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>
After John Dillinger was killed, William Randolph Hearst had the statement "A Cosmopolitan Production" removed from the credits of all prints; instead, Selznick's and Van Dyke's credits are repeated from the following card--thus their names appear twice in a row. The print in the Turner library is of this version. See more »
In the close up of the newspaper announcing Jim as the new D.A., in the upper right corner, the newspaper is being sold for "Five Cens". See more »
With a cast like this, how can you go wrong? And the film is a delight from beginning to end. Although all the players were great, special kudos to William Powell, whose uncompromising morals cause him to lose almost everything he has. His is a gut-wrenching performance, and the scene in which he addresses the assembly with tears in his eyes to tell of his own "weakness"--wow. It's rare to see Powell in a role with so much complexity and it is a marvelous performance.
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