The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Belle Fawcett
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...
...
Pickle Bixby
...
Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks ...
Ann Colby
...
...
...
Senator Colby
June Storey ...
Gretchen
Paul Hurst ...
Edward (Mitch) Mitchell
Tyler Brooke ...
Specialty Singer
J. Anthony Hughes ...
Patrick O'Leary
Gene Reynolds ...
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Storyline

Story of the great fire of 1871. Fictional story of two sons of Mrs. O'Leary (the owner of the cow which started the fire), one a rogue (Power) the other a lawyer (Ameche). One of the most expensive films of its time ($1.8 million). Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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The great American motion picture!


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Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicago  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD which includes the roadshow version (information given in the accompanying leaflet) Western Costumes didn't have enough costumes on hand to dress all the extras in the fire scenes and had to borrow proper period costumes from other costumiers across the country. See more »

Goofs

Dion O'Leary marries Belle Fawcett so that she cannot testify against him in court but a wife cannot be forced to testify against her husband--she can testify of her own free will. See more »

Quotes

Dion O'Leary: Nothing can lick Chicago!
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Connections

Referenced in Irish Cinema: Ourselves Alone? (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Genevieve
(1869) (uncredited)
Written by Henry Tucker
Lyrics by George Cooper
Played on a harmonium by Alice Brady and sung by her, Tyrone Power, Don Ameche,
Tom Brown and June Storey
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User Reviews

 
"We O'Learys Are A Strange Tribe."
11 August 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This was the first of three films that teamed Tyrone Power and Alice Faye, the others being Alexander's Ragtime Band and Rose of Washington Square. In Old Chicago and Alexander's Ragtime Band also had Don Ameche in it. And it set a pattern, no way was Ameche going to get Faye when Power was on the scene.

Ty Power's roles in his Fox days fell in two Categories. He was either the total romantic hero or he was a hero/heel. In In Old Chicago he's the latter although Power usually has the heroic side win out in these parts, he's not above a little scheming. Power's Dion O"Leary both double crosses Brian Donlevy and marries Alice Faye not just because he loves her, but so she can't testify against him. But Ty's always a charming likable cuss and Ameche is always the straight arrow, but slightly dull rival and in this case, brother.

However the film is known for two things. It gave Alice Faye her first real notice as actress. Up to this point, she'd been a Jean Harlow wannabe right down to the platinum blonde hair. Here Faye gets those period costumes that she wore so well. It was the first of many successes in that genre.

The second thing is the grand special effects showing the burning of Chicago. Even almost 70 years later it's a spectacular sight.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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