20 user 13 critic

Alibi (1929)

TV-PG | | Crime | 20 April 1929 (USA)
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took ... See full summary »


Roland West


Roland West (screenplay), C. Gardner Sullivan (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Chester Morris ... Chick Williams (as Mr. Chester Morris)
Harry Stubbs Harry Stubbs ... Buck Bachman (as Mr. Harry Stubbs)
Mae Busch ... Daisy Thomas (as Miss Mae Busch)
Eleanor Griffith Eleanor Griffith ... Joan Manning Williams (as Miss Eleanor Griffith)
Irma Harrison ... Toots (as Miss Irma Harrison)
Regis Toomey ... Danny McGann (as Mr. Regis Toomey)
Al Hill ... Brown - a Crook (as Mr. Al Hill)
James Bradbury Jr. ... Blake - a Crook (as Mr. James Bradbury Jr.)
Elmer Ballard Elmer Ballard ... Soft Malone - Cab Driver (as Mr. Elmer Ballard)
Kernan Cripps ... Trask - Plainclothesman (as Mr. Kernan Cripps)
Purnell Pratt ... Police Sgt. Pete Manning (as Mr. Purnell B. Pratt)
Pat O'Malley ... Detective Sgt. Tommy Glennon (as Mr. Pat O'Malley)
DeWitt Jennings ... Officer O'Brien (as Mr. DeWitt Jennings)
Ed Brady ... George Stanislaus David (as Mr. Ed Brady)
Virginia Flohri Virginia Flohri ... Singer in Theater (as Miss Virginia Flohri)


Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery, he falls under suspicion. The gangster took Joan, a policeman's daughter, to the theater, sneaked out during the intermission to commit the crime, then used her to support his alibi. The detective squad employs its most sophisticated and barbaric techniques, including planting an undercover agent in the gang, to bring him to justice. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A hair-curling thriller vibrant with the pulse of the underworld, asparkle with the glamour of the New York night clubs. (Print Ad- Southeast Missourian, ((Cape Girardeau, Mo.)) 24 September 1929) See more »




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Irma Harrison's singing was dubbed by Virginia Flohri. See more »


Joan Manning Williams: I've had enough with being a policeman's daughter. And I don't want to be another policeman's wife
Buck Bachman: Well, now, what's the matter with policemen?
Joan Manning Williams: They think themselves great heroes.
Buck Bachman: Well, we've got to uphold the law.
Joan Manning Williams: Law! Is bull-dogging, third-degreeing people into confessing crimes they didn't commit, is that law?
Buck Bachman: No, but... Oh, I don't understand.
Joan Manning Williams: Of course you don't. You're a policeman. And you'll never understand!
See more »


Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) See more »


"Your Love Is All (1929) (uncredited)
Music by J.S. Zamecnik
Lyrics by Harry D. Kerr
Sung a bit offscreen in a show (possibly by Virginia Flohri and Edward Jardon)
See more »

User Reviews

A Pretty Good Story And A Very Interesting Example Of An Early "Talkie"
25 January 2010 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

The story here is interesting enough and on its own ensures that no one will feel disappointed at having watched this. Chick Weaver is a gangster just released from prison who hooks up with a "copper's daughter." Unfortunately, he can't go straight and gets involved with a warehouse robbery during which he kills a cop. The rest of the movie essentially deals with his attempts to frame an alibi for himself and with the efforts of the police to find the cop-killer. There are a few points at which the story gets a bit confusing, but it holds your interest well enough as you follow the various characters. What's really most interesting about this, though, is its status as a very early "talkie."

In that sense, I almost saw this serving as a proverbial "missing link" between the silent era and the sound era. There are parts of this movie which are very much like a silent movie - with no dialogue or sound effects other than a musical background. And yet, most of the movie has dialogue, although strangely the accompanying sound effects (ie, the sound of doors slamming, etc.) often seem to be missing. At times, this movie even has, in both sound and picture quality, a very later (say 1950's) feel to it. This diversity of "style" (for lack of a better word) would seem to me to be an example of director Roland West experimenting with this new way of movie-making. The weirdest aspect of this would probably be an extended scene right at the beginning of the movie, where police officers do nothing but bang their billy clubs against a wall for no apparent purpose - except, perhaps, to demonstrate to the audience that this has sound?

This is an enjoyable enough movie, and an interesting look at this transitional era of movie-making. 7/10

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Release Date:

20 April 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nightstick See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Feature Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(copyright length) | (Kino Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (MovieTone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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