Chester Morris received his only Oscar nomination for portraying Chick Williams in Alibi.
Chester Morris plays this criminal named chick. His performance is a pretty standard tough gangster performance. He has the right way of looking and all that but in terms of screen presence he is no Edward G. Robinson. He mostly just keeps with the tough gangster way for most of the film, which is a bit of a problem.
Chick is suppose to be a very manipulative person, and very charismatic person since he is always trying to convince others to do his bidding. He simply is not charismatic enough for his manipulations to be made believable. He just keeps his tough guy way of acting which is still not the greatest. He does not show how he could make a police man's daughter to marry him, or convince a law abiding man to make an alibi for him.
He has one big scene though where he must show a different side of Chick. In this scene he no longer is able to act tough when threatened with death. I do not know what to make of this scene actually. It is the type of acting and scene that was made fun of a million times after this film. I'm not sure if he is actually bad or not, but it brought memories back to me of the parodies too well. I simply, am not sure, but still even if he is not bad his performance is simply not anything special, basically standard throughout. I did not dislike it but there is nothing at all special, and from the same film Harry Stubbs as the police man who must take Chick down is much better.