7.7/10
2,116
26 user 37 critic

Underworld (1927)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 October 1927 (USA)
Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors:

Josef von Sternberg, Arthur Rosson (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Furthman (adaptation) (as Charles Furthmann), Ben Hecht (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
7th Heaven (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A street cleaner saves a young woman's life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard
The Racket (1928)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
It (1927)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A salesgirl with plenty of "it" (sex appeal) pursues a handsome playboy.

Directors: Clarence G. Badger, Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Clara Bow, Antonio Moreno, William Austin
The Crowd (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach
Street Angel (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Natalie Kingston
Comedy | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two American soldiers are captured by the Germans on the Western Front during World War One and escape a POW camp only to stumble into further life-threatening adventures when they come across an Arabian king's daughter while on the lam.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: William Boyd, Mary Astor, Louis Wolheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young impoverished aristocrat falls in love with an inn-keepers daughter, but has to marry money.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray, Zasu Pitts
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill
Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth
The Wind (1928)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström
Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ... 'Bull' Weed
Evelyn Brent ... 'Feathers' McCoy
Clive Brook ... Rolls Royce Wensel
Fred Kohler ... 'Buck' Mulligan
Helen Lynch ... Meg, Mulligan's Girl
Larry Semon ... 'Slippy' Lewis
Jerry Mandy Jerry Mandy ... Paloma
Edit

Storyline

'Nobody helps me -- I help them!' boasts open-handed gangster Bull Weed, handing over what will prove to be the best investment in his high-spending career: a thousand dollars that will put the literate 'Rolls Royce' of vagrants back on his feet. Living it up in the Twenties with the aid of cool but smouldering moll Feathers, the Bull lords it over the law and his rivals alike -- specifically big Buck Mulligan, whose floral-tributes business echoes that of a certain real-life Chicago gangster... Yet Feathers, prize possession and object of envy, proves his weak point; and in the end, Bull Weed will indeed come to need help from others, and more than he has ever needed it before. But can Rolls Royce and Feathers still give it to him? And will the Bull accept? Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Seething Melodrama


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1927 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ley del hampa See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$753,300, 31 December 1928
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was predicted to be a flop, was shelved by Paramount and eventually released in only one theater in New York. Screenwriter Ben Hecht demanded that his name was taken off the credits. As a result of strong word-of-mouth the movie became an enormous hit and won Hecht the first of his two Academy Awards. See more »

Quotes

'Bull' Weed: [Referring to Rolls Royce] Look at him - Cost me a thousand - Looks like a million.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Lost Gem That Deserves to Be Seen (Especially with New Soundtrack!)
4 November 2007 | by MITCH!See all my reviews

I just saw a re-issue of this film tonight as part of the 26th annual Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh and I was highly satisfied. The Alloy Orchestra were on-hand to provide an all-new live score, which created a near-perfect match for this underrated classic.

The acting was spot-on (although admittedly a much different style than modern audiences are used to), the set design and lighting were pitch-perfect (check out the copious amounts of confetti at the Underworld Ball), and the complexities of the characters and plot line far exceeded anything I was expecting from an 80 year-old film. Suffice it to say that modern cinema has not cornered the market on engaging, surprising and provocative storytelling.

If you have a chance to see Underworld, particularly when accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra, take the opportunity. It's a rarefied experience that's well worth your 90 minutes.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching



Recently Viewed