The Last Gangster (1937)

84 or 90 mins | Drama | 12 November 1937

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writer:

John Lee Mahin

Producer:

Lou Ostrow

Cinematographer:

William Daniels

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

In its review of the film, Var pointed out that, although Edward G. Robinson's character is sent to Alcatraz in 1927, it did not become a federal prison until 1933. It also mentioned that income tax evasion was not used to imprison gangsters until several years after that part of the story takes place. Reviews also mentioned that this was the American film debut of Austrian actress Rose Stradner. According to FD , Stradner's name was to be changed to Andrea Marlow for films, however, she apparently never used the name. Stradner, who married M-G-M producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1939, made only two additional films before her death in 1958, Columbia's Blind Alley , directed by Charles Vidor in 1939 (see above) and Twentieth Century-Fox's The Keys of the Kingdom in 1944, directed by John M. Stahl and produced and written by Mankiewicz. According to news items, M-G-M had at one time negotiated with Grand National to borrow actress Anna Sten to play the part of Rose. Robinson was borrowed from Warner Bros. for this ... More Less

In its review of the film, Var pointed out that, although Edward G. Robinson's character is sent to Alcatraz in 1927, it did not become a federal prison until 1933. It also mentioned that income tax evasion was not used to imprison gangsters until several years after that part of the story takes place. Reviews also mentioned that this was the American film debut of Austrian actress Rose Stradner. According to FD , Stradner's name was to be changed to Andrea Marlow for films, however, she apparently never used the name. Stradner, who married M-G-M producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1939, made only two additional films before her death in 1958, Columbia's Blind Alley , directed by Charles Vidor in 1939 (see above) and Twentieth Century-Fox's The Keys of the Kingdom in 1944, directed by John M. Stahl and produced and written by Mankiewicz. According to news items, M-G-M had at one time negotiated with Grand National to borrow actress Anna Sten to play the part of Rose. Robinson was borrowed from Warner Bros. for this film. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20-Nov-37
---
Daily Variety
9 Nov 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Aug 37
p. 4.
Film Daily
30 Aug 37
p. 10.
Film Daily
9 Nov 37
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 37
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 37
p. 1, 10
Hollywood Reporter
9 Nov 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Nov 37
p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald
16 Oct 37
p. 57.
Motion Picture Herald
13 Nov 37
p. 43.
New York Times
10 Dec 37
p. 33.
Variety
10 Nov 37
p. 18.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edward S. Brophy
Jim Zahner
Edward Marr
Billy Arnold
Charlie Sullivan
Philip Tully
Jimmy Brewster
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Mont eff
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 November 1937
Production Date:
23 August--25 September 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 November 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7603
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84 or 90
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3768
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Soon after notorious New York gangster Joe Krozak brings his innocent wife Talya from Europe, they learn that she is pregnant. Despite his henchman "Curly's" warnings to go easy for a while, Joe has three of the Kile brothers, members of a rival gang, murdered. Although the police cannot find enough evidence to link Joe to the crime, he is soon arrested and convicted for tax evasion and sent to Alcatraz. Though all of his appeals fail and the warden at Alcatraz makes him realize that he is no longer a "big shot," Joe maintains his cocky attitude. When Talya comes to visit him with their new baby, she questions him about accusations made in the press, but he dismisses them and only seems interested in the baby. When she leaves, reporters harass her and one, Paul North, puts a gun in the baby's hand for a picture with the caption "Public Enemy No. 1, Jr." Desperate, Talya confronts Paul and his editor, but, while Paul is remorseful, his editor shows Talya information about Joe's crimes and she realizes the truth. The next time she visits Joe, she doesn't bring the baby. Joe is enraged and threatens her, but she tells him that she is going to change the baby's name and move away. Ten years later, after hard work and solitary confinement for prison troubles have weakened Joe, he is finally released. He is met by Curly who says that the "boys" need him to lead them again, but he soon discovers that Curly is only interested in obtaining any money that Joe had hidden over the years. Meanwhile, Talya ... +


Soon after notorious New York gangster Joe Krozak brings his innocent wife Talya from Europe, they learn that she is pregnant. Despite his henchman "Curly's" warnings to go easy for a while, Joe has three of the Kile brothers, members of a rival gang, murdered. Although the police cannot find enough evidence to link Joe to the crime, he is soon arrested and convicted for tax evasion and sent to Alcatraz. Though all of his appeals fail and the warden at Alcatraz makes him realize that he is no longer a "big shot," Joe maintains his cocky attitude. When Talya comes to visit him with their new baby, she questions him about accusations made in the press, but he dismisses them and only seems interested in the baby. When she leaves, reporters harass her and one, Paul North, puts a gun in the baby's hand for a picture with the caption "Public Enemy No. 1, Jr." Desperate, Talya confronts Paul and his editor, but, while Paul is remorseful, his editor shows Talya information about Joe's crimes and she realizes the truth. The next time she visits Joe, she doesn't bring the baby. Joe is enraged and threatens her, but she tells him that she is going to change the baby's name and move away. Ten years later, after hard work and solitary confinement for prison troubles have weakened Joe, he is finally released. He is met by Curly who says that the "boys" need him to lead them again, but he soon discovers that Curly is only interested in obtaining any money that Joe had hidden over the years. Meanwhile, Talya has married Paul, who has since become an editor, and they have reared baby Joe as Paul, Jr. Their happiness over the boy's school award and a weekend camping trip is shattered, however, when Paul, Jr. is kidnapped by Curly's men who hope that seeing the boy will make the resistant Joe talk. Although the boy does not know who Joe is, and Joe pretends at first that he is uninterested, Joe's paternal feelings and pride at the boy's character give him the strength to break out of Curly's hideout. Although Paul, Jr. thinks that Joe is "mixed up" about thinking that he is his son, he is fond of Joe and willingly goes with him. They eventually go back to Talya and Paul's house and Joe lovingly puts Paul, Jr. to bed. When Talya thanks him for returning the boy, Joe tries to act as if he doesn't care, then leaves. Outside, Joe is confronted by Acey Kile, the brother of the gangsters whom Joe had ordered killed many years before. Acey threats to kill Joe have no effect until he says that he also plans to tell the newspapers Paul, Jr.'s true identity and ruin the boy's life. Joe then kills Acey, but is mortally wounded himself. As Joe dies, Joe's hand clasps Paul, Jr.'s school medal, "for outstanding achievement," which the boy had given to him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.