6.3/10
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6 user 1 critic

The Penalty (1941)

The son of a murderer is entangled in his father's crimes and is sentenced to a rehabilitive farm, where he learns a new way of life.

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Writers:

Harry Ruskin (screenplay), John C. Higgins (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Arnold ... Martin 'Stuff' Nelson
Lionel Barrymore ... 'Grandpop' Logan
Marsha Hunt ... Katherine Logan
Robert Sterling ... Edward McCormick
Gene Reynolds ... 'Roosty'
Emma Dunn ... 'Ma' McCormick
Veda Ann Borg ... Julie
Richard Lane ... Craig
Gloria DeHaven ... Anne Logan
Grant Mitchell ... Judge
Phil Silvers ... Hobo
Warren Ashe Warren Ashe ... Jay
William Haade ... Van
Ralph Byrd ... Brock
Edgar Barrier ... Burns
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Storyline

The son of a murderer is entangled in his father's crimes and is sentenced to a rehabilitive farm, where he learns a new way of life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Find the Blonde and Get the Gangster!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El castigo See more »

Filming Locations:

Inglewood, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its USA television premiere Friday 2 November 1956 on KTTV (Los Angeles), followed by Philadelphia Saturday 1 December 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6), by Altoona PA Thursday 13 December 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by New York City Saturday 22 December 1956 on WCBS (Channel 2) and by Chicago Friday 4 January 1957 on on WBBM (Channel 2); it first aired in Minneapolis 26 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), and in San Francisco 8 January 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »

Goofs

When Rootsy pulls the black car over after crossing the bridge, reflections of multiple studio lights can be seen on the car's highly polished door. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gene Reynolds shines in crime drama programmer...
10 April 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

But all his acting abilities are given short shrift by a tale that purports to be a crime melodrama with EDWARD ARNOLD as his father, a bank robber who's always one step ahead of the police. RICHARD LANE is the detective on his trail, VEDA ANN BORG is Arnold's moll girlfriend, GENE REYNOLDS is his street smart son, and RALPH BYRD is an unfortunate police officer.

Trouble is, none of the story rings true. It all his a very fabricated MGM look, the kind of programmer they turned out to fill a double feature program without any headliners in starring roles. I never bought jovial EDWARD ARNOLD as the criminal type and this bit of miscasting prevents the story from any real sense of credibility.

It's a good forty minutes before ROBERT STERLING and MARSHA HUNT show up as a farm couple willing to take reform school reject GENE REYNOLDS under their wing. He's a fallen sparrow who needs all the nurturing they can give.

Fifty minutes into the story, LIONEL BARRYMORE and GLORIA DE HAVEN show up, with Barrymore as a Grandpa who smokes a pipe and talks like Dr. Gillespie except that he's full of kindly sentiments instead of bitter complaints about mankind.

Did I say the story was dated? Marsha Hunt talks about a schoolteacher making $85 a month.

Summing up: Unpredictable at the start, the story soon turns into a conventional "crime doesn't pay" drama with Reynolds doing a complete reformation in time for a happy ending. The only saving grace is that it's not as preachy as it might have been.

Summing up: The faults far outweigh the virtues.

Trivia note: Watch for PHIL SILVERS (without specs) in a one minute bit as a hobo.


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