Illegal (1955)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


Illegal (1955) Poster

After an overly aggressive district attorney unknowingly sends an innocent man to the chair, he resigns, turns to drinking, and acquires a criminal clientèle.

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7/10
1,412

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  • Edward G. Robinson and Max Wagner in Illegal (1955)
  • Jayne Mansfield in Illegal (1955)
  • Jayne Mansfield in Illegal (1955)
  • Edward G. Robinson and Jayne Mansfield in Illegal (1955)
  • Nina Foch and Hugh Marlowe in Illegal (1955)
  • Edward G. Robinson and Jayne Mansfield in Illegal (1955)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 August 2007 | Handlinghandel
6
| Powerful
This remake of an earlier movie packs a punch. The opening scene is marvelously lurid. It's a book jacket from this genre come to life: An attractive blonde is making up in her bathroom. Suddenly someone enters her apartment, shoots her. She screams; it's over for her.

This is NOT Jayne Mansfield, though she makes her movie debut here. She's good, too. (She was generally good but she's more restrained than the out-sized characterizations she took on later.) Edward G. Robinson plays an ambitious prosecuting attorney who nabs the killer in a good court room scene. But IS he the killer? I'm giving nothing beyond the first ten or 15 fifteen minutes away to say that he's not. The sequence in which Robinson desperately tries to get through to the prison where the guy is about to be executed is an eloquent plea against capital punishment.

Nina Foch is excellent as the woman who views Robinson as a father figure. She isn't given a whole lot to do but she has a very strong presence. There's a lot of Joan Fontaine in her appearance and delivery. And she presages the young, glamorous Kathleen Turner.

The supporting cast players are well cast too. Ellen Corby (yes, of "The Waltons") stands out among them.

This is not a great movie. Maybe that's because it's a reasonably faithful remake of a movie I've already seen. It's a thriller, though; so be sure to give it a try.

Critic Reviews


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