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Sealed Lips (1942)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 2 January 1942 (USA)
A detective begins to suspect that a man may be in prison for a crime he didn't commit.



(story "Beyond the Law"), (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
Lee Davis
Lois Grant
Fred M. Morton / Mike Rofano
Mary Morton - Fred's Wife
Mrs. Ann Morton (Fred's mother)
Lips Haggarty
Chief Charles R. Dugan
Chief Gary Benson
Dr. Charles Evans
Edwin Stanley ...
Warden (as Ed Stanley)
Attorney Emanuel 'Manny' T. Dixon
Dist. Atty. Slater
Investigator Gene Blake


The warden of a California prison suspects that a New York gangster who is about to complete his sentence and be released is in reality a double for the real criminal, despite fingerprints and evidence that prove otherwise. The detective assigned to the case, aided by a girl reporter, ultimately establish the correctness of the warden' suspicions, following some adventures, misadventures, a couple of killings and some light romance along the way. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Master criminal or missing citizen?


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond the Law  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although completed in April 1941, not released until January 2, 1942 (copyright 1941) . See more »


Featured in Pulp Cinema (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

William Gargan investigates gangster John Litel and his double
15 April 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Sealed Lips" (1942) has not been released to DVD by Universal, which is too bad. It's a breezy crime story, loosely placed in the noir group, but mainly a detective story that whips back and forth across the country.

The authorities have begun to doubt that they convicted and sent to prison the real criminal, Mike Rofano (John Litel). They're about to release what might be his double Fred M. Morton (John Litel), and this could prove to be a major embarrassment. William Gargan is assigned to the case to determine if the prisoner is Rofano or not. What follows is a police procedural. Along the way, there is a mildly romantic element in a journalist (June Clyde) who keeps disturbing Gargan and threatens the investigation. Gargan is assisted crucially by Ralf Harolde, a strong player from as far back as 1920. Mary Gordon does her patented bit as a motherly type, her daughter being Anne Nagel, Morton's wife. Ms. Nagel has an interesting part that allows her to project ambiguity and mystery.

The Gargan-Harolde team pretty much holds this movie together. Both men have distinctive voices and come across as firm men. Clyde is on the annoying side as befits her role. Litel is Litel. The picture's no great shakes but it's an entertaining second feature, pegged about right by the IMDb rating near 6.

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