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I Am the Law (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 25 August 1938 (USA)
Law professor John Lindsay is asked by a civic leader to become a special prosecutor to go after the racketeers in town.

Director:

Alexander Hall

Writers:

Fred Allhoff (story based on Liberty Magazine Serial), Jo Swerling (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Prof. John Lindsay
Barbara O'Neil ... Jerry Lindsay
John Beal ... Paul Ferguson
Wendy Barrie ... Frances 'Frankie' Ballou
Otto Kruger ... Eugene Ferguson
Arthur Loft ... Tom Ross
Marc Lawrence ... Eddie Girard
Douglas Wood Douglas Wood ... District Attorney Bert Berry
Robert Middlemass ... Moss Kitchell
Ivan Miller Ivan Miller ... Inspector Gleason
Charles Halton ... George Leander
Louis Jean Heydt ... John W. Butler
Fay Helm ... Mrs. Butler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert McWade Robert McWade ... Law Student (as Robert McWade Jr.)
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Storyline

Law professor John Lindsay (Edward G. Robinson)accepts the job of special prosecutor offered him by civic leader Eugene Ferguson (Otto Kruger) against the wishes of his wife Jerry (Barbara O'Neil). Paul(John Beal, Ferguson's son, aids Lindsay, not knowing his father is boss of the crime syndicate. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"HOODLUMS HAVE NO GUTS...WATCH ME PROVE IT! (original poster-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Yo soy la ley See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Existing prints bear 1955 re-release titles, with lettering in the center of the screen so that they would not be cropped in wide screen projection; these restyled opening credits also include an erroneous 1933 (MCMXXXIII), instead of 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) copyright date. See more »

Goofs

The good guys plant a movie camera in the wall of the villain's apartment to spy on them. We see the lens barely peeping from the wall behind a china figurine. Yet, when they show the film later as evidence, the camera tilts, pans, and frames all the action from various angles, which would not have been possible given the setup. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edward G goes after the crooks this time
15 December 2011 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Little Caesar himself, Edward G. Robinson, is one of the good guys in "I Am the Law" in this 1938 film also starring Barbara O'Neill, Otto Kruger, John Beal, and Wendie Barrie.

Robinson plays John Lindsay, a professor on sabbatical, looking forward to his first vacation with his wife (O'Neill) in a long time. But at the last minute, he's asked to become special prosecutor and fight the corruption taking place in the town, as the authorities haven't been successful. He asks his best student, Paul Ferguson (Beal) to work with him. It soon becomes apparent that there is a leak in his staff, as they finally get a witness willing to talk and he's killed. Before Lindsay can get rid of the corruption in town, he needs to get rid of it in his own office.

This is a fairly routine film with a good cast. Robinson was a little man but a wonderful actor with a powerful voice. He could play the most pathetic weakling or the toughest, meanest guy on earth. Here he's plenty tough but with a lot of warmth. Robinson is well thought of as an actor from the classic period, certainly, but I wonder sometimes if he isn't a little underrated.

As far as the other actors, Otto Kruger plays Paul Ferguson's father and gives his usual smooth performance. John Beal got the star buildup at RKO, but after RKO, he signed with MGM. He was young, handsome, and had a kind of earnestness. When the Gable-Harlow deal to do "In Old Chicago" at Fox as a trade for Tyrone Power doing "Madame X" fell through, Beal was given the part of the son. He never achieved stardom. He was, however, a very prolific Broadway actor particularly after World War II, and continued to do films and television until 1993. I had the pleasure of meeting him in the '80s, and he was very charming.

This is an okay film, enjoyable for the performances. The story is fairly routine.


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