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The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 October 1939 (USA)
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) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nick Brown
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Mrs. Sherman (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Edward Keane ...
Henderson (as Ed Keane)
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The Sergeant - Pete Jones
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Michaels
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Masters
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Judge
...
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:

Wild! Lawless! Fantastic! Action? No picture ever had more! (Trade Paper ad) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The World Moves On  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cagney's character was also partially based on Moe Snyder, who used his muscle and influence to promote singer Ruth Etting. Cagney would portray the real Snyder in the 1955 film Love Me or Leave Me opposite Doris Day. See more »

Goofs

On November 11, 1918, while Eddie, George, and Lloyd are shooting at the enemy, George says, "Prohibition law goes in next year." How would anyone know that then? By November 11, 1918, only 14 of the 36 states needed had ratified the 18th amendment. The 36th state, Nebraska, ratified it on January 16, 1919, giving the US one more year before prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920. Granted, New York state was partially "dry" by 1918. See more »

Quotes

The Sergeant: When you get an order in the army, buddy, you jump!
George Halley: You mean like you did when you worked for my old man and he caught you stealin' nickels?
The Sergeant: I ain't workin' for him now and I ain't workin' for you.
George Halley: Yeah well you might be. I'm gonna give you a break. I'm gonna let you stand behind the bar with all your medals on and tell all the drunks how you won the war.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Johnny Dangerously (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Just Wild About Harry
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Eubie Blake
Lyrics by Noble Sissle
Played during the opening and closing credits
Also played during the 1922 montage
Sung by Priscilla Lane at the club
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User Reviews

 
Magnificent Dramatic Story of Crime and Romance, Supported by Historic Events and Wonderful Songs
3 October 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In 1919, in the end of the World War I, the G.I. Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) meets George Hally (Humphrey Bogart) and the student of Law School Lloyd Hart (Jeffrey Lynn) in a trench and sooner the war ends. Back in USA, Eddie is not able to find a job and is sustained by his great friend Danny Green (Frank McHugh), who offers Eddie to share his cab and make some money working as cab driver. Eddie decides to visit Jean Sherman (Priscilla Lane), who had corresponded with him during the war and is crazy about him, and for his surprise, she is a teenager. In 1920, with the 18th Amendment, the Volstead Act is in force, beginning the period of the unpopular Prohibition. Eddie accidentally meets the owner of a speakeasy Panama Smith (Gladys George), they become close friends and she introduces him in bootlegging of liquor. Eddie becomes rich, meets Jean Sherman again and falls for her. He also raises a profitable partnership with George and Lloyd is hired as his lawyer. In 1924, bootlegging has a grown from individual effort to a big business associated with corruption, violence and murder, and the light machine-gun Tommy becomes an important tool in this business. Lloyd and Jean fall in love for each other, and Eddie has a great deception. Later, on 19 October 1929 with the Black Tuesday, Eddie looses all his fortune, and when the Prohibition falls after thirteen years in force, he returns to the activity of cab driver. On the Christmas Eve, when he meets Jean again as a client of his cab, his life is leaded to a tragic end.

"The Roaring Twenties" is certainly the best gangster movies I have seen together with "Once Upon a Time in America". I have just included this stunning movie in my list of favorite films ever. It is impressive the capacity of the screenplay writers and director Raoul Walsh in developing a complex and magnificent dramatic story of crime and romance, supported by historic events and wonderful songs, in 104 minutes running time only. The cast, with James Cagney, the lovely Priscilla Lane, Gladys George and Humphrey Bogart among others, seems to be in state of grace with perfect interpretations, particularly Priscilla Lane, singing magnificent classic songs with a wonderful voice. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Heróis Esquecidos" ("Forgotten Heroes")


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