Review: ‘Underworld’

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
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading