Very much an inferior gangster picture designed to trade on the success of his earlier Underworld. Sternberg's first talkie suffers from painfully slow pacing, poor performances, and gobbets of excruciating sentimentality. It starts efficiently enough with Bancroft's eponymous hoodlum making plans to murder honest Arlen, old flame of his fur-loving mistress Wray, but after both men end up facing each other on Death Row (Arlen framed, of course, by Bancroft's mob), it grinds to a virtual standstill: endless threats, broken only by uneasy moments of misplaced comedy and much maudlin ado with a mutt (the chink in Bancrofts armour, natch). A museum piece, then, for Sternberg completists only.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Josef von Sternberg|
|Screenwriter:||Herman J Mankewicz, Jules Furthman, Charles Furthman|