6.7/10
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The Guilty Generation (1931)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 19 November 1931 (USA)
A Romeo and Juliet love story between the son of a brutal Italian bootlegger and the daughter of his bitter ex-partner, who is engaged in a blood feud with his one-time friend.

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(from the play by), (from the play by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Maria Palmero
...
Marco Ricca
...
Joe Palmero
...
Tony Ricca
...
Nina Palmero
James Wilcox ...
Don Morley (as Jimmy Wilcox)
Elliott Rothe ...
Benedicto Ricca
Phil Tead ...
Skid
Fred Howard ...
Bradley (as Frederick Howard)
Eddie Boland ...
Willie
...
Victor - Mike's Butler
Ruth Warren ...
Nellie Weaver
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Storyline

John Smith is a young architect who changed his name from Marco Ricca when he realized that being a notorious bootlegger's son was not likely to help his career. Maria Palmiero's father is also a bootlegger, and she's finding that the high society circles she wants to move in are not very welcoming to her. Naturally, John and Maria's fathers are waging a brutal gang war back in New York, and naturally John and Maria fall in love. The premise mirrors that of "Romeo and Juliet," but the plot doesn't, although the bodies do pile up. Written by Cameron Majidi <cmaj@prolifics.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 November 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Culpa dos Pais  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play was copyrighted as "The Windy City" on 24 September 1928. No major performances are known. See more »

Quotes

party guest: [leaving the party,to Maria sarcastically] We're not staying for the fireworks, thank you!
party guest: [contemptuously aloud to her friend about Maria] If it wasn't for her money, she'd be hanging out of a tenement window somewhere chewing on a string of garlic.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop Goes the Weasel
English nursery rhyme/folk song
[Played by party band]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boris Karloff as The Godfather...
24 December 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

...no, not really, but the British Boris is playing the head of one of two feuding (Italian??)-American crime families. Boris plays the head of the Ricca clan, Tony Ricca. Leo Carrillo, who is actually Spanish in descent - in fact a member of an old California Spanish land grant family - plays Mike, the head of the rival Palmerro clan.

This is a late Prohibition Era film in which the public is said to be on to the Mafia and beginning to demand action - there were several of these made in the early 30's - as the bloodshed has begun to spill onto the streets and takes the lives of innocent children. Meanwhile the warring clans have taken to killing off each other's family members in a last ditch grab for sole control of "the rackets".

The central theme of the film is the romance between young Marco Ricca and Maria Palmerro, both straight kids caught in a gangster world. Marco was taken away from his father's life of crime by his mother at the age of ten, but he has returned to America an architect who has changed his name to John Smith. Maria Palmerro is the only daughter of Mike Palmerro, the enemy of Marco/John's father. John thinks there is no danger in this association since he has long been estranged from his father, is truly legitimate, and nobody knows of his true family ties. Marco has a brother who is working in his dad's criminal enterprise, and likewise Maria has a brother who is working in her father's criminal enterprise.

This is mainly Carillo's film, as his character gradually lets the desire for revenge get the best of his common sense at the expense of his entire family. He's a brutish man, such as in a scene where he threatens his daughter that if she doesn't change out of her black dress into a white party dress he'll cut the black dress right off her body with a pair of scissors. He has raised an equally brutish man in the person of his grown son, who decides if his speakeasy flapper girlfriends are not welcome at his sister's party he'll just shove the actual party guests into the pool.

You can tell something dreadful is coming, but you're not just sure how or when or to who it is coming. I'll let you watch and find out.

The movie pulls some punches as it never actually comes out and says Prohibition is the source of the problem, instead everyone keeps talking about "the rackets". Likewise no one ever mentions the nationality of the warring families specifically. Ruth Warren is terrific as a gum-chewing gun moll-like publicist that Palmerro has hired. Although Phil Tead plays the news reporter who is writing stories on the warring clans, Mr. Tead is a dead ringer for Walter Brennan. Emma Dunn, who plays Mike Palmerro's mother, is the only member of the cast who convinces me she is Italian (although she is actually British) as she desperately tries to perform CPR on Mike's conscience.

I'd recommend this one - it certainly is rather unique among early 30's gangster films.


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