Skip to Content
Poster for Safe in Hell
Watch trailer for Safe in Hell Watch trailer

Safe in Hell

Director: William A. Wellman Run Time: 73 min. Format: 35mm Rating: NR Release Year: 1931

Starring: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde, Victor Varconi, Ivan F. Simpson

Co-hosted by filmmaker/programmer Caroline Golum

In this wild pre-code from director William A. Wellman, Gilda (Dorothy Mackaill) flees to an island after thinking she has killed a former client when she knocks him out with a bottle and accidentally sets the place ablaze. The island is a haven for criminals, and Gilda is intent on behaving for the sake of her sailor fiancé who has forgiven her of all past indiscretions. But when boredom creeps in she joins the reprobates for smokes and drinks, all the while dodging their advances. Sleazy Mr. Bruno, a corrupt local lawman, proves harder to deflect, so when he corners her with an ultimatum, she makes a bold choice.

35mm print courtesy Library of Congress