, Fuller gets the gears of the story going further, as he vows revenge against the others who committed the crime, making him pull an undercover act to infiltrate the mob to get close to them, particularly Earl Conners (Rober Emhardt, a plum role for him considering all of his TV parts). But he also falls for a woman, Cuddles, played by Dolores Day, and like Fuller's Crimson Kimono, the weight of the main thrust of what Tolly needs is balanced against what he could also have with his possible romantic interest, caught up in the emotional bog he's in.

I liked a lot how Robertson tapped well enough into the character to make him plausible, even sympathetic. He understands what Fuller is going for, a slightly more realistic- or more powerful kind of representation in the midst of the hard-boiled dialog and more complicated scenes- as he's playing a character who actually has a past, a childhood shown as shattered and made as the complete context that he has to contend with as an adult, despite women around him telling him otherwise. I still remember plenty of shots in the film too (not the gun-shots, the camera-work I mean), and this is after having seen the film months ago, and the driving musical score from Harry Sukman (a solid Fuller collaborator). That Fuller extracts a good deal of compelling entertainment out of a premise that seems pretty standard and even slight is remarkable, and ranks among the other fine superlative B-movies he was doing at the time.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
cliff robertson teejay6682
the girl and the ice scene aciago
Discuss Underworld U.S.A. (1961) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: