Best Crime Movies of 1926
"Twinkletoes" Minasi wants to be a great dancer like her deceased mother. Twink meets Chuck Lightfoot, a noted prizefighter, who falls in love with her at first sight. She tries to avoid falling in love with Chuck, whose wife, Cissie, is a drunken harridan and more than a little bit spiteful. Meanwhile, Twink has secured a job in a singing-dancing act in a Limehouse theater, under the auspices of Roseleaf, who has more than just a protective interest in the girl. The jealous Cissie discovers that Twink's sign-painting father also has a night job as a burglar, and she turns him into the police. While a big success dancing on the stage, the arrest of her father has left her somewhat down in the dumps, and she decides to toss herself into the Thames. Possibly, the now-free Chuck, since Cissie has been killed in an accident, might come along and rescue her.
Two thieves, the Blackbird and West End Bertie, fall in love with the same girl, a French nightclub performer named Fifi. Each man tries to outdo the other to win her heart.
A kindly but desperate Alsatian innkeeper named Mathias murders and robs a rich Jewish merchant staying at his inn, but the ghost of his victim will not let him rest. Meanwhile, a mysterious Mesmerist has come to town, claiming he has made many criminals confess their crimes...
The Flying Ace
A veteran World War I fighter pilot returns home a war hero and immediately regains his former job as a railroad company detective. His first case: recover a stolen satchel filled with $25,000 of company payroll, locate a missing employee, and capture a gang of railroad thieves.
Obey the Law
When his old prison-friend's daughter is about to wed a wealthy man, the friend steals a valuable pendant and gives it to the girl's father. The father, in turn and not realizing it is stolen goods, gives it to his daughter as a wedding present. But the law shows up looking for the pendant.
The Hidden Way
The film tells the tale of three ex-cons who finally go straight, through the redemptive power of love. After rescuing Mary from certain death, the “three bad men” meet her saintly mother and stay on to help on their farm. In The Hidden Way, two of the ex-cons conspire to steal the family’s tiny nest egg, but through plot twists involving a medicinal spring, a wronged woman, a villainous Casanova, his avaricious father, and government inspectors (!), the pair eventually see their error and join the third in turning over a new leaf.
Jim Warren, a crook, is married to Norma, but there was a flaw in their marriage papers and he must marry her gain to protect their unborn child. He returns home and gives her some money but it has been stolen and she is sent to jail as an accomplice. To get her out, he is forced to marry another woman and Norma, thinking Jim has deserted her marries Phil Powers, and gives birth to Jim's daughter. Years later, Jim meets his daughter in the midst of a blackmail scheme against Norma over her earlier imprisonment. The daughter shoots the blackmailer, and Jim takes the blame.
The House Without a Key
A Pathe serial in ten chapters of two-reels each: Dan Winterslip, a wealthy man in Honolulu, has not spoken to his brother, who owns a hotel next to Winterslip's estate, in over twenty years. Minerva, sister to the estranged brothers, comes from Boston to try to reconcile the two men. John Quincy Winterslip, Dan's nephew, receives a letter instructing him to retrieve a box from an attic in San Francisco and dump the contents into the ocean. He is on board a ship bound for Hawaii in which other passengers are also after the box. Dan Winterslip is murdered. Charlie Chan, a Chinese detective, offers to help solve the killing and the mysteries surround the box. Chan is looking for the person whose wristwatch is missing the number 'three.'
The Blind Goddess
Even though Big Bill Devens is a powerful politician, he still sticks to his working man's roots. His wife walked out on him 20 years before and his daughter, Moira, believes she is dead. Moira falls in love with Hugh Dillon, a handsome young attorney, and Devens gets him a job in the district attorney's office. One night, Devens' wife, now an old, decrepit woman known as Aileen Clayton, returns to ask forgiveness.
While London Sleeps
Rinty is a police-dog assigned to a young Scotland Yard police-officer who covers the Limehouse district of London.
The Little Irish Girl
Beautiful Dot Walker is part of a ring of crooks in San Francisco, who use her to lure impressionable young men into a crooked card game. Young Johnny has come to the big city to sell his grandmother's hotel back in his home town, but he falls under Dot's spell, gets suckered into the game and loses all his money. He asks his newfound "friends" to come back to his hometown to buy the hotel. They accept but are actually planning to swindle Johnny's grandmother out of her hotel. It turns out that Granny isn't quite the easy mark they thought she would be.
1926 picture starring Alma Rubens and Walter McGrail.
"Fearless" the dog catches rum runners.
The Old Soak
To the distress of his family, Clem Hawley, retired from his garage business, spends his time and money in the company of Al, the local bootlegger.
Stage comedian Patrick O'Brien is fired from his job because of his drinking celebration of his son, Jimmy, graduating from college. After the show he meets his son on a cabaret and there meets Abel Finklestein and his daughter, Miriam, and the two fathers form a business alliance, suspected of being bootlegging. They are arrested but are released after it is found they were importing molasses - but Miriam has to promise to marry Sam Berkowitz to secure the release. Jimmy and both fathers are unhappy with this turn of events.
This unusual melodrama with comic touches was based on Octavus Roy Cohen's novel The Iron Chance. Alan Beckwith (Rod La Rocque) is a war hero who is very much down on his luck. He makes a deal with big-time bootlegger Andrew North (Gustave von Seyffertitz) -- if North will give him a large sum of money, Beckwith will kill himself at the end of a year's time. He is to marry a girl of North's choosing and take out an insurance policy naming her as beneficiary; North will collect from the widow. The plot thickens when Beckwith and Beverly (Marguerite De La Motte), the girl North has him marry, actually fall in love. Beverly's brother, Johnny (Ray Hallor), teams up with Beckwith to steal one of North's cargos of rum. North and his men catch them and things look bad until revenue officers -- called on by Beverly -- show up. The North gang is rounded up and Beckwith looks forward to a long life with his wife.
Shadow of the Law
A young woman is framed and sent to prison for a crime she didn't commit. When she is released, she sets out to take her revenge on those responsible. -from IMDB.com
The debauched son of a wealthy family, Dick Gilbert, is forced to raise money to pay off gambling debts and uses a valuable family jewel as security for a loan from Prince Borkoff, but it is stolen by Morris, a gambler.
The Golden Web
After it has been sold to a new owner,a shyster and killer has stolen the property deed to a valuable mine and is using it for blackmail purposes. The former owner of the mine is framed for a murder, and his daughter and the new owner work to save him from the gallows.
A young women is part a jewel theft ring, but opts out of a robbery because guns will be used. A man gets killed in that operation and the district attorney convicts an innocent man.