The Earl of Chicago (1940)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The schizophrenic screenplay of The Earl of Chicago is rendered even more bizarre by the uneven performance by Robert Montgomery. He plays Silky Kilmont, a Runyonesque American gangster who inherits a British title (Earl of Gorley) and mansion. Taking charge of his new estate, Silky has an amusing time trying to acclimate himself to the customs of the "landed gentry". Things take a sinister turn when Silky discovers that his trusted attorney Doc Ramsey (Edward Arnold) is actually a bigger crook than he is. In a rage, Silky murders Ramsey, then goes into what appears to be a catatonic shock, refusing to defend himself at his murder trial. Blood finally tells at the climax when Silky Kilmont, aka the Earl of Gorley, meets his fate with a dignity and decorum worthy of his aristocratic forebears. The queasy atmosphere of the film is heightened by its utter lack of romance; outside of character actress Norma Varden, there are barely any women in the film at all.
Classics , Drama
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Robert Montgomery
as Robert Kilmount
Edward Arnold
as Quentin 'Doc' Ramsey
Reginald Owen
as Gervase Gonwell
Edmund Gwenn
as Munsey, the Butler
E.E. Clive
as Redwood
Ronald Sinclair
as Gerald Kilmount
Norma Varden
as Maureen Kilmount
Halliwell Hobbes
as Lord High Chancellor
Ian Wolfe
as Reading Clerk
Peter Godfrey
as Judson
Billy Bevan
as Guide
Rex Evans
as Vicar
Kenneth Hunter
as Lord Tyrmanell
William Stack
as Coroner
Miles Mander
as Attorney General
Frederic Worlock
as Lord Elfie
John Burton
as Clerk
Art Berry Sr.
as Seedman
David Dunbar
as Plowman
Harold Howard
as Fisherman
Henry Flynn
as Villager
Vangie Beilby
as Old Maid
Crauford Kent
as Specialist
Ben Welden
as Driver
Olaf Hytten
as Hodges
Pierre Watkin
as Warden
Nora Perry
as Receptionist
William Haade
as Crapshooter
Eddie Marr
as Offender
Anthony Warde
as Salesman
Gladys Blake
as Silken Legs
Lowden Adams
as Floor Waiter
Alec Harford
as Mr. Dell
Arthur Mulliner
as Mr. Brackton
John Power
as Tourist
Ivan Simpson
as Hargraves
Barbara Bedford
as Doc's Secretary
Tempe Piggott
as Mrs. Oades
Ben Webster
as Gaffer
Ellis Irving
as Russell
Colin Kenny
as Sergeant
Matthew Boulton
as Ickerton
Paul England
as Chief Constable
Boyd Irwin
as Presiding Magistrate
Leonard Mudie
as Allington
David Clyde
as Hangers-on
B.J. Kelly
as Hangers-on
Holmes Herbert
as Sergeant-at-Arms
Ralph Stock
as Constable
Leyton Lee
as Adjutant
Gladden James
as Silky's Secretary
Yvonne Severn
as Village Girl
Harry Allen
as Mayer
Starrett Ford
as Villager
Frank Benson
as Sexton
Jimmy Aubrey
as Cockney
Frank Baker
as Policeman
Forbes Murray
as Diplomat
Robert Warwick
as Clerk at Parliament
Zeffie Tilbury
as Old Lady
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Critic Reviews for The Earl of Chicago

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Audience Reviews for The Earl of Chicago


Robert Montgomery does a Superb Job as Silky Kilmount, an Illiterate Chicago Gangster who finds out that he is the Earl of Gorley in England that was given up to an Orphanage as a child & falls into a life of Crime instead of an Aristocratic Upbringing he should have had.He falls prey to a Much Smarter, Devious Attorney, who advises him to go to England & take Charge of his Title & Land Holdings.It's quite amusing as we watch him bumble through as this Unsophisticated Gangster who tries to fit into a Culture, & the House of Lords, so above his Manners & Education.When he finds out the Attorney he considers his Trusted Best Friend is using him for personal gain because he is so Daft, he loses it, & kills him in a fit of rage, changing the tone of the film when it becomes about his Murder Trial . He seems to not think he doesn't deserve a trial based on the New Man he has become, & that it was the result of the Temporary Insanity caused by Betrayal.The Dichotomy of this Man & the Two Lives he Lives make this Film quite good.

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

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