Sergeant Madden


1h 20m 1939
Sergeant Madden

Brief Synopsis

A police officer's son joins the force but goes bad.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Mar 24, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Officer Shaun Madden upholds the proud traditions of the New York City police force, planning for the day that his son Dennis and adopted son Al Boylan, Jr. will also join the force. As a boy, Dennis is a belligerent troublemaker, a trait that follows him to the police academy. Upon graduation, Dennis proposes to Eileen Daly, the Irish lass whom his father rescued from the streets as a foundling. The ambitious Dennis believes that the fastest route to promotion is brute force, and this leads him to gun down a juvenile for stealing a fur pelt. The shooting earns Dennis the enmity of gangster "Piggy" Ceders, because the boy was the brother of his moll. In revenge, Piggy frames Dennis for bribery, and Dennis is sent to Sing Sing. Just as Shaun convinces Piggy to exonerate his son, Dennis escapes from the prison-bound train and goes into hiding with Eileen. Eileen, now pregnant and growing terrified of her crazed husband, returns to the Madden house, where she tells Al the location of Dennis' hideout. As Shaun goes to tell his son that Piggy has agreed to clear him, the police, alerted by the neighborhood druggist, arrive at the scene. Cornered, Dennis kills an officer and escapes, causing his father to resign from the force in disgrace. Turning into a paranoid criminal, Dennis robs a bank and then kills Piggy. Soon afterward, Eileen goes into labor, and Shaun sets a trap to lure Dennis to the hospital. Shaun's plan works but Dennis, caught between his father and a police dragnet, perishes in a hail of bullets.

Cast

Wallace Beery

Shaun Madden

Tom Brown

Al Boylan Jr.

Alan Curtis

Dennis Madden

Laraine Day

Eileen Daly

Fay Holden

Mary Madden

Marc Lawrence

'Piggy' Ceders

Marion Martin

Charlotte

David Gorcey

'Punchy'

Donald Haines

Milton

Ben Welden

Stemmy

Etta Mcdaniel

Dove

John Kelly

Nero

Horace Macmahon

Philadelphia

Neil Fitzgerald

Casey

Dickie Jones

Dennis Madden, as a boy

Drew Roddy

Al Boylan Jr., as a boy

Charles Trowbridge

Commissioner, 1919

George Irving

Police commissioner

Donald Douglas

Al Boylan Sr.

Michelette Burani

Mrs. Ceders

Ivan "dusty" Miller

Frawley

Ralph Dunn

Policeman

Monte Vandergrift

Policeman

James Flavin

Policeman

Lee Phelps

Policeman

Harry Strang

Policeman

Al Ferguson

Policeman

Richard Cramer

Policeman

Ben Taggart

Detective

James G. Blaine

Detective

Art Belasco

Detective

Heinie Conklin

Drunk

Mitchell Lewis

Officer Minetti

Gertrude Simpson

Matron

Esther Dale

Mrs. McGillivray

Freddie Walburn

Dion

James C. Morton

Fight announcer

Arthur Housman

Fan

Chic Collins

First racketeer

Jack Woody

Second racketeer

Adrian Morris

Ringleader

Spike Mason

Fighter

Wade Boteler

Niles

Janice Chambers

Girl

Michael Visaroff

Vidal

Davison Clark

Lieutenant

Robert E. O'connor

Captain Crane

Reed Hadley

Lawyer

Harold Minjir

Couturier

Larry Mcgrath

Guard

Edward Hearn

Guard

E. Alyn Warren

Judge

Pietro Sosso

Foreman

Milton Kibbee

Conductor

Buddy Messinger

Bellhop

Dick Rich

Prisoner

David Thursby

Prisoner

Jack Pennick

Prisoner

Charles Sullivan

Prisoner

Al Hill

Prisoner

Jay Novello

Prisoner

Alonzo Price

Clerk

Edmund Mortimer

Doctor

Jack Carlton

Intern

Bill Lally

Older policeman

Claire Rochelle

Phone operator

John Whitehead

Watchman

Lynn Bailey

Model

Jack Daley

Customer

Estelle Etterre

Nurse

Claire Dubrey

Nurse

Jenifer Gray

Nurse

Fay Helm

Nurse

Frances Morris

Nurse

Barbara Bedford

Nurse

Sherry Hall

Waiter

Bess Flowers

Reception nurse

Nell Craig

Reception nurse

Paul Mcvey

Assistant commissioner

Mary Mclaren

Visitor

Nick Copeland

Civilian

Arthur Hoyt

Police prompter

Pat O'malley

Police sergeant

John Webb Dillion

Court attendant

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Crime
Release Date
Mar 24, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Charles Trowbridge replaced 'Irving, George' as the Commissioner for the retakes.

Notes

The title of William A. Ulman, Jr.'s unpublished story was A Gun in His Hand. This was Josef von Sternberg's first credit as a director in the United States since the 1936 Columbia film The King Steps Out. In 1938, Sternberg began directing the M-G-M film I Take This Woman, but was removed before he could finish the film (see entry above). According to modern sources, Sternberg also directed portions of the M-G-M 1938 film The Great Waltz. The Film Daily review refers to actress Laraine Day as Laraine Johnson, a name that she used earlier in her career but had changed after signing her M-G-M contract. When this film was released in 1939, it was her first official billing as Laraine Day. She was also billed as Laraine Day in I Take This Woman, which began production in 1938, but was not released until 1940. According to a news item in Hollywood Reporter, Charles Trowbridge replaced George Irving in the role of the Police Commissioner when retakes were required.