6.4/10
322
14 user 5 critic

Blind Alley (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 11 May 1939 (USA)
Gangster Hal Wilson takes psychiatrist Dr. Shelby hostage. While captive, the doctor analyzes Wilson as though he were a patient.

Director:

Charles Vidor

Writers:

Philip MacDonald (screen play), Michael Blankfort (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Eddie Lang (Chester Morris), a decent family man making $27.50 a week, borrows fifty-dollars from Richard Farra (Leo Carrillo) in order to take his wife, Mary (Helen Mack) and two small ... See full summary »

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Chester Morris, Leo Carrillo, Helen Mack
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Blackie helps the police rescue hostage from an escaped maniac on a killing spree.

Director: Arthur Dreifuss
Stars: Chester Morris, Nina Foch, Steve Cochran
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A respected citizen with secret ties to the local mob is faced with revealing his criminal connections to save two innocent people from execution.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Anne Shirley, Eduardo Ciannelli
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

This laudable RKO programmer casts Chester Morris as a fearless pilot whose misdeeds have exiled him to a remote flying field in the Andes mountains.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Whitney Bourne, Onslow Stevens
Pursuit (1935)
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

"Mitch" Mitchell is an aviator who has been hired to take a child in a guardianship suit out of California into Mexico. He is accompanied by Maxine Rush, the secretary of the head of a ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Chester Morris, Sally Eilers, Scotty Beckett
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Submarine officers Dorgan and Mason battle on land for the affections of dance-hall girl Carmen. She marries Dorgan but makes a play for Mason when her husband is on duty.

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Richard Dix, Dolores del Rio, Chester Morris
Certificate: Passed Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Sergeant Gischa Patrotkin (Chester Morris), a simple-minded Russian soldier, escapes from a German prisoner-of-war camp. He hides out for awhile with a peasant girl named Babka (Betty ... See full summary »

Director: Herbert Brenon
Stars: Chester Morris, Betty Compson, Alec B. Francis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Maurice and Stella Trent are happily married. When Maurice is crippled in an airplane crash, he and his mother send for his brother Colin to come help keep Stella busy. He is to show her a ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Josephine Hutchinson, George Brent, Colin Clive
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Blackie tracks down a wrongly convicted prisoner who escapes during a Christmas magic show.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Adele Mara, Richard Lane
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Jim 'Socker' Conway, former boxer and FBI hero, is maneuvered for political reasons into a do-nothing job in the district attorney's office. Meanwhile, he meets wild debutante Letty Lane, ... See full summary »

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Frances Mercer, Rita Johnson
Short | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

An early lineup of the Bramwell Fletcher Band, including the late Tyler Jacobsen on vocals, improvises a song in 1982.

Director: Scott Allen Nollen
Stars: Todd Jacobsen, Tyler Jacobsen, Scott Allen Nollen
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Blackie is arrested when retrieving stolen gems from a safety deposit box for a friend.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Chester Morris, Ann Savage, George E. Stone
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Chester Morris ... Hal Wilson
Ralph Bellamy ... Dr. Shelby
Ann Dvorak ... Mary
Joan Perry ... Linda Curtis
Melville Cooper ... George Curtis
Rose Stradner ... Doris Shelby
John Eldredge ... Dick Holbrook (as John Eldridge)
Ann Doran ... Agnes
Marc Lawrence ... Buck
Stanley Brown ... Fred Landis
Scotty Beckett ... Davy
Milburn Stone ... Nick
Marie Blake ... Harriet
Edit

Storyline

Following a prison break, Hal Wilson, a ruthless killer takes refuge in the home of a psychiatrist, Dr. Shelby. While Wilson is attempting to make a safe getaway, Dr. Shelby is busily trying to analyze his captor and find out just what, in his dark past, made him the man he now has become. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

STAND IN HIS WAY..AND DIE! (original 3-sheet poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Afsporet See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

James Warwick's play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 24 September 1935 and closed in January 1936 after 119 performances. The opening night cast included George Coulouris as Dr. Shelby and Roy Hargrave as Hal Wilson. Also in the cast were Jay Adler, Lloyd Barry, Ruth Fallows, Mabel Montgomery, James Truex and Katherine Warren. See more »

Goofs

The gangster's fingers are supposedly paralyzed, but when he pushes the "Insanity and the Criminal Mind" book back onto the shelf, you can clearly see him flick it into place with one of his "paralyzed" fingers. See more »

Connections

Version of Blind Alley (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz Op. 64 No. 2 in C sharp minor
(1846-47) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played on the piano by Rose Stradner
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Very Good
16 June 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Blind Alley (1939)

*** (out of 4)

Columbia thriller based on a 1935 Broadway play has Chester Morris playing a gangster who escapes from prison and eventually takes a psychiatrist (Ralph Bellamy) and his family and friends hostage. Soon the psychiatrist starts to work on the gangster to try and break him down so that everyone can make it out of the situation okay. This is an extremely well made and well acted "B" film that manages to be very entertaining from start to finish. What really sets this film apart from others like it are the performances by the two leads. Morris, due to his Boston Blackie films, has become one of my favorite actors and I think this is the best work I've seen from him. The character he plays is pretty much cold-hearted from start to finish and is just as dark as the character he played in Three Godfathers. There's no charm in this character and Morris really comes off as a very threatening figure. He also manages to be very convincing during the mental breakdown scenes when the doctor starts to work him over. Bellamy, another one of my favorite "B" actors, is also very good. His calm, cool and collective nature and that wonderful voice really pays off well here against Morris. Ann Dvorak from Scarface turns in fine support as the gangster's girlfriend. There are a couple very interesting aspects worth noting. One is an underlined child molestation that Morris suffered as a child. This isn't thrown out into the open but it isn't hinted at, which I'm surprised got by the Hayes Office. Another interesting segment is the dream sequence where we see a dream that is constantly haunting Morris. This was shot with a reverse negative and the look is very good and eerie. This film was later remade as The Dark Past.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 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

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed