6.8/10
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12 user 4 critic

I Am the Law (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 25 August 1938 (USA)
Law professor John Lindsay is asked by a civic leader to become a special prosecutor to go after the racketeers in town.

Director:

Alexander Hall

Writers:

Fred Allhoff (story based on Liberty Magazine Serial), Jo Swerling (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Prof. John Lindsay
Barbara O'Neil ... Jerry Lindsay
John Beal ... Paul Ferguson
Wendy Barrie ... Frances 'Frankie' Ballou
Otto Kruger ... Eugene Ferguson
Arthur Loft ... Tom Ross
Marc Lawrence ... Eddie Girard
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood ... District Attorney Bert Berry
Robert Middlemass ... Moss Kitchell
Ivan Miller Ivan Miller ... Inspector Gleason
Charles Halton ... George Leander
Louis Jean Heydt ... John W. Butler
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert McWade Robert McWade ... Law Student (as Robert McWade Jr.)
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Storyline

Law professor John Lindsay (Edward G. Robinson)accepts the job of special prosecutor offered him by civic leader Eugene Ferguson (Otto Kruger) against the wishes of his wife Jerry (Barbara O'Neil). Paul(John Beal, Ferguson's son, aids Lindsay, not knowing his father is boss of the crime syndicate. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fighting Prosecutor Smashes a Defiant Racket Empire! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo soy la ley See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Re-released in 1955, as a double-feature with Dead Reckoning (1947). See more »

Goofs

The good guys plant a movie camera in the wall of the villain's apartment to spy on them. We see the lens barely peeping from the wall behind a china figurine. Yet, when they show the film later as evidence, the camera tilts, pans, and frames all the action from various angles, which would not have been possible given the setup. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Despite a somewhat conventional story, the result is very watchable
13 December 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In the mid-1930s familiar movie gangsters like Edward G. Robinson and Jimmy Cagney had image makeovers. Now that the new Production Code was accepted in 1934, gangster films were less frequently made and less violent. As a result, these two actors were now given other roles--broadening their acting range. I am sure that the actors liked this chance to do something other than act tough and kill, but there is still an oddness in seeing 'Little Caesar' playing a crime-busting law professor in this film!

Despite the change, this is still a dandy little film even if it is a bit conventional. Like many of the Post-Code films, this one is about punishing the gangsters and Robinson becomes obsessed with rooting out local mobsters. At first, his crusade falls flat, but when he ultimately realizes the important lesson that to have a free country, you need to ignore the Bill of Rights!! Locking up prisoners with no specific charges or evidence as well as having publicized fist fights with them is how Robinson eventually gains the upper hand! Now that's an interesting way to defend democracy!

Robinson's performance is a bit more three-dimensional than usual and he's ably supported by the ever-professional Otto Kruger. Direction is good and the script, while a bit predictable, is still pretty well written. All these come together to make a film that is more than just a time-passer--it's a lot of fun as well.


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