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Illegal (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 December 1955 (Italy)
After an overly aggressive district attorney unknowingly sends an innocent man to the chair, he resigns, turns to drinking, and acquires a criminal clientèle.

Director:

Lewis Allen

Writers:

W.R. Burnett (screenplay), James R. Webb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Victor Scott
Nina Foch ... Ellen Miles
Hugh Marlowe ... Ray Borden
Jayne Mansfield ... Angel O'Hara
Albert Dekker ... Frank Garland
Howard St. John ... E.A. Smith
Ellen Corby ... Miss Hinkel
Edward Platt ... Ralph Ford
Jan Merlin ... Andy Garth
Robert Ellenstein ... Joe Knight
Jay Adler ... Joseph Carter
Henry Kulky Henry Kulky ... Taylor
James McCallion ... Allen Parker
Addison Richards ... Steve Harper
Lawrence Dobkin ... Al Carol
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Storyline

Ambitious D.A. Victor Scott zealously prosecutes Ed Clary for a woman's murder. But as Clary walks "the last mile" to the electric chair, Scott receives evidence that exonerates the condemned man. Realizing that he's made a terrible mistake he tries to stop the execution but is too late. Humbled by his grievous misjudgement, Scott resigns as a prosecutor. Entering private practice, he employs the same cunning that made his reputation and draws the attention of mob kingpin, Frank Garland. The mobster succeeds in bribing Scott into representing one of his stooges on a murder rap and Scott, in a grand display of courtroom theatrics, wins the case. But soon Scott finds himself embroiled in dirty mob politics. The situation becomes intolerable when his former protege in the D.A.'s office is charged with a murder that seems to implicate her as an informant to the Garland mob. Can Victor defend the woman he secretly loves and also keep his life? Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He was a guy who marked 100 men for death - until a blonde called 'Angel' O'Hara marked him for life! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 December 1955 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Ilegal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where 'Edward G. Robinson''s character enters the office of DA Ralph Ford (Edward Platt) you can see the Maltese Falcon from John Houston's 1941 film on the barristers bookcase near the entrance door. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film, the Ford automobile that Victor Scott leaves his meeting with Frank Garland in (with Miss Hinkel at the wheel), has hubcaps that are missing, then appear, and then disappear in subsequent shots as the drive proceeds. See more »

Quotes

Frank Garland: Get up that $10,000, or you won't be chasing ambulances anymore. They'll be chasing you!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Mouthpiece (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed by Jayne Mansfield (dubbed by Bonnie Lou Williams)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful
20 August 2007 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

This remake of an earlier movie packs a punch. The opening scene is marvelously lurid. It's a book jacket from this genre come to life: An attractive blonde is making up in her bathroom. Suddenly someone enters her apartment, shoots her. She screams; it's over for her.

This is NOT Jayne Mansfield, though she makes her movie debut here. She's good, too. (She was generally good but she's more restrained than the out-sized characterizations she took on later.) Edward G. Robinson plays an ambitious prosecuting attorney who nabs the killer in a good court room scene. But IS he the killer? I'm giving nothing beyond the first ten or 15 fifteen minutes away to say that he's not. The sequence in which Robinson desperately tries to get through to the prison where the guy is about to be executed is an eloquent plea against capital punishment.

Nina Foch is excellent as the woman who views Robinson as a father figure. She isn't given a whole lot to do but she has a very strong presence. There's a lot of Joan Fontaine in her appearance and delivery. And she presages the young, glamorous Kathleen Turner.

The supporting cast players are well cast too. Ellen Corby (yes, of "The Waltons") stands out among them.

This is not a great movie. Maybe that's because it's a reasonably faithful remake of a movie I've already seen. It's a thriller, though; so be sure to give it a try.


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