7.4/10
2,340
27 user 28 critic

Underworld U.S.A. (1961)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | March 1961 (USA)
A teenager who witnesses the murder of his father vows to exact revenge on the four mobsters involved in the killing.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writer:

Samuel Fuller
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Planted in a Tokyo crime syndicate, a U.S. Army Investigator attempts to probe the coinciding death of a fellow Army official.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Robert Ryan, Robert Stack, Shirley Yamaguchi
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie
Park Row (1952)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

During WWII, the publisher of the isolationist New York Gazette is murdered just as he was about to change the paper's policy and support the US war effort. His friend, a small town patriotic editor, is brought in to find the culprits.

Director: Lew Landers
Stars: Guy Kibbee, Lee Tracy, Gloria Dickson
Verboten! (1959)
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young American serviceman, stationed in Germany after the fall of the Third Reich, jeopardises his position with the Marshall Plan relief effort by breaking the non-fraternisatiom rule ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: James Best, Susan Cummings, Tom Pittman
Scandal Sheet (1952)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The editor of an exploitation newspaper commits a murder and assigns his protégé to investigate hoping to divert attention away from himself.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Derek, Donna Reed, Broderick Crawford
Shockproof (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After having served 5 years in prison, for killing a man while defending her disreputable lover, Harry (John Baragrey), Jenny Marsh (Patricia Knight) is set for parole. Her parole officer, ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Patricia Knight, John Baragrey
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Kelly, a prostitute, traumatised by an experience, referred to as 'The Naked Kiss,' by psychiatrists, leaves her past, and finds solace in the town of Grantville. She meets Griff, the ... See full summary »

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Karen Conrad
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story of a platoon during the Korean War. One by one Corporal Denno's superiors are killed until it comes to the point where he must try to take command responsibility.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O'Shea
Forty Guns (1957)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Showdown in Arizona between the Bonnell brothers, U.S.Marshals, and Jessica Drummond, the iron-fist rancher who controls the territory.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Barry Sullivan, Dean Jagger
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

While hospitalized young Billy meets his silent movie idol Tim Bart but then the talkies came, destroying Bart's career. Now Bart must convince his young friend he is still a star.

Director: Harry Lachman
Stars: Richard Dix, Fay Wray, Victor Kilian
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Cliff Robertson ... Tolly Devlin
Dolores Dorn ... Cuddles
Beatrice Kay Beatrice Kay ... Sandy
Paul Dubov ... Gela
Robert Emhardt ... Earl Connors
Larry Gates ... John Driscoll
Richard Rust ... Gus Cottahee
Gerald Milton Gerald Milton ... Gunther
Allan Gruener Allan Gruener ... Smith
David Kent ... Tolly - Aged 14
Tina Pine Tina Pine ... Woman (as Tina Rome)
Sally Mills Sally Mills ... Connie Fowler
Robert P. Lieb Robert P. Lieb ... Police Chief Fowler
Neyle Morrow ... Barney
Henry Norell Henry Norell ... Prison Dr. Meredeth
Edit

Storyline

Fourteen-year-old Tolly Devlin sees four hoods beat his father to death. Twenty years later, the killers have risen to the top of the crime syndicate and Tolly has a plan for revenge. Written by Erik Gregersen <erik@astro.as.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two Billion Dollar Crime Dynasty! An Evil Empire Exposed In a Blistering New Motion Picture! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ley del hampa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Globe Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hanging on the wall in Driscoll's office is a certificate bearing the symbol of the U.S. Army's First Infantry Division--he unit that Samuel Fuller served in during World War II and depicted in The Big Red One (1980). The same type style for the infantry's numeral "1" is also featured in a reading-campaign poster in front of National Accounts, the gangster headquarters building. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Sandy: Why don't you take a good look at yourself. What do you see? A doctor? A scientist? A businessman? You see a scar-faced ex-con. A two-bit safecracker. A petty thief who don't know when he really made the big time. Where do you come off to blast her? No matter what she's been, what she's done. She's a giant! And you wanna know why? Well, I'll tell ya. Because she sees something in you worth saving. If only one tenth of one percent of all the good in her could rub off on you, you'd be a giant, ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Burns
Heard as a theme when Tolly's father's body is taken away; played by one of Sandy's dolls; also heard when Tolly's body is in the alleyway
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
one of those finite definitions of a gritty B-noir, done just right
25 October 2006 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Writer/director Samuel Fuller is not personally attached to the material he presents in Underworld USA in the sense of it being autobiographical. But it is pretty likely, from listening to interviews with him and just from seeing his other work in the noir-esquire realm of motion pictures, that he knew at least the world these characters are in. Or at least he knows what kinds of emotions and what lies underneath certain aspects of lesser pulp fiction- and has a kind of journalistic sensibility that is all his own, telling it like it is from the mean streets of who-knows. It's got an assured eye working the gears, and it by-passes some usual clichés to get at some more interesting bits within some of the conventions. This is in the bones just a tale of revenge, but Fuller wants the little things and moments that make up such a tale, and how the characters can be more realized than might usually be. I liked, for example, early on when Tolly Devlin is 14 and makes a comment to his mother about something in the middle of their conversation- the mother doesn't say anything, but there's a quick, tight close-up of her face to catch the moment. It actually stuck with me longer than I expected, even as the main parts of the scene went along.

Another part that really, really impressed me was when Devlin (Cliff Robertson, not bad at all in a part that gets to stretch his skills somewhat), nearing the end of his prison term, and finally finds one of the men who beat his father to death when he saw when he was 14. The scene is very tense, but somehow very human too, as Tolly has to contend with a dying man that he has to kill with his own hands. Soon, Fuller gets the gears of the story going further, as he vows revenge against the others who committed the crime, making him pull an undercover act to infiltrate the mob to get close to them, particularly Earl Conners (Rober Emhardt, a plum role for him considering all of his TV parts). But he also falls for a woman, Cuddles, played by Dolores Day, and like Fuller's Crimson Kimono, the weight of the main thrust of what Tolly needs is balanced against what he could also have with his possible romantic interest, caught up in the emotional bog he's in.

I liked a lot how Robertson tapped well enough into the character to make him plausible, even sympathetic. He understands what Fuller is going for, a slightly more realistic- or more powerful kind of representation in the midst of the hard-boiled dialog and more complicated scenes- as he's playing a character who actually has a past, a childhood shown as shattered and made as the complete context that he has to contend with as an adult, despite women around him telling him otherwise. I still remember plenty of shots in the film too (not the gun-shots, the camera-work I mean), and this is after having seen the film months ago, and the driving musical score from Harry Sukman (a solid Fuller collaborator). That Fuller extracts a good deal of compelling entertainment out of a premise that seems pretty standard and even slight is remarkable, and ranks among the other fine superlative B-movies he was doing at the time.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed