Raymond Dabney returns to his family after trouble with the law. He convinces the sheriff to give him a job watching the house and furniture of widow Crystal Wetherby without knowing she is... See full summary »
American showgirl Suzy is in London in 1914. She loves Irish inventor Terry who works for an engineering firm owned by a German woman. After their marriage Terry is murdered and Suzy flees ... See full summary »
A motorcycle policeman's partner is deliberately run off the road and killed by a member of a syndicate that controls the gambling--and much of the justice system--in his town. When the ... See full summary »
Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »
This remake of West of Zanzibar (1928) made four years later tries to outdo the Lon Chaney original in morbidity. From a wheelchair a handicapped white man rules an area of Africa as a ... See full summary »
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.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?