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In Old Chicago
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In Old Chicago (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

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6.9/10   1,284 votes »
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Up 16% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lamar Trotti (screen play) and
Sonya Levien (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for In Old Chicago on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1938 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The great American motion picture!
Plot:
The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
Eastwood One of 'Least Talented' Filmmakers Working Today?
 (From Alt Film Guide. 9 September 2013, 6:43 PM, PDT)

March. It's a Wrap
 (From FilmExperience. 31 March 2013, 12:01 PM, PDT)

75th Anniversary: In Old Chicago's Stolen Oscar!
 (From FilmExperience. 9 March 2013, 9:01 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
The Fire That Destroyed Chicago See more (34 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tyrone Power ... Dion O'Leary

Alice Faye ... Belle Fawcett

Don Ameche ... Jack O'Leary

Alice Brady ... Molly O'Leary

Andy Devine ... Pickle Bixby

Brian Donlevy ... Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks ... Ann Colby
Tom Brown ... Bob O'Leary

Sidney Blackmer ... General Phil Sheridan
Berton Churchill ... Senator Colby
June Storey ... Gretchen
Paul Hurst ... Edward (Mitch) Mitchell
Tyler Brooke ... Specialty Singer
J. Anthony Hughes ... Patrick O'Leary
Gene Reynolds ... Dion O'Leary as a Boy
Bobs Watson ... Bob O'Leary as a Boy
Billy Watson ... Jack O'Leary as a Boy
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Hattie (as Madame Sultewan)
Spencer Charters ... Commissioner W.J. Beavers
Rondo Hatton ... Rondo - Body Guard
Thelma Manning ... Carrie Donahue
Ruth Gillette ... Miss Lou
Eddie Collins ... Drunk
Scotty Mattraw ... Beef King
Joe Twerp ... Stuttering Clerk

Charles Lane ... Booking Agent (scenes deleted)
Clarence Wilson ... Lawyer (as Clarence Hummel Wilson)
Frank Dae ... Judge
Harry Stubbs ... Fire Commissioner
Joe King ... Ship's Captain
Francis Ford ... Driver
Bob Murphy ... Police Officer (as Robert Murphy)
Wade Boteler ... Polilce Officer
Gustav von Seyffertitz ... Dutch - Politician in Jack's Office
Russell Hicks ... Politician in Jack's Office
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carol Adams ... Chorine (uncredited)
Jessie Arnold ... Mrs. Donovan (uncredited)
Kathryn Barnes ... Chorine (uncredited)
Sue Barstead ... Chorine (uncredited)
Jeanette Bates ... Chorine (uncredited)
Colleen Bawn ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Doris Becker ... Chorine (uncredited)
Patsy Bedell ... Chorine (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Barbara Booth ... Chorine (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... Wagon Driver (uncredited)
Horace G. Brown ... Fireman (uncredited)
Julie Cabanne ... Chorine (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Onlooker (uncredited)
Jack Cheatham ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Police Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Hub Patron (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Hub Patron (uncredited)
Jeanne Criswell ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
Dale Dee ... Chorine (uncredited)
Natalie Finley ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Woman with Colby (uncredited)
Norah Gale ... Chorine (uncredited)
Kirby Grant ... Moustached Quartette Member - 'Old Virginny' Number (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Man with Colby (uncredited)
Harriette Haddon ... Chorine (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Harry Hayden ... Johnson (uncredited)
Harry Hollingsworth ... 1st Hub Bidder (uncredited)
Sheldon Jett ... Bartender (uncredited)
Edna Mae Jones ... Chorine (uncredited)
Jean Joyce ... Chorine (uncredited)
Adelaide Kaye ... Chorine (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Politician in Jack's Office (uncredited)
Crystal Keate ... Chorine (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... Cop (uncredited)
Jacqueline Kopp ... Chorine (uncredited)
Mary Louise Kopp ... Chorine (uncredited)
Billie Lee ... Chorine (uncredited)
Patricia Lee ... Chorine (uncredited)
Patsy Lee ... Chorine (uncredited)
Vera Lewis ... Wedding Witness (uncredited)
Mary Lorraine ... Chorine (uncredited)
Corine McAlister ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
J.P. McGowan ... Saloon Manager (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Man Getting Beer in Face (uncredited)
Lydia McKim ... Child (uncredited)
Florence McPherson ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
Burton Cagney Miller ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jackie Cagney Miller ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Opening Night Guest (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Senate Waiter (uncredited)
George Offerman Jr. ... Youth in New Suit (uncredited)
Pat Parrish ... Chorine (uncredited)
Gil Perkins ... Hub Patron (uncredited)
Patsy Perrin ... Chorine (uncredited)
Eleanore Prentiss ... Chorine (uncredited)
Jane Ray ... Chorine (uncredited)
Rice and Cady ... Dutch Comedians (uncredited)
Dorothy Rodgers ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
John Roy ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Muriel Scheck ... Chorine (uncredited)

Audrey Scott ... Horsewoman (uncredited)
Louise Seidel ... Chorine (uncredited)
Hugh Sheridan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Lorraine Standish ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Belle's Admirer (uncredited)
Hope Taylor ... Chorine (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Hub Patron (uncredited)
June Terry ... Chorine (uncredited)
Valerie Traxler ... Chorine (uncredited)
John Wallace ... Fire-Reporter (uncredited)
Marion Weldon ... Chorine (uncredited)
Dorothy White ... Chorine (uncredited)
Charles Williams ... Secretary / Wedding Witness (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry King 
 
Writing credits
Lamar Trotti (screen play) and
Sonya Levien (screen play)

Niven Busch (based on a story by)

Produced by
Kenneth Macgowan .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
J. Peverell Marley (photography) (as Peverell Marley)
 
Film Editing by
Barbara McLean 
 
Casting by
Walter Whaley (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
William S. Darling  (as William Darling)
Rudolph Sternad 
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
 
Costume Design by
Royer 
 
Makeup Department
Gale McGarry .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Ben Nye .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Booth McCracken .... unit manager
Ed Ebele .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert D. Webb .... assistant director (as Robert Webb)
Bob Herndon .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director: second unit (uncredited)
 
Art Department
M. Duke Abrahams .... props (uncredited)
Charles Fremdling .... assistant props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Eugene Grossman .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Bob Bertrand .... boom operator (uncredited)
H. Richards .... cable person (uncredited)
W.R. Snyder .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Daniel B. Clark .... special effects photographer
Ralph Hammeras .... special effects stager
H. Bruce Humberstone .... special effects director
Fred Sersen .... special effects stager
Louis J. Witte .... special effects stager
 
Stunts
Yakima Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunt rider (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Raye .... stunts (uncredited)
Audrey Scott .... riding double: Alice Brady (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
A.C. Bumpus .... assistant grip (uncredited)
Clarence Collins .... best boy (uncredited)
Kenneth Green .... camera operator (uncredited)
N. Hanley .... assistant grip (uncredited)
Jack Percy .... grip (uncredited)
Edward Petzoldt .... gaffer (uncredited)
John Van Wormer .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Frank Tresselt .... music casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Albert Conti .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ollie Hughes .... wardrober: women (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Bob Lee .... wardrober: men (uncredited)
Arthur M. Levy .... costume supervisor (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Richard Billings .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
Robert Fritch .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Silvers .... musical director
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Jule Styne .... vocal supervisor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Teresa Brachetto .... script clerk (uncredited)
Harry Brand .... publicity director (uncredited)
Nick Castle .... dance director (uncredited)
Edwin H. Curtis .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Gene Fowler .... researcher (uncredited)
Jack Haskell .... dance director (uncredited)
Sid Jordan .... horse supervisor (uncredited)
Max Larey .... script clerk (uncredited)
Charles E. McCarthy .... press representative (uncredited)
Geneva Sawyer .... dance director (uncredited)
Rose Steinberg .... script clerk: second unit (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
95 min | 111 min (roadshow version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Finland:K-16 | UK:U (re-rating) (1994) | UK:A (original rating) (1938) | USA:Approved (PCA #3639) | USA:TV-G (TV rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
An early story outline was written by Richard Collins and based on the book "Barriers Burned Away" by Edward Payson Roe, which was the story of the Chicago fire. However, legal records state that none of Roe's novel was used in the final screenplay.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:We O'Learys are a strange tribe.See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Carry Me Back to Old VirginnySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
The Fire That Destroyed Chicago, 19 August 2006
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

IN OLD CHICAGO (20th Century-Fox, 1937/38), directed by Henry King, is a prestigious production inspired by MGM's SAN FRANCISCO (1936) climaxed by the earthquake that destroyed the city in 1906, thus, the birth of natural disaster films. Headed by the youthful trio of Tyrone Power, Alice Faye and Don Ameche, all with only a few years into the movie business, it is veteran actress Alice Brady, best known for her scatterbrained society matrons of numerous comedies, who stands out with her change of pace characterization. Also playing against type is musical star Alice Faye in a rare dramatic performance. With her name on the marquee, one would assumed this to be a turn-of-the-century Technicolor musical. Granted, it's a dramatic story with some doses of comedy and production numbers, but no Technicolor, which would have benefited with its lavish sets and periodic costumes. IN OLD CHICAGO can be best summed up as a fictionalized story of the O'Leary Family, a "strange tribe," and the events leading to the big Chicago fire of 1871.

The story opens with a prologue as the O'Leary's traveling on wagon train bound for new beginnings. After racing alongside a passing train just for the fun of it, Patrick (J. Anthony Hughes) meets with an accident that kills him, leaving his wife, Molly (Alice Brady) to rear her three boys (Gene Reynolds, Billy & Bobs Watson) alone. After burying her husband in the plains, the O'Leary's move on, coming to Chicago where Molly earns money washing laundry and settling her family in the slum area known as "the Patch." Moving forward, Molly's boys grow into handsome young men: Jack (Don Ameche), a crusading attorney who's later elected mayor of Chicago; Bob (Tom Brown), the youngest who earns a living driving the family laundry wagon and marrying Gretchen (June Storey), one of his mother's helpers; and Dion (Tyrone Power), a gambler and saloon keeper whose ambitious ways leads him to corruption. Of Molly's three sons, Dion is her biggest concern. She disapproves of his love for Belle Fawcett (Alice Faye), a cabaret singer ("what a woman!") whose involved with Gil Warren (Brain Donlevy), a corrupt political boss who rivals Dion. Situations become complex after Jack learns how his smooth operating brother got him into office but determined to make good at his job, and Dion's methods in using Belle for his own ambitious ways.

With the story of secondary importance and the Chicago fire the main event, the added attraction of musical numbers featured include: "I've Taken a Fancy to You" (sung by chorus) by Sidney Clare and Lew Pollack; "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (sung by Alice Faye) by James A. Bland; "In Old Chicago" (sung by Faye) by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel; "I'll Never Let You" (sung by Faye); and "Take a Dip in the Sea" (sung by Tyler Brooke).

Theatrically released at close to two hours (112 minutes), IN OLD CHICAGO was a top-grossing film of the day, and it shows. It's popularity lead to a 1943 reissue cut down by twenty minutes. Since then, the 94 minute edition became the one available to commercial and later cable television markets (American Movie Classics and Fox Movie Channel), as well as video cassette in the 1990s, with the missing material believed to be lost and gone forever. Then around 2002, those missing scenes lifted from IN OLD CHICAGO were discovered and restored to now close to its original play length onto DVD in 2005. The restoration consists the O'Leary family gathered together and praying over the father's grave before continuing on their journey to Chicago; a lengthy courtroom sequence of Jack's first case as a lawyer defending a man (Paul Hurst) with a woman (Thelma Manning) on the witness stand who turns out to be his wife, thus having the judge dismissing the case on the grounds that "a wife cannot testify against her husband," followed by Dion introducing Belle to Jack as they exit the courthouse. The DVD package also features the abridged version on the flip side that had been overexposed on television for decades. In the 1950s, IN OLD CHICAGO was televised as the basis of a one hour show "City in Flames" from "20th Century Fox Hour" (1957), an episode that premiered on the Fox Movie Channel in 2002.

Andy Devine, Sidney Blackmer, Phyllis Brooks and Berton Churchill take part in a long list of supporting players. Any similarity between SAN FRANCISCO and IN OLD CHICAGO is purely intentional. The disastrous climax lasts about 20 minutes; the characters of Clark Gable and Tyrone Power are ambitious and loved by singers (Jeanette MacDonald and Alice Faye); both have a third party who takes an interest in the couple (priest Spencer Tracy and brother Don Ameche); and following the natural disaster, both leading men are seen roaming around with a steak of blood down his face. Regardless of similarities, both films became blockbuster hits.

Did Mrs. O'Leary's cow actually start the Chicago fire? One thing for certain, the Chicago disaster of 1871 is as part of American history as the motion picture itself, fact or fiction, being associated with cinema history. Now fully restored, IN OLD CHICAGO can be seen and appreciated in its entirety, thanks to film historians and their effort in putting the missing pieces back together again, and Turner Classic Movies for premiering the movie in its long unseen entirety May 29, 2013. (***1/2)

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