The Penalty (1941 film)

The Penalty is a 1941 American crime film directed by Harold S. Bucquet and written by Harry Ruskin and John C. Higgins. The film stars Edward Arnold, Lionel Barrymore, Marsha Hunt, Robert Sterling, Gene Reynolds and Emma Dunn.[1][2] The film was released on March 14, 1941, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The Penalty
The Penalty (1941 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHarold S. Bucquet
Screenplay byHarry Ruskin
John C. Higgins
Based onRoost
by Martin Berkeley
Produced byJack Chertok
StarringEdward Arnold
Lionel Barrymore
Marsha Hunt
Robert Sterling
Gene Reynolds
Emma Dunn
CinematographyHarold Rosson
Edited byRalph E. Winters
Music byDavid Snell
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • March 14, 1941 (1941-03-14)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States


A gangster hires men to do some work, states they are going to the bank, then holds up the bank (unknownst to the workers). The gangster, "Stuff" Nelson, leaves the workers wondering what happened.

A 16-year-old boy visits his father's girlfriend, who loves furs. Roosty loves his father, who is a gangster and does not think twice about shooting people. At a cabin in the woods, there is a shootout and the girlfriend is killed. Roosty, the boy, is captured and sent to reform school. He is later sent to live with a family on a farm and has a hard time adjusting, but comes to love and care about the family.

Stuff Nelson is able to locate his boy. The family tries to talk him out of leaving. The boy finally stands up to Stuff and refuses to leave. Stuff is immediately shot by the police.



  1. ^ "The Penalty (1941) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  2. ^ "The Penalty". TV Guide. Retrieved 29 November 2014.

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