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In Old Chicago (1937)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Musical | 15 April 1938 (USA)
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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Belle Fawcett
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Pickle Bixby
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Gil Warren
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Ann Colby
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Senator Colby
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Gretchen
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Edward (Mitch) Mitchell
Tyler Brooke ...
Specialty Singer
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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!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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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

Alice Faye was cast at the instigation of both 'Tyrone Power (I)' and director Henry King. 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

[repeated line]
Dion O'Leary: We O'Learys are a strange tribe.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 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.


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