Underwoorld, without mentioning Chicago as the scene of the ensuing maching-gun warfare between the crooks and cops, evidently is a page out of Ben Hecht's underworld acquaintance with the Cicero and South Side gun mob.

Underwoorld, without mentioning Chicago as the scene of the ensuing maching-gun warfare between the crooks and cops, evidently is a page out of Ben Hecht’s underworld acquaintance with the Cicero and South Side gun mob.

There’s a wallop right through and yet the film retains romance, clicks not a little on comedy (through the medium of Larry Semon) and even whitewashes itself with a ‘moral’ that banditry cannot successfully defy the law and that the wages of sin are death.

Hecht could have made Underworld a true biography of Cicero with the ‘alky’ gun mob, with a little switching of the motivation, but instead of bootlegging, our hero is a jewelry store sampler. George Bancroft as Bull Weed, a sympathetic crook, explains why Paramount re-signed him by his performance in Underworld. Clive Brook, cast as the regenerated drunkard an Evelyn Brent, as Bancroft’s girl, complete the outstanding trio.

Underworld

Production

Paramount. Director Josef von Sternberg; Producer Hector Turnbull; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Robert N. Lee, George Marion Jr., Charles Furthman; Camera Bert Glennon; Art Director Hans Dreier

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Extract of a review from 1927. Running time: 75 MIN.

With

George Bancroft Clive Brook Evelyn Brent Larry Semon Fred Kohler
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