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The Lawbreakers (1961) More at IMDbPro »


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Paul Monash (written by) and
W.R. Burnett (written by)
View company contact information for The Lawbreakers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 August 1961 (West Germany) See more »
User Reviews:
Syndicate members rob the syndicate See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)

Jack Warden ... Matt Gower (archive footage)

Vera Miles ... Angela Walsh (archive footage)
Robert Douglas ... Allen Bardeman (archive footage)
Arch Johnson ... Gus Honochek (archive footage)
Douglas Odney ... Frank Orte (archive footage)

Ken Lynch ... Ed Rackin (archive footage)
Robert Bailey ... Sam Henry (archive footage)
Mary Lawrence ... Marian Gower (archive footage)
James Seay ... Mayor Harold Emshaw (archive footage)
Marianne Stewart ... Rose Wardell (archive footage)
Jay Adler ... Abe Hirsch (archive footage)
John Zaremba ... Sgt. John Ervine (archive footage)

David White ... Commissioner James Deane (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Noreen Corcoran ... Evelyn Gower (archive footage) (uncredited)
Robert H. Harris ... Joe Selkin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Don C. Harvey ... Bit Policeman (archive footage) (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Detective / Driver (archive footage) (uncredited)
Eddie Marr ... Bit Reporter (archive footage) (uncredited)

William Smith ... Guy on Street (archive footage) (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Extra at Bus Station (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Joseph M. Newman 
Writing credits
Paul Monash (written by) and
W.R. Burnett (written by)

Produced by
Jaime Del Valle .... producer (as Jamie del Valle)
Original Music by
Johnny Mandel 
Cinematography by
Nicholas Musuraca  (as Nick Musuraca)
Film Editing by
Ben Lewis 
Herbert W. Wrench 
Art Direction by
George W. Davis 
Gabriel Scognamillo 
Set Decoration by
Henry Grace (set decorations)
Robert Priestley (set decorations)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Henry Weinberger .... assistant director
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
79 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Edited from an episode of the television series "The Asphalt Jungle" (1961), which ran on ABC from 2 April 1961 to 24 September 1961.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited from "The Asphalt Jungle" (1961)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Syndicate members rob the syndicate, 24 July 2014
Author: msroz from United States

TCM has shown this film but infrequently. My copy goes back to the days when it used a ribbon logo for 15 seconds instead of for 30 seconds.

The main story in this noir is a syndicate crime story. There is a collector of vice proceeds (Robert Bailey) who drives a car with special locks such that the car cannot be opened while he's inside and its glass is very strong. Bailey collects from several syndicate operators, including Ken Lynch. He turns the aggregate over to Robert Douglas who then passes it along. Each link in the chain is isolated from the others, or is supposed to be, and each link works in fear that if they stole the proceeds and ran, they'd be caught and killed. Douglas, however, has big debts including the upkeep of his secretary-mistress, Vera Miles. She urges him on to a heist. How this is done and how it works out makes for a very captivating story. The syndicate sends in the psychologically-menacing Robert H. Harris, a specialist in playing such parts.

The police play a substantial role in the story. When they find the body of Bailey shot inside his car after he runs down a family, they have few clues. There is quite a bit here having to do with the ineffective old commissioner (David White) who is replaced by the well-organized and knowledgeable Jack Warden. Jay Adler, a hack, threads his way in and out of the police activities. Little by little the police, including Arch Johnson in support, begin to gauge the vague outlines of what may have happened. Meanwhile the thieves involved, lacking honor, are working against each other in a series of double crosses. The police really do not know the details.

Vera Miles, Ken Lynch, Robert Douglas and Robert H. Harris provide the most memorable characters and acting in this movie, but the others are no slouches either. David White is effective as a bumbler. Adler is an inveterate scene-stealer. Arch Johnson does a good job portraying an honest cop who is always passed over for promotion to an administrative job because he's not viewed as having the skills. Lynch's gravelly voice always awakens any scene he's in. Vera Miles, in particular, plays a woman who makes her way by exploiting the weakness of men for women. Her character has a degree of contempt for men that she conceals but that comes out in her behavior. When she walks into a dive where a stripper is doing her act, Miles looks toward the act and smiles, as if she's amused at the control over the men exhibited by the strip-tease routine.

Keep your eyes open for this enjoyable crime noir.

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