With time on his hands during a business trip, Jimmy Decker (who's engaged to his boss's daughter) romances small-town church organist Marion Cullen, who follows him to New York only to ... See full summary »
Idealistic attorney Anton Adam makes headlines when he successfully prosecutes a prominent New York racketeer named Gilmurry. Adam's sudden renown attracts the attention of high-profile ... See full summary »
Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... 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 »
Sprawling story of Prohibition set against two families and how they are affected by booze. The stories come together when two young people (Robert Young, Dorothy Jordan) join in a common fight against liquor because it has destroyed their families. Both pros and cons are presented, but the screenplay definitely sides with the abstainers. The fathers destroyed by demon rum are played by Walter Huston and Lewis Stone, and look for Jimmy Durante as a bearded federal agent! Written by
The story begins in 1916, then moves to 1919, and the early 1920's, but Dorothy Jordan and Myrna Loy wear up to the minute 1932 fashions throughout. See more »
[looking at a flaming dish in the kitchen]
Ain't that purdy. I never get tired lookin' at them blue flames.
You best not get tired lookin' at them, sister. You gonna be seeing a lot more of them when you passes on!
See more »
This Hollywood production takes a staunch (if peculiar) anti-alcohol, pro-Prohibition stance. It condemns the exaggeratedly tragic effects of alcohol consumption, as lives are torn apart by the mere existence of the Demon Drink. The film was released while Prohibition was still law, and it preached its Dry message directly at the 1932 audience.
In a sense, THE WET PARADE (1932) does for alcohol what TELL YOUR CHILDREN (1936) does for marijuana. What sets this film apart is its compelling story and excellent cast.
The film chronicles the rise of Prohibition out of World War I and the effects of its enforcement. It's an interesting take on the subject, showing the political and moral motivations behind the Dry movement, the last-minute hoarding of booze before the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect, the rise of speakeasies and bootlegging, and the government crackdown on liquor. The government men are portrayed like secret agents in enemy territory, infiltrating speakeasies undercover and gathering evidence before a raid. Saving the public from themselves.
The movie even touches upon some of the negative consequences of Prohibition (poisonous bootleg liquor, organized crime, etc.), placing the blame not on the law, but the insatiable appetite for alcohol among deviant Americans.
The cast assembled for this Prohibition epic is impressive. The leads are second-rate (Robert Young and Dorothy Jordan), but they are joined by some A-list supporting actors like Lewis Stone, Walter Huston, Wallace Ford, Jimmy Durante, John Miljan, Neil Hamilton, and even Myrna Loy.
In hindsight, decades after the repeal of Prohibition in the U.S., it seems the filmmakers may have been a bit misguided in their didacticism, although, to be fair, the movie is based on a book. And the film was only discouraging activities which were illegal at the time.
Still, the movie's crusading stance goes a little over-the-top. There's one scene near the end where John Miljan speaks right into the camera, directing his anti-booze rant at the viewers in the theatre. A noble gesture by MGM, supporting law and order, but it's a bit silly nowadays.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?