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 <email@example.com>
A lantern manufacturer wrote to the studio insisting that the fire must have been started by a lamp, not a lantern. They claimed a lantern would extinguish itself if tipped over, but that claim was found to be false by an actual experiment performed by two assistants at Twentieth Century-Fox. Soon after the fire started, the barn where the fire was supposed to have originated was thoroughly investigated, and no evidence of a lamp or lantern was found. See more »
I see the original version of the film is 115 minutes and the version on FOX Movie Channel is 95 minutes. So twenty minutes are lost. I presume this was done on a re-release so the film would fit better in a double bill. This is quite common and a shame. I hope a film restorer is looking for the lost footage to add back so film buffs can see the original. This was done with 'For Whom the Bells Tolls'. 'In Old Chicago' is an important film and deserves the same.
Secondly, I think the maid Hattie is quite hilarious. I thought her remarks were very subtle and cleaver. I wonder if she was improvising? If so, it added a lot to the film.
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