6.9/10
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26 user 10 critic

The Beast of the City (1932)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 February 1932 (USA)
Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (dialogue continuity) (as John L. Mahin)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
District Attorney
Emmett Corrigan ...
...
Tom
Sandy Roth ...
Mac
...
Pietro Cholo
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Storyline

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick is fighting gangster Sam Belmonte. He asks his dishonest brother Ed to keep an eye on Daisy who was connected with Belmonte. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Human lives are offered up daily to the Beast of the City Jungle, so that scented, silken-clad women can enjoy the forbidden thrills of a modern Babylon! See this heart-wrenching drama! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Sentinels  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$230,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$408,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$202,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At 52 minutes into the film Daisy (Jean Harlow) has a party at her place. On a small table against the back wall is a photo of Clark Gable, soon to be her co-star in Red Dust (1932) later the same year. Also prominently displayed is the less well recognized Lynn Fontanne who had recently completed her work in MGM's The Guardsman (1931) and another of Helen Chandler who had just appeared opposite Ramon Novarro in MGM's Daybreak (1931). See more »

Goofs

When Tom and Mac go out to see Jim at his new, quieter precinct, Jim passes out cigars. Mac takes a couple or three and then is seen putting them into his coat pocket twice in successive shots. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Jim Fitzpatrick: I've just given Ed the Bartman assignment, he needs bucking up!
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Crazy Credits

Opening card: Instead of the glorification of cowardly gangsters, we need the glorification of policemen who do their duty and give their lives in public protection. If the police had the vigilant universal backing of the public opinion in their communities, if they had the implacable support of the prosecuting authorities and the courts, I am convinced that our police would stamp out the excessive crime, which had disgraced some of our great cities. ---- President Herbert Hoover See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (Brahms' Lullaby)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johannes Brahms
Played as background music at the end
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User Reviews

 
Little known and waiting to be rediscovered
29 July 1999 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the grittiest of the pre-Production Code features. It is important to realize that just two years later, with the implementation of the rewritten Production Code in 1934, this film could not have been made.

As with any piece of popular entertainment that is nearly 70 years old, there are going to be dated elements. What is more important is how relatively modern this film feels, especially compared to the films made under the Production Code after 1934. The story is a hard slice of life, and it will not suit all tastes. This is especially true for those who have been too conditioned by Production Code features and television.

The ending has been compared to Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH and Don Siegel's DIRTY HARRY, and not without cause. However, try to imagine yourself as a member of the original theatrical release audience in 1932. There would have been very little to prepare you for it, apart from DOORWAY TO HELL, LITTLE CAESAR, PUBLIC ENEMY, and SCARFACE. The difference here is that the story is told from the point of view of the men in law enforcement. It focuses on something that was common knowledge at the time, that prohibition had corrupted law enforcement far beyond the scope of anything the public had ever known.

The remedy for corruption that this film prescribes is very strong medicine indeed. You may not like it, but I defy you not to think about it for a long time after you've seen it.


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