I Am the Law (1938)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

I Am the Law is arguably the best of the late-1930s films inspired by the racket-busting career of New York district attorney Thomas E. Dewey. Edward G. Robinson switches to the right side of the law as the Dewey counterpart, here named John Lindsay (!) A feisty, no-nonsense law professor, Lindsay is approached by a group of concerned citizens to act as special prosecutor to rid up their (unnamed) state of big-time lawbreakers. He wastes no time taking charge, storming into the prosecutor's office and firing anyone whom he suspects of being "on the take." With the help of his dedicated law students, who work alongside him for free, Lindsay purges the local government of such corrupt influences as Eugene Ferguson (Otto Kruger), the outwardly respectable "brains" behind the rackets. Among the minor pleasures in I Am the Law is watching Robinson dancing the Big Apple with gun moll Wendy Barrie in an early scene, and his firing of suspicious-looking Charles Halton with a brusque "Don't like your face! Never have! You've got shifty eyes and a weak chin!" (which, indeed, were Halton's screen trademarks). Barbara O'Neil, who the following year played Scarlet O'Hara's mother in Gone with the Wind, is quietly effective as Robinson's supportive wife.
Directed By:
Written By:
Columbia Pictures


Edward G. Robinson
as John Lindsay
Barbara O'Neil
as Jerry Lindsay
John Beal
as Paul Ferguson
Wendy Barrie
as Frances 'Frankie' Ballou
Otto Kruger
as Eugene Ferguson
Arthur Loft
as Tom Ross
Marc Lawrence
as Eddie Girard
Robert Middlemass
as Moss Kitchell
Ivan Miller
as Inspector Gleason
Charles Halton
as Leander
Louis Jean Heydt
as J.W. Butler
Emory Parnell
as Brophy
Horace MacMahon
as Prisoner
Frederick Burton
as Governor
Edward Keane
as Witness
Harvey Clark
as Witness
James Flavin
as Witness
William Arnold
as Witness
Frank Mayo
as Witness
Kane Richmond
as Student
James Bush
as Student
Anthony Nace
as Student
Robert McWade
as Student
Will Morgan
as Student
James Millican
as Student
Colton Scott
as Graduate Law Student
Gaylord "Steve" Pendleton
as Graduate Law Student
Marshall Ruth
as Graduate Law Student
Philip Grant
as Graduate Law Student
Alan Bruce
as Graduate Law Student
Nick Lukats
as Graduate Law Student
Walter Soderling
as Prof. Perkins
Bud Jamison
as Bartender
Iris Meredith
as Girard's Girl
Mary Brodel
as Hat Check Girl
Frank Bruno
as Gangster
Chick Collins
as Gangster
Jack Woody
as Gangster
Horace McMahon
as Prisoner
Joseph De Stefani
as Cigar Store Proprietor
George C. Pearce
as Cigar Store Proprietor
Phillips Smalley
as University Dean
Lane Chandler
as Policeman
William Worthington
as Committee Man
Lee Shumway
as Police Sergeant
Edward Thomas
as Steward
Walter Merrill
as Reporter
Lester Dorr
as Reporter
Reginald Simpson
as Photographer
Cyril Ring
as Photographer
Ernie Alexander
as Photographer
J.G. MacMahon
as Waiter
Bess Flowers
as Secretary
Lloyd Whitlock
as Headwaiter
Fay Helm
as Mrs. Butler
Bud Wiser
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for I Am the Law

All Critics (1)

Unconvincing but lively formulaic crime drama programmer.

Full Review… | December 9, 2008
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