4 user 1 critic

I Am a Criminal (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 7 December 1938 (USA)
Brad McArthur hires Clint Reynolds as his press agent when he is charged with manslaughter and wants to build himself up in the public's eye as a humanitarian. Clint has him adopt an orphan... See full summary »


William Nigh


Harrison Jacobs (story), John W. Krafft (screenplay)




Complete credited cast:
John Carroll ... Brad McArthur
Kay Linaker ... Linda La Rue
Craig Reynolds ... Clint Reynolds
Martin Spellman ... Bobby
Lester Matthews ... District Attorney George Lane
Mary Kornman ... Alice Martin
May Beatty ... Maggie
Robert Fiske ... Attorney Phil Collins
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Allan Cavan Allan Cavan ... De Motte
Edward Earle ... Clark
Byron Foulger ... Ed Harper
Jack Kennedy Jack Kennedy ... Sheriff


Brad McArthur hires Clint Reynolds as his press agent when he is charged with manslaughter and wants to build himself up in the public's eye as a humanitarian. Clint has him adopt an orphan newsboy, Bobby, of whom Brad becomes very fond. But Clint and Brad's girlfriend Linda, carrying on an affair behind his back, double-cross him. When Linda lies about Bobby, Maggie, the kind-hearted cook tells Brad the truth. He throws Clint and Linda out of the house. The adverse publicity, as Clint tries for revenge, makes Brad decide jump bail and leave town. He and Bobby end up in a mountain resort owned by Alice Martin, and Brad and Alice fall in love. The police are closing in, after been tipped off by Linda, and Brad sacrifices his freedom by rescuing Bobby from drowning. Bobby and Alice promise to wait for him. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


FLASH! Mr. and Mrs. America! Here's a new racket..Brad McArthur, king of killers, has hired a press agent to keep him OFF the front pages! See more »


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

7 December 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Justiça não Perdoa See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Monday 24 January 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). Post-WWII television viewers got their first look at in New York City Friday 17 September 1948 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Detroit Thursday 18 November 1948 on WJBK (Channel 2), in Chicago Thursday 30 December 1948 on WBKB (Channel 4) and in Los Angeles Monday 3 October 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »


Remade as Smart Guy (1943) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

8 January 2020 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In the opening scene, the District Attorney is chewing out Brad McArthur (John Carroll) and he swears he'll one day jail the guy. It seems that Brad owns a legal gambling joint but it has a seedy reputation. Well, only a short time later, a nasty drunk is in the joint and he is making a fuss. Brad comes out to see what the disturbance is and suddenly the guy lunges at Brad and he flies out a window! This is pretty silly, as you cannot imagine a huge open window this easy to fall out of...whether you're drunk or sober. What also seems odd is that almost immediately Brad's lawyer tells him he's likely to be arrested. since the now dead man is a judge's son..even though there are many witnesses there that clearly saw that Brad did nothing wrong...and he was trying to de-escalate the situation.

The lawyer decides their best course is to rehabilitate Brad's image. Part of this completely cynical program will include Brad adopting a cute kid...and he plans on giving it back to the orphanage as soon as the case is settled. Fortunately, the orphanage refuses to give him a child....so the lawyer decides to find a needy child on his own. Soon, he's found a kid living on the street and Bobby is paid to become Brad's ward. What's next? See the film.

I think the death of the judge's son should have been handled better in order for there to be serious doubt about Brad's innocence. Simply having no witnesses or an unreliable one would have solved that. This is a serious hole in the story.

So how is it otherwise? Well, it is predictable--as my wife told me towards the end exactly what was going to happen...and she was right. It also is HIGHLY flawed at the end...with a very vague ending that surely won't satisfy most audiences. But it's still a pleasant and diverting time-passer on balance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 4 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed