Josef von Sternberg



Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it. George Bancroft plays heavy Bull Weed, a criminal kingpin whose jealous devotion to his moll, Feathers (Evelyn Brent), gets him into hot water with a rival hood and, ultimately, the authorities. Further complicating matters is the attraction that blossoms between Feathers and an alcoholic former lawyer (Clive Brook). With its supple, endlessly expressive camera work and tightly wound screenplay based on a story by legendary scribe Ben Hecht (who won an Oscar for it the first year the awards were given), Underworld solidified von Sternberg’s place as one of Hollywood’s most exciting new talents.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1927
  • 81 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.33:1
  • Silent
  • Spine #529

Available In

Collector's Set

3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg

3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg

Blu-ray Box Set

3 Discs


George Bancroft
Bull Weed
Evelyn Brent
Clive Brook
Rolls Royce
Fred Kohler
Buck Mulligan
Helen Lynch
His Girl
Larry Semon
Slippy Lewis
Jerry Mandy
Josef von Sternberg
Photographed by
Bert Glennon
Edited by
E. Lloyd Sheldon
Story by
Ben Hecht
Adaptation by
Charles Furthman
Robert N. Lee


Underworld: Dreamland
Underworld: Dreamland
I n a photograph of Josef von Sternberg from 1937, he looks like a character from one of his own films: a turbaned magus with elegantly trimmed beard and mustache, holding a cigarette as he gazes out obliquely, with the hint of an ironic expre…

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Visit to the George Eastman House
Visit to the George Eastman House
Last Friday, Fumiko, Issa, and I went up to Rochester, New York, to the Eastman House. We have been talking to them about accessing their archive on a more regular basis, starting with the three von Sternberg films that are coming up. It’s really a…
Mit Out Sound, Mit Out Solution
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