Underworld (1927)

A ruthless gangster busts out of prison to get revenge upon his moll and his right-hand-man, whom he wrongfully suspects of having an affair. This crime melodrama is the one that launched the gangster film genre in Hollywood and features… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 24, 2010
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Critic Score: 85% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Sternberg's richly ornamental compositions-which are dense with shadows and objects that separate viewers from the action-suggest a willful distance from his characters.

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Tony Rayns
Time Out

The film radiates total confidence in its own means and methods, and the themes are wholly Sternberg's.

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Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Gripping, superbly told tale of crooks and their girlfriends.

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Variety Staff

There's a wallop right through and yet the film retains romance, clicks not a little on comedy and even whitewashes itself with a 'moral.'

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The first full-fledged gangster movie and still an effective mood piece.

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James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk

von Sternberg's visual style and the art direction by German émigré Hans Dreier elevate Underworld into something more than a run-of-the-mill crime picture

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Mordaunt Hall
New York Times

Largely through the competent work of Messrs. Bancroft and Brook, Mr. von Sternberg gives a better idea of his powers as a director.

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TV Guide's Movie Guide

The film's influence on subsequent gangster films is indisputable.

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Sean Axmaker
Parallax View

Sternberg's direction is both classical and modern, with an expressive approach to storytelling and his distinctive visual style already apparent...

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More reviews for Underworld

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Aj V
A really good gangster drama, it was actually pretty funny in some scenes too, I enjoyed it. The story has excitement, drama, and romance. The actors are… More
Walter M.
"Underworld" starts with Bull Weed(George Bancroft) robbing another bank which is celebrated by a fan, the Rolls Royce(Clive Brook) of Bums, just… More
Jonathan Hutchings
Underworld is unquestionably the impetus of the "gangster film." Directed by one of the greatest visionaries of the silent era, Josef von Sternberg,… More
Stella Dallas
really stylish and fun gangster picture, one of the very first. in fact we've seen this story dozens of times since. from a script by ben hecht that was… More

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