- 1 hr 28 min
Illegal is a 1955 crime film directed by Lewis Allen, starring Edward G. Robinson, Nina Foch, and Hugh Marlowe. The movie tells the story of a top criminal lawyer, Victor Scott (played by Robinson), who resorts to unethical means to defend his clients and is eventually disbarred. Victor Scott is a brilliant lawyer who has successfully defended numerous criminals who have been accused of heinous crimes. He is well known for his ability to manipulate the legal system and create doubts in the minds of the jury. However, his methods are often unethical and he is not concerned with the guilt or innocence of his clients as long as he wins the case.
At the beginning of the movie, Victor is defending a man named Harry Bennett (played by Larry Gates) who has been accused of murder. He successfully gets Bennett acquitted but it is later revealed that Bennett was actually guilty of the crime. This incident sets off a chain of events that ultimately leads to Victor's downfall.
After successfully defending a woman named Vicki (played by Foch), who had been accused of murdering her husband, Victor falls in love with her. Vicki is a social worker who believes that the legal system is corrupt and that lawyers like Victor are part of the problem. She challenges him to take a stand and fight for justice instead of just winning cases.
Meanwhile, a young lawyer named Warren Donahue (played by Marlowe) is eager to learn from Victor and takes up a job at his law firm. However, he soon realizes that Victor's methods are not what he had expected and he is appalled by the lack of ethics in the legal profession.
As Victor's past catches up with him, he is disbarred and forced to face the consequences of his actions. He also realizes that he has lost everything that was important to him, including the love of Vicki, due to his unethical behavior.
Illegal is a powerful film that explores the corrupt side of the legal profession and the consequences of unethical behavior. The movie portrays the conflicts that arise between personal and professional ethics and how they can affect an individual's life.
Edward G. Robinson delivers an outstanding performance as Victor Scott, portraying the character's arrogance, cunningness, and vulnerability with great skill. Nina Foch is equally impressive as Vicki, the strong-willed social worker who forces Victor to confront his own moral compass. Hugh Marlowe, as the idealistic young lawyer, provides a strong supporting role that highlights the contrast between his own ethical code and that of Victor's.
The film's direction by Lewis Allen is understated yet effective, allowing the characters and their actions to drive the plot. The script is well-written and realistic, portraying the legal system not as an ideal but as a flawed institution that is often manipulated by those with power and influence.
Overall, Illegal is a thought-provoking film that is still relevant today. The movie's message about the importance of ethics in a profession that depends on upholding justice is as important now as it was in 1955. It is a film that will leave a lasting impression on viewers who appreciate well-crafted plots, strong performances, and meaningful messages.
Illegal is a 1955 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.