4 user

Gangs of Chicago (1940)

A criminal uses his knowledge of the law for his not-very-legal purposes, betraying friends along the way.







Complete credited cast:
... Matthew J. 'Matty' Burns
... Jim Ramsey
... June Whitaker
... Bill Whitaker
... Virginia Brandt
... Cry-Baby
... Judge Whitaker
... Mrs. Whitaker
... Bromo
... Evans
... Rabbit
... Pinky


A criminal uses his knowledge of the law for his not-very-legal purposes, betraying friends along the way.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

19 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Al amparo de la ley  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

While the very end is a tad far-fetched, it's a dandy B-movie.
13 December 2015 | by See all my reviews

The term 'B-movie' is often misunderstood. Specifically, B-movies were short, quickly made films from the 1930s into the 1950s and were intended to be the lesser film in a double-feature. Nowadays, some take it to mean a cheap film...which Bs were but some were occasionally quite good despite their humble roots.

One such good B is Lloyd Nolan in "Gangs of Chicago". It begins with Matty (Nolan) in law school. However, he's a mighty peculiar student. It seems that THE reason he entered this school was to learn how to twist the law and abuse it in order to help hoods escape justice. His plan is to create a sort of insurance policy for crooks--he helps spring them and does ANYTHING to do so. However, after he's a lawyer he not only does this but actually helps plan criminal activity. Even for a lawyer, he's very unethical!

One odd thing about Matty is that despite being rotten, he's got a soft spot for one of his old classmates and his family. These people are very decent and the father is a judge! Yet try as he might, Matty likes them. So, he leads a double life as a crooked attorney in the city and a nice, respectable guy when he visits the country. Later, however, the law visits this family when they learn about them...perhaps they can use these people to get the goods on Matty and his crooked friends.

This film is very gritty and jaded. It also has better than average acting, a dandy script and lots of excitement. The only part that didn't quite work for me was the nice ending...it just seemed a bit too good to be true. Despite this, it's still an outstanding B...one to watch.

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