Orphans Edward "Blackie" Gallagher and Jim Wade are lifelong friends who take different paths in life. Blackie thrives on gambling and grows up to be a hard-nosed racketeer. Bookworm Wade becomes a D.A. vying for the Governorship. When Blackie's girlfriend Eleanor leaves him and marries the more down to earth Wade, Blackie harbors no resentment. In fact, their friendship is so strong that Blackie murders an attorney threatening to derail Wade's bid to become Governor. The morally straight Wade's last job as D.A. is to convict his friend of the murder, and send him to the electric chair. After he becomes Governor, Wade has the authority to commute Blackie's death sentence-- a decision that pits his high moral ethics against a lifelong friendship. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the movie that bank robber John Dillinger had just seen before he was gunned down in front of Chicago's Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. He had been set up by Anna Sage, the madam of a brothel, who knew Dillinger's girlfriend, Polly Hamilton. Sage was facing deportation and thought the tip might get her off. She told FBI agent Melvin Purvis that she would be wearing orange which appeared red, leading her to be dubbed "The Woman in Red". Dillinger was shot three times when he tried to escape, and Sage wound up being sent back to Romania. See more »
When Blackie picks up a magazine from the couch after Eleanor leaves him, it is a close up of a Ladies Home Journal from a leopard skin upholstered couch. In the wide shot, he is holding a Vogue and the couch is plainly upholstered, not leopard skin. See more »
Melodramatic, yes, but this movie has some meat to it that I wasn't expecting. Clark Gable and William Powell play childhood friends who grow up to be a hood and a respected judge, respectively. Both have a thing for Myrna Loy, but the expected rivalry for which this plot would seem to be tailor made never comes. Instead, there's a refreshingly serious story about the boundaries of loyalty and friendship. When Gable is accused of murder and sentenced to the death penalty, it is Powell's duty to decide whether or not to let his personal feelings for Gable interfere with his practice of legal justice. Loy pops up throughout, but, unfortunately, she's window dressing. (Side note: My wife and I decided to have a Myrna Loy theme to our New Year's movie night, and rented this and "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." We couldn't have picked two Myrna Loy movies that do a worse job of showing off Myrna Loy). No, this movie belongs to the men, and the whole affair is better than I expected it to be.
5 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?