Nan, a racketeer's daughter, is in love with The Kid, a shooting gallery showman. Despite Nan's prodding, The Kid has no ambitions about joining the rackets and making enough money to ... See full summary »
Nan, a racketeer's daughter, is in love with The Kid, a shooting gallery showman. Despite Nan's prodding, The Kid has no ambitions about joining the rackets and making enough money to support Nan in the lifestyle she's accustomed to. Her attitude changes after her father implicates her in a murder and she's sent to prison. During her incarceration, her father convinces The Kid to join the gang in order to help free Nan. When Nan is released, she wants nothing more to do with the mob and tries to get The Kid to quit, but she may be too late. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Only two years after the introduction of sound, "City Streets" combined innovation and expressionism into one of the most riveting gangster movies of the era. So why isn't it as well known as "Scarface" or "Public Enemy," for example? Because the movie so outraged the Hayes office that Paramount was forbidden from re-releasing it for the next several decades. Fortunately, Turner Classic Movies has a pristine print which showcases the ingenuity of Rouben Mamoulian's direction (and his brilliant establishing shots,) the genius of Lee Garmes' shadowy camera-work and the suspense of the screenplay based on a Dasheill Hamlett story. That tale portrays gangland as a place where alliances are fleeting, where your best pal one moment is the same guy waiting to gun you down in an alley. Typical is Guy Kibbee, in a total turnabout from the affable old roue he so frequently played, as a smiling, sauntering hit man for hire. Heading the cast are two relative newcomers (at the time,) Gary Cooper as an ambitious sharpshooter known only as "The Kid" and Sylvia Sydney as his gullible young girl friend who swears that the mob will protect her -- until she winds up in the prison sweat shop. If you're a movie buff or simply want to see just how good (and ahead of its time) a movie from 1931 can be, catch "City Streets."
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