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The Bowery (1933)

"In the Gay Nineties New York had grown up into bustles and balloon Sleeves ... but The Bowery had grown younger, louder and more rowdy until it was known as the 'Livest Mile on the face of... See full summary »

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(based on the novel by), (based on the novel by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Steve Brodie
...
Swipes McGurk
...
Lucy Calhoun
...
Trixie Odbray
...
Max Herman
...
Ivan Rummel
Ferdinand Munier ...
Honest Mike
...
...
Carrie A. Nation
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Storyline

"In the Gay Nineties New York had grown up into bustles and balloon Sleeves ... but The Bowery had grown younger, louder and more rowdy until it was known as the 'Livest Mile on the face of the globe' ... the cradle of men who were later to be famous." The scene opens in a saloon named "Nigger Joe's" ... Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"CHUCK" CONNORS MONARCH OF ALL HE SURVEYED AND COULD LICK!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bowery  »

Box Office

Budget:

$421,496 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lucille Ball's first film. See more »

Goofs

The name of George Raft's character, "Steve Brodie," is misspelled "Brody" in the opening credits. See more »

Quotes

Chuck Connors: Dis is a man's woild.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

When You Were Sweet Sixteen
(uncredited)
Written by James Thornton
Sung by a vocal group when Lucy meets Connors outside his tavern
Played as Lucy's theme
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very enjoyable trash
29 March 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

My summary is NOT meant to be hostile, but an accurate summation of my feelings about the film. While the plot is very silly and the film has many strikes against it, there is a certain likability about the film that made it enjoyable. The biggest deficits were the amazingly racist nature of the first portion of the film and the other was that the people in the film seemed more like caricatures instead of real people.

As for the racism, while usually I hate politically correct types who dismiss a film entirely, this time they would have a good point. In the first 15 minutes, you hear just about every racial slur you can imagine (even the unthinkable "N-bomb"--a word which, in recent years, is worse to mutter than any previous word uttered by mankind or ever to be uttered). Plus the whole throwing rocks at the Chinese bit is pretty sick. For kicks, young Jackie Cooper likes to throw rocks through windows belonging to Chinese immigrants. In one instance, the rock smashes a lamp and burns down a building. During this raging fire, you see lots of Chinese men on the top floor screaming for help--yet this scene, believe it or not, is played for laughs!! Apparently back in the 1930s, roasting Chinese people was a real laugh riot (see the Wikipedia entry on "Nanking" for more on this).

The main characters in the film are Chuck Conners (Wallace Beery) and Steve Brodie (George Raft)--two rivals who spend almost the entire film at each other's throats. These two gamblers are determined to be THE biggest and most beloved resident of the Bowery and are constantly trying to one-up each other. Most of this is pretty funny and there is a certain stupid likability about their antics. In many ways, it's all like a cartoon and you know you'd NEVER see people like this in real life--but still an endearing and cute cartoon. Plus, having Cooper and Pert Kelton along for the ride just added to the silly charm of this cartoony version of Gay 90s New York.

Overall, very watchable and fun--but also ridiculously unbelievable and racist. Worth seeing but far from a must-see.


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