Underworld (1927)

A series of "art" titles fill the screen to establish the mood: "A great city in the dead of night...streets lonely...moon clouded...buildings as empty as the cave dwellings of a forgotten age." Then, an explosion rips… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 20, 1927
DVD Release Date: August 24, 2010
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

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.

Full review…
Tony Rayns
Time Out

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

Full review…
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Gripping, superbly told tale of crooks and their girlfriends.

Full review…
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.'

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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

Full review…
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

Full review…
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.

Full review…
TV Guide

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

Full review…
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...

Full review…
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

More Like This