Doorway to Hell (1930) - Rotten Tomatoes

Doorway to Hell (1930)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Doorway to Hell Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

In this early talkie, a vicious crime lord (played by Lew Ayres in a rare villainous role) decides that he has had enough and much to the shock of his colleagues decides to give the business to his second in command (James Cagney in hi second film role) and retire to Florida after marrying his moll. Unfortunately, he has no idea that she and Cagney are lovers. Part of the reason the don wants to leave is to keep his young brother, who idolizes him, from learning the awful truth about his avocation. Soon after moving down to Florida, former rivals kidnap the brother and kill him, causing the reformed gangster to come back for deadly revenge. This was an innovative film and featured a lot of elements that would become standards in the gangster genre including tommy guns carried in violin cases, terrible shoot-outs, and lots of rum-running rivalry.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Rowland Brown, George Rosener
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 19, 2012
Warner Home Video

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Lew Ayres
as Louie Ricarno
James Cagney
as Steve Mileaway
Dorothy Mathews
as Doris Ricarno
Charles Judels
as Sam Marconi
Leon Janney
as Jackie Lamarr
Robert Elliott
as Capt. O'Grady
Fred Argus
as Machine gunner
Dwight Frye
as Gangster
Tom Wilson
as Gangster
Al Hill
as Gangster
Ken Thomson
as Captain of Military ...
Eddie Kane
as Dr. Morton
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Doorway to Hell

Critic Reviews for Doorway to Hell

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | January 28, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A historical relic flawed by miscasting but almost redeemed by an unjustly misunderstood ending.

Full Review… | August 6, 2007
Goatdog's Movies

An early talkie from Warner Brothers.

Full Review… | May 2, 2003
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Doorway to Hell

A bit muddled and creaky but decent crime drama that suffers from miscasting in the lead role. Lew Ayres was a fine actor but never convincing as a villian, Cagney should have played the role and the picture would have had much more impact. The actor playing the police chief stinks up the screen whenever he appears with some of the worst, most wooden acting you'll ever see.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


good stuff in this only movie #2 for cagney this pre-code crime drama/gangster flick is well done and fun to watch

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