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In Old Chicago (1937)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, Musical  |  15 April 1938 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,394 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 16 critic

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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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Title: In Old Chicago (1937)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Belle Fawcett
...
...
...
Pickle Bixby
...
Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks ...
Ann Colby
Tom Brown ...
...
Berton Churchill ...
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The great American motion picture!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Darryl F. Zanuck's riposte to the success of MGM's San Francisco (1936). He tried to borrow Clark Gable and Jean Harlow for his production, but MGM head Louis B. Mayer refused to loan them out. See more »

Goofs

Just before the fire in 1871, the Mayor speaks about replacing the combustible buildings in "The Patch" with newer ones made of stone and steel. The first buildings with steel frameworks were not constructed until the 1880's. Before then, large buildings were constructed of wood with a stone shell. See more »

Quotes

Dion O'Leary: Nothing can lick Chicago!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Tyrone Power (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Taken a Fancy to You
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Lew Pollack
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
Sung and danced by chorus girls at The Hub
See more »

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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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