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The Roaring Twenties (1939)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,431 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 34 critic

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

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(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Frank McHugh ...
Danny Green
Paul Kelly ...
Nick Brown
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Mrs. Sherman (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Edward Keane ...
Henderson (as Ed Keane)
Joe Sawyer ...
The Sergeant
Joseph Crehan ...
Michaels
George Meeker ...
Masters
John Hamilton ...
Judge
Robert Elliott ...
First Detective
Eddy Chandler ...
Second Detective (as Eddie Chandler)
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Storyline

After the WWI Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his lawyer. George becomes Eddie's partner and the rackets flourish until love and rivalry interfere. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America's Most Colorful Era ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The World Moves On  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unlike the movie's Eddie Bartlett, Larry Fay died on New Year's Day of 1932. Dwindling finances had forced him to cut costs at his New York nightclub, the El Fay; after telling the doorman at the club that his pay was going to be reduced, the doorman pulled a revolver and shot Fay four times. Fay collapsed backward onto a sofa and died. See more »

Goofs

When the gangsters hurl bombs at a storefront from the car, watch the prop explosives bounce off the building and roll into the street before the blast. See more »

Quotes

Lloyd Hart: [the men are taking cover in a bombed-out farmhouse, shooting at German soldiers somewhere off-screen] When is this "armistice" they've been talking about for the past four days?
Eddie Bartlett: That's just another rumor. This brawl's gonna' go on forever.
Lloyd Hart: If I ever get back, I'm gonna' have a swell law office in the Woolworth Building. Have it all picked out, on the 28th floor. Can see the whole city: the Bay, Brooklyn...
Eddie Bartlett: Whaddya' wanna' look at Brooklyn for?
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Burke
Played when Panama is talking to Eddie after her number at Flanagan's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bullets blondes and bootleg
20 December 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

It is hard to believe so many truly great films were made in 1939, and I can only guess that the sheer volume of excellent pix from that year is the only reason why THE ROARING TWENTIES does not have truly major classic status. 1939 seems to be cluttered with a plethora of cinematic riches, thus burying this astonishing and entertaining crime film. I also have been roaring (with laughter) at some of the astonishing silly comments also on this film's viewer comments page: from: "Blondell's haircut is worth the price of a ticket" (Joan Blondell is not in this film, sweetie, read the credits!) - to '"Another MGM gem"...hello? pal, the opening of the film has a great big shield with WB stamped on it followed by "Warner Bros Presents". Almost everyone commenting then proceeds to tell the whole story, each one after each one as thought they are the only person writing a comment. Yeesh. I am the only person who firstly reads what is already there in order to NOT duplicate plot points or characters or the same old same old same old? For genuine long lasting flabbergastering I prefer the movie's solid direction by Raoul Walsh the sensational crackling screenplay by Mark Hellinger and Jerry Wald and mostly the truly major performance by James Cagney. This role and it's ride is possibly the best I have ever seen from him, especially in the latter scenes on skid-row. It's a very mean cruel story with Bogart's jawdropping viciousness several points above censorship rulings - all thankfully intact and now in crisp DVD clarity. The production values are equally solid well decorated nightclubs and houses and rooms and very believable and expansive sets and scenes - especially in the WW1 intro. Yes it even has a terrific Citizen Kane style march of time newsreel tone and urgency. This is a genuine gangster masterpiece and well worth finding and sharing with other vintage WB (not MGM) crime buffs. THE ROARING TWENTIES deserves to be one of the most famous gangster films for everyone of its plot, acting , character and production qualities - they are all there on show. I would love to know the budget and the box office. I know the film was a big hit but exactly how big? It deserved to be massive. Also, the best saddest role of a lifetime to the superb and endearing Gladys George as Panama. As if everything else wasn't perfect enough! This film is a collectors must-have. If remade today, it would be exactly the same, such is it's timeless tone and production. In fact it is had to believe it was made 20 years earlier than SOME LIKE IT HOT. Both films look identical. Don't waste another day, put THE ROARING TWENTIES top of your must see list.


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