Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... 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 ... See full summary »
Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree ... See full summary »
After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.
William A. Wellman
Mary Turner goes up for three years on a crime she didn't commit. Once out she and former prison mates plan a scam in which old men can be sued for breach of promise - the "heart balm" ... See full summary »
Prizefighter Mason loses his opening fight so wife Rose leaves him for Hollywood. Without her around Mason trains and starts winning. Rose comes back and wants Mason to dump his manager Regan and replace him with her secret lover Lewis.
The Beast Of The City finds Walter Huston cast as a crusading and honest cop, possibly too rigidly honest. His character is a whole lot like Kirk Douglas's detective in Detective Story that would come out a generation later.
The film also borrows a lot from westerns at the time. Huston's unknown western city is ruled by gangster Jean Hersholt who is apparently untouchable as far as the law is concerned. A whole lot like real life gangsters Al Capone and Lucky Luciano who were coming into prominence.
Huston's family life is secure enough, wife Dorothy Peterson, a few kids among them a young Mickey Rooney. He also has his younger and weaker brother Wallace Ford living with them. Ford's got a real good deal, no rent and he apparently chases a lot of skirts. That proves to be his downfall and eventually Huston's.
The skirt that did them in belonged to Jean Harlow. Jean was never a better mantrap in her career than she is The Beast Of The City. Wallace Ford turns out to be putty in her hands.
Also note another good performance in The Beast Of The City is that of Tully Marshall who plays Hersholt's lawyer. The word shyster was invented for lawyers like Marshall, but he's good to have on your side especially if you're guilty as sin.
The climax is an unforgettable one and one more typical to a western than a modern drama. It's what makes The Beast Of The City a classic that is too rarely seen today.
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