Alibi (1929 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoland West
Written byElaine Sterne Carrington
Based onNightstick
by Elaine Sterne Carrington, J.C. Nugent, Elliott Nugent, and John Wray
Produced byRoland West
CinematographyRay June
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • April 20, 1929 (1929-04-20)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States

Alibi is a 1929 American pre-Code crime film directed by Roland West. The screenplay was written by West and C. Gardner Sullivan, who adapted the 1927 Broadway stage play, Nightstick, written by Elaine Sterne Carrington, J.C. Nugent, Elliott Nugent, and John Wray.[1] Alternative titles include The Perfect Alibi and Nightstick.

The movie is a crime melodrama starring Chester Morris, Harry Stubbs, Mae Busch, and Eleanore Griffith. Director West experimented a great deal with sound, music, and camera angles.


"Alabi" ad in The Film Daily, 1929

Joan Manning, the daughter of a police sergeant, secretly marries Chick Williams, a gangleader who convinces her that he is leading an honest life. Chick attends the theater with Joan and, at the intermission, sneaks away, committing a robbery during which a policeman is killed. Chick is suspected of the crime but is able to use Joan to substantiate his alibi. The police plant Danny McGann, an undercover agent, in Chick's gang; but he is discovered, and Chick murders him. Chick is later cornered by the police in his own home. Before they can arrest him, he flips the light switch, plunging the room into darkness. In the midst of the chaos, Chick escapes to the roof. He attempts to jump off to a nearby building, but stumbles on the landing, thus falling to his death.


  • Chester Morris as Chick Williams
  • Harry Stubbs as Buck Bachman
  • Mae Busch as Daisy Thomas
  • Eleanor Griffith as Joan Manning Williams
  • Regis Toomey as Danny McGann
  • Purnell Pratt as Police Sgt. Pete Manning
  • Irma Harrison as Toots
  • Elmer Ballard as Soft Malone - Cab Driver (uncredited)
  • Diana Beaumont as Undetermined Role (uncredited)
  • James Bradbury Jr. as Blake - a Crook (uncredited)
  • Ed Brady as George Stanislaus David (uncredited)
  • Edgar Caldwell as Undetermined Role (uncredited)
  • Kernan Cripps as Trask - Plainclothesman (uncredited)
  • Virginia Flohri as Singer in Theater (uncredited)
  • Al Hill as Brown - a Crook (uncredited)
  • Edward Jardon as Singer in Theater (uncredited)
  • DeWitt Jennings as Officer O'Brien (uncredited)
  • Pat O'Malley as Detective Sgt. Tommy Glennon (uncredited)


The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Picture (Roland West), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Chester Morris) and Best Art Direction (William Cameron Menzies).[2]


  1. ^ Nightstick at the Internet Broadway Database
  2. ^ "The 2nd Academy Awards (1930) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved May 20, 2019.

External links[edit]