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Law of the Underworld (1938)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 6 May 1938 (USA)
A respected citizen with secret ties to the local mob is faced with revealing his criminal connections to save two innocent people from execution.


Lew Landers


Bert Granet (screen play), Edmund L. Hartmann (screen play) | 4 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Gene Fillmore
Anne Shirley ... Annabelle Porter
Eduardo Ciannelli ... Rocky
Walter Abel ... Warren Rogers
Richard Bond ... Tommy Brown
Lee Patrick ... Dorothy Palmer
Paul Guilfoyle ... Batsy
Frank M. Thomas ... Police Captain Gargan
Eddie Acuff ... Bill
Vinton Hayworth ... Eddie (as Jack Arnold)
Jack Carson ... Johnny
Paul Stanton ... Barton


A respected citizen with secret ties to the local mob is faced with revealing his criminal connections to save two innocent people from execution. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A SIZZLING THRILLER! (original print ad) See more »


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 May 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Crime See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Several cast members listed in contemporary Hollywood Reporter news items did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were: Tom Kennedy, Bradley Page, Margaret Armstrong, Stanley Blystone, Monte Montague and Lloyd Whitlock. Cecil Kellaway is identified mostly from his voice, since his head is obscure in both of his scenes. See more »


Version of The Pay-Off (1930) See more »


Yours Alone
Composer unknown
Sung by Lee Patrick at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Don't get your hopes up!!
22 November 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Again and again during the course of this film you might think that the movie might in fact turn out to be a reasonably good little film. However, due to really awful writing that occasionally creeps onto the screen, the overall effort is very, very poor, so don't get your hopes up with this little film.

The movie starts by showing a young couple being robbed in Central Park. It isn't surprising this happens--after all, they did a lousy job of concealing their wad of cash meant for their honeymoon. And, oddly, when a cop comes upon the robbery, the couple say nothing and don't ask for help--allowing the two crooks to continue robbing them and get away!! Even dumber is later, when the two burst into a room full of hoodlums and demand their money back at gunpoint!!! Believe it or not, this very, very naive couple only behave more stupidly throughout the course of the film.

While these two dummies seem too idiotic to believe, the rest of the actors in leading roles are pretty good---at least at first. Eduardo Cianelli is excellent as a hot-headed hood and Chester Morris is generally good as the leader of a gang. However, as the film concludes, Morris is so stupid that you wonder if hanging around this couple perhaps wore off on him--such as a stupid virus!! While parts of the film work, the bad parts are what I was left remembering. Even though I am a huge fan of classic Hollywood films, this is one I can't recommend and can never see myself seeing again. Avoid it--you'll be doing yourself a favor.

By the way, if you look carefully, you'll see that a member of the gang is a very young Jack Carson before he was a star.

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