Jolt-packed crook melodrama in dialog. Lots of reliable excitement, de luxe production values and general audience satisfaction.
From the human interest standpoint picture belongs to Chester Morris, virile stage juvenile. In this picture he is a cruel, cold-blooded gangster.
Alibi starts out to give the cops the losing end of an expository tract on brutality. It winds up by hinting that the gendarmes have to be tough. Morris impersonates a clever young rodent with the instincts of a Chinese brigand. Picture is dedicated to the proposition that the man with a gun is a dirty name to start with.
There are loose ends and desultory passages in Alibi, but in general it has tempo and is punched with some gripping sequences. Police atmosphere and detail have realism and the ring of authenticity.
Roland West is the only entirely independent producer releasing through United Artists. He can sleep in peace in the security that his investment is safe and his picture there.
1928/29: Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Chester Morris)