6.5/10
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21 user 7 critic

King of the Underworld (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 14 January 1939 (USA)
After the killing of her husband by friendly fire during a police raid, Dr. Carol Nelson tries to find gangster Joe Gurney to clear her name with the medical board.

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(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Joe Gurney
... Carol Nelson
... Bill Stevens
... Niles Nelson
... Aunt Josephine
... Dr. Sanders
Raymond Brown ... Sheriff
Harland Tucker ... Mr. Ames
Ralph Remley ... Mr. Robert
... Slick
... Eddie
... Porky
Elliott Sullivan ... Mugsy
Alan Davis ... Pete
... Slats
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Storyline

Niles and Carol Nelson are married doctors who save one of gang lord Gurney's men. Gurney exploits them, then kills Niles leaving Carol to take the fall. He next kidnaps writer Bill Stephens to write his biography. Knowing Bill will be killed when the biography is finished, Carol takes matters into her own hands. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Don't Kill This Killer! Bring Him Back Alive! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Unlawful  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Humphrey Bogart got star billing for the first time in his career, even though co-star Kay Francis made nine times more money than he did. This was a deliberate snub by Warner Brothers, who had to pay Kay Francis $200,000 a year, even when her movies began to lose money. See more »

Goofs

The night scenes of the raid on the Gurney hideout are mismatched. It goes from day-for-night to what appears to be genuine darkness. See more »

Quotes

Joe Gurney: [Shocked that Gurney has shot one of his own men in the back] What yuh wanna do that for?
Joe Gurney: [as he looks dispassionately through the holes in his revolver and casually blows out dirt] It says in the book that Napoleon said a good general has got to know when to be just, severe, - or mild.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Diese Drombuschs: Abschied im Zorn (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Go Back to Bali
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Joe receives the telephone call after the operation
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User Reviews

 
"You're in trouble. Serious Trouble."
15 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

Once again, through no fault of her own, Kay Francis is in trouble and must get out of it through brains and determination. This time it's Bogey, doing a minor variation on Duke Mantee from PETRIFIED FOREST. As in most of Kay's vehicles from this period -- Warner's was pushing Bette Davis as their leading female star at this point -- everyone works hard and gives a performance that makes this hokey weeper watchable.


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