You Can't Get Away With Murder

  • 1939
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

In three years, between DEAD END in 1937 and HIGH SIERRA in 1940, Bogart made 18 films. In eleven he played a gangster and in nine he died at the end. He does both in this forgettable 1939 gangster picture, in which Bogart ends up going to the electric chair. Bogart is a hardened criminal who takes on young Halop as his apprentice in stealing. They start...read more

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In three years, between DEAD END in 1937 and HIGH SIERRA in 1940, Bogart made 18 films. In eleven he played a gangster and in nine he died at the end. He does both in this forgettable 1939 gangster picture, in which Bogart ends up going to the electric chair. Bogart is a hardened criminal

who takes on young Halop as his apprentice in stealing. They start with the robbery of a gas station, which goes according to plan. Halop is ecstatic over the thrills and rewards of his new career, and objects little when Bogart orders him to go out and steal a pistol for their next job. Halop

takes the gun belonging to Stephens, his sister's fiance. He and Bogart stick up a pawnshop, and when things don't go as planned, Bogart shoots the proprietor. The bullets are traced and Stephens is arrested, quickly convicted, and sentenced to death. Halop wants to confess, but Bogart terrorizes

him into silence. Later, Halop and Bogart are arrested when they try to steal a car, and they are sent to Sing Sing. In prison, Halop is befriended by Travers, the kindly old prison librarian, who tries to persuade the boy to confess. When Bogart learns of this, he forces Halop to accompany him

and two other convicts, Downing and Huber, in an escape attempt. Bogart plans to murder the boy first chance he gets. As they begin their move, Halop drops a piece of paper with a full confession in Travers' cell. The breakout fails, the other two men are killed, and Bogart and Halop are cornered

in a boxcar. Bogart confronts Halop with the confession he recovered from Travers' cell, and, after hiding it, he shoots the boy down while the police outside shoot at the boxcar. Bogart then walks out of the boxcar with hands up and tells the police that they killed Halop. Halop isn't quite dead,

though. He recovers the confession and tells the whole story to the warden before dying. Stephens is pardoned and Bogart is sent to the chair instead. Hardly the most memorable film of Bogart's career, but well-done in the usual craftsmanlike manner of Warner Bros. Halop is good, too, in another

of the juvenile-delinquent-with-a-heart-of-gold roles he first played in DEAD END and which he was forced to repeat through innumerable Dead End Kids and Bowery Boys movies. The usual cast of Warner contract players is in evidence, and there are a number of good perfomances, particularly by Stone

and Travers. Most importantly, though, Bogart does his usual tough gangster in his usual tough manner, and that is always worth watching.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In three years, between DEAD END in 1937 and HIGH SIERRA in 1940, Bogart made 18 films. In eleven he played a gangster and in nine he died at the end. He does both in this forgettable 1939 gangster picture, in which Bogart ends up going to the electric cha… (more)

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