One of the last bills signed by President Lincoln authorizes pushing the Union Pacific Railroad across the wilderness to California. But financial opportunist Asa Barrows hopes to profit ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Mary Magdalene becomes angry when Judas, now a follower of Jesus, won't come to her feast. She goes to see Jesus and becomes repentant. From there the Bible story unfolds through the ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »
Femme fatale Flora marries a titled European to save the family planation. Her husband and a rival fall to their deaths in a glacier. Next Flora weds her sister Margaret's love Admah. She ... See full summary »
Cecil B. DeMille
Henry B. Walthall,
Cecil B. DeMille wanted Paul Muni as his first choice for gangster Louis Garrett, but Muni declined because he was committed to a play at the Cass Theater in Detroit. Walter Huston was considered but was also unavailable. See more »
This Day And Age is a rarely seen cult classic about high school youth during the beginning of the Roosevelt years and was directed by Cecil B. DeMille. In his sound period DeMille never did stories like this, but he was not totally unfamiliar with them. His last silent film The Godless Girl involves some Christian kids and jocks muscling an atheist club in their high school because atheism equals hedonism in their's and the Victorian Cecil B. DeMille's eyes.
But there's no mistaking the gangster threat to this small town. As Prohibition is ending, the local mob is trying other rackets and is using the old protection scam under the guise of a guild for craft workers like tailors. When Harry Green refuses to knuckle under, chief enforcer Charles Bickford kills him in front of student leader Richard Cromwell. Later on a set alibi and smart lawyering by defense attorney Warner Richmond discredits Cromwell on the witness stand. After that Bickford kills another of their friends Michael Stuart who was breaking in and frames another Oscar Rudolph for the crime.
In a plot situations that was later used in the Dead End kids film Angels Wash Their Faces, several of the kids are given honorary government jobs for a day like mayor, district attorney, and judge. Using that power plus the charisma of leader Cromwell the kids from several schools unite, there's a few hundred of them giving us the crowd scenes that DeMille films all have. They kidnap Bickford and use some persuasion to get at the truth.
It wouldn't be a DeMille film without a little sex thrown in as well. Judith Allen gets the job to pique the interest of Bickford's bodyguard Bradley Page and separate him from Bickford which she does accomplish.
This Day And Age was accused of promoting fascism which charge DeMille strongly denied. But there's no doubt here that mob rule has definitely taken over this town and traditional law and order has broken down.
By the way, the real mayor of the town played by Samuel S. Hinds has a very interesting political perspective on the situation when the fertilizer hits the cooling unit. You'll have to see the film to get what I'm talking about if it's ever broadcast.
And let's hope TCM does broadcast it.
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