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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:

The 'fixer' took care of everything! 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

An example of the kind of films that Edward G. Robinson was reduced to making, having fallen foul of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 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: I want you to know, Victor, that you'll be very well paid for this case, whichever way it turns out.
See more »

Connections

References Miracle in the Rain (1956) 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

 
Brightly Lit Stiff With Some Talent At Work
4 November 2014 | by LeonLouisRicciSee all my reviews

This Could Only be Called Film-Noir in the Most Liberal of Definition, Despite, Once Again, a DVD Package that Claims it As Such. It has that 1950's Television Lighting where Everything is Glowing and Bright and that Decades Safe Presentation and Production that Screams "Assembly Line" in Every Scene.

But it is a Good Courtroom Melodrama with a Strong Performance by Robinson and a Supporting Cast Playing Some Interesting, if Standard, Characters. Albert Dekker Seems to have Wandered In from Kiss Me Deadly (1955, a true Noir), Nina Foch is OK if Bland, and Jan Merlin as a Pistol Yielding Gunsel Stands Out.

This is the Third Version of the Story and is Worth a Watch for Edward G. and for a Couple of Powerfully Violent Scenes, the first Murder, and a Bedroom Brawl Between Foch and Hugh Marlowe. The Rest is Pedestrian but Tolerable and Jayne Mansfield Makes Her Debut with a Scene or Two that Registers.

Overall, Not Much and it has the Stiffness of a Retread, but there is Talent at Work Here with a Max Steiner Score and Some Salty Dialog, but the Film Seems Outdated and Comes Off as a Moderate Revisitation.


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