He boozes, steals a car, wrecks it, drives a getaway car.... he's the salt of the earth.
1928-AND HOW!What a way to open a picture! Then a montage of Charleston dancers and speakeasies with a glimpse of the war which preceded this frivolous age. A sequence with over crowded cars racing until one if them is sent off the road by a blowout caused by an empty booze bottle thrown from the other, the stealing of a farm truck, then a visit to a speakeasy which ends with the humiliation of a cop set the scene for this youth orientated movie. Are the kids godless or graceless, lawless or reckless? the titles ask. Well,if you ask me, the are just the same as young people always have been since time began--just havin'fun. This said, I think it a bit much that Smoke, the hero, after stealing his neighbour's car, wrecking it, then getting involved in a bank robbery in which his dad is shot, not only gets off scott-free, but is also given an 8000 dollar reward! And to cap it all,his dad calls him the salt of the earth!! Nice to see George Stone (Otero in "Little Caesar") as the gangster leaders oppo. With its snappy 20's slang and some stunning driving sequences, this is a great snapshot of life in 1928. I especially liked the point where the father twits the boy with his lack of respect for authority, only to have the maid announce the arrival of the dad's bootlegger! I would like to know what type of car the gangster drove. A very watchable picture, the 1928 equivalent of all those films where the kids prove that they aren't just useless flibbertigibbets.
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