To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her. The mayor is speaker at a boxers' banquet where Joe pleads for...
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Alec B. Francis
To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her. The mayor is speaker at a boxers' banquet where Joe pleads for them to go with him to the wharf and rescue Anna (about to deliver their baby) from the ship. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
New York City cabdriver Spencer Tracy (as Joe Benton) picks up dewy-eyed Luise Rainer (as Anna Roya) on the street one evening and makes amorous advances. A policeman stops Mr. Tracy's aggressive moves, but Ms. Rainer jumps into his arms. As it turns out, the co-stars are happily married and enjoy role-playing. The real problem is with "independent" driver Tracy and a big taxicab company. A taxi war is going on and Ms. Rainer, a Russian immigrant, becomes a murder suspect. Future "My Three Sons" TV series favorite uncle William Demarest (as Beecher) stands out as the lead bad-guy. Near the end, Jack Dempsey and several sports figures appear...
"Big City" opens like a comedy, turns into a hard-boiled crime drama, then tries to merge events in a closing stolen by athletic fighter and manic speedster Eddie Quillan (as Mike Edwards). The film is a vehicle for Rainer, elevated to MGM stardom as studio chief Louis B. Mayer sought another Greta Garbo. More like Garbo's Russian ballerina from "Grand Hotel" than Tracy's working-class wife, Rainer recalls the Swedish superstar most in her telephone and ice cream cone scenes. The two-time "Oscar" winner has an interesting courtroom outburst and emotes unmercifully during her saddest scenes. Director Frank Borzage moves it along and captures some atmosphere.
***** Big City (9/3/37) Frank Borzage ~ Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy, William Demarest, Eddie Quillan
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