The Widow from Chicago

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The Widow from Chicago
The Widow From Chicago 1930 Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed byEdward F. Cline
Written byEarl Baldwin
StarringAlice White
Edward G. Robinson
Neil Hamilton
Frank McHugh
Music byLeo F. Forbstein
Erno Rapee
CinematographySol Polito
Edited byEdward Schroeder
Distributed byFirst National Pictures
Release date
  • November 23, 1930 (1930-11-23) (U.S.)
Running time
64 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Widow from Chicago is a 1930 American pre-Code crime drama film directed by Edward F. Cline and starring Alice White, Edward G. Robinson, Neil Hamilton, and Frank McHugh. It was released by First National Pictures, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Planned as a full-scale musical, the songs were cut from the film before release due to the public's aversion for musicals.[1]


Two detectives, played by John Elliot and Harold Goodwin, board a train in pursuit of a gangster, who is played by Neil Hamilton. Hamilton is travelling to New York to work for Edward G. Robinson, a notorious gangster who owns a nightclub. Hamilton jumps off the train near a bridge crossing and since no trace of him can be found the police believe him to be dead. Goodwin assumes Hamilton's identity and joins Robinson's gang but is quickly discovered to be an imposter and shot. Determined to find out who killed her brother, Alice White poses as Hamilton's widow and attempts to get a job at Robinson's nightclub. Hamilton eventually shows up and White is almost exposed as an imposter. Hamilton, however, is eventually persuaded by White and he promises not to tell Robinson the truth. White and Hamilton fall in love. During a hold-up, White protects Hamilton by shooting at a cop in the back. Hamilton begins to think of reforming due to White's influence. White eventually gets Robinson to confess that he shot her brother by pretending to be interested in him. She leaves the phone off the hook while the police listen in on his confession. When the police show up, Robinson realizes what White has done and uses White as a shield against the police but Hamilton manages to save White and Robinson is forced to surrender to the police.



A 62 minute version of the film survives and has been broadcast on television and cable. Due to the public's backlash against musicals late in 1930, all of the musical numbers were cut from the film to make it more marketable. These cuts accounts for the short length of the film. The film was advertised as a gangster picture, a genre which had become very popular with the public. The complete musical film was released intact in countries outside the United States where a backlash against musicals never occurred. It is unknown whether a copy of this full version still exists.

Preservation status[edit]


  1. ^ "Detail view of Movies Page". Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress (<-book title) p.209 c.1978 the American Film Institute

External links[edit]