The Pay-Off

Watch The Pay-Off

"The final reward is DEATH!"
  • Passed
  • 1930
  • 1 hr 5 min
  • 5.6  (289)

The Pay-Off is a 1930 crime drama film directed by Lowell Sherman, who also stars in the lead role as Nick, a shady character who owns a night club. The film revolves around Nick's efforts to eliminate interference from rival gangsters as he tries to establish his criminal empire. The story begins with Nick, a former police officer, who opens a night club to provide himself with a legitimate front for his illegal activities. However, he soon finds himself at odds with a rival gangster named Pete, who wants to take control of Nick's club and his criminal operation. To make matters worse, Nick's girlfriend, a nightclub singer named Lucy, has been secretly seeing Pete.

Nick, who is constantly trying to outsmart the police and his rivals, decides to lay low for a while and focus on building his operation. However, when a young man named Jimmy turns up at his club looking for a job, Nick sees an opportunity to use him as a pawn in his scheme to take down Pete. Nick hires Jimmy as a bartender and sets him up to take the fall for a robbery at the club. But as Nick's plan unfolds, he realizes that Jimmy may not be as naive as he first appeared.

The film portrays the dark underworld of organized crime in New York during the Prohibition era, with the scenes of the night club culture and the city's seedy underbelly being some of the film's strongest points. The film is also notable for its portrayal of women as strong, independent characters. Lucy, in particular, is a complex and multi-dimensional character who is not just a love interest for Nick, but a woman who has her own motives and desires.

The Pay-Off is a tension-filled thriller that kept audiences on the edge of their seats when it was first released. The film provides a realistic portrayal of a corrupt world, where there are no clear boundaries between good and evil. The film's well-written script and the strong performances by the cast make it a must-watch for fans of old Hollywood films.

Lowell Sherman delivers a solid performance as Nick, the charming but ruthless gangster who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Marian Nixon, who plays Lucy, is equally impressive with her portrayal of a woman who is caught between love and loyalty. And Hugh Trevor, who plays Pete, is convincing as the rival gangster who is willing to do whatever it takes to take Nick down.

Overall, The Pay-Off is a classic crime drama that still holds up today. With its intense story, memorable characters, and alluring visuals, it's easy to see why this film was a hit with audiences when it was first released. It's a film that is sure to entertain and thrill audiences, especially those who are fans of classic Hollywood cinema.

The Pay-Off
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 5 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.6  (289)