Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries ... See full summary »
Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries Doris and retires to Florida to write his autobiography and play golf. In his absence the gang warfare flares, but he does not return as he wants to give a respectable image of life to his wife, younger brother and his Florida neighbors. While letters and telegrams from Mileaway will not influence his decision, events will. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
No information about the publication of Rowland Brown's story, "A Handful of Clouds," has been found; it may not have been published. See more »
What appears to be a typo in the gangland slaughter headline of the newspaper Louie reads in the boarding house - it reads 'grewsome' instead of 'gruesome' - is in fact an acceptable variant that was more popular at the time the film was released. See more »
The "Doorway to Hell" is a one-way door. There is no retribution - no plea for further clemency. The little boy walked through it with his head up and a smile on his lips. They gave him a funeral - a swell funeral that stopped traffic - and then they forgot him before the roses had a chance to wilt.
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Some memorable gangster cliches began in this movie.
I first wanted to viddy this interesting piece of sinny because it offered a pre-PUBLIC ENEMY look at James Cagney. Imagine my surprise to find out it is also Dwight Frye's first talkie! Yes, the man who would find fame as Renfield in DRACULA and Fritz in FRANKENSTEIN appears in this film too. Billed way at the bottom of the opening credits as simply "gangster", Dwight's character is called "Monk" and is one of the first people we meet in the film. That old cliche of the gangster who carries a tommy-gun in a violin case got started with this film and Dwight is the fellow toting the lethal instrument. When he strolls out of a pool room with his violin case under his arm he offhandedly comments "I'm gonna teach a guy a lesson." with a sardonic smile on his face. The lines "Take a guy for a ride" and "Put a guy on the spot" originated with this film too. Lew Ayers, fresh from ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is the real hero, or should I say anti-hero, of the movie and Cagney exhibits the screen personality that aimed him directly at the bullseye of Hollywood stardom but being a lifelong fan of character actors, I now like this film for Dwight Frye's brief, but memorable, appearance.
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