Outside the Law

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Released 1920

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Movie Summary

Director:
Rachid Bouchareb
Released:
1920
Rating:
R
Outside the Law is the story of Silent Madden (Ralph Lewis), an underworld criminal leader in San Francisco, and his gangster daughter Mol Molly Madden (Priscilla Dean). After receiving counsel from Chang Lo, a Confucianist philosopher living in Chinatown, Molly and her father have forsaken the criminal lifestyle and have transformed themselves into upstanding citizens in the community. Although Molly has denounced a life of crime, she begins to question the validity of the law when her father Silent Madden is convicted for a murder he didn't commit. Molly suddenly finds herself involved in the criminal life once again when she falls in love with a despicable gangster and jewel thief named Black Mike Sylva (Lon Chaney). After experiencing life outside of the mafia, Molly is cautious in her love affair and rightfully so. Throughout her life, Molly has dealt with a hard lifestyle and even harder people; however, her heart is slowly melted by her gangster lover.

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    At the very least a superior action film, in which the action sequences are plausible and grounded in reality.

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    The filmmaker is at his best unspooling the politics of independence, which he does with such confident fervor that you always understand the fight.

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    As powerful and well made as it is, Outside the Law is too schematic and single-minded to lodge itself in your mind as a fully realized cinematic epic. Its few female characters ar...

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