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The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 23 October 1939 (USA)
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Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

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Cast

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

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:

 »
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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

The world premiere was a formal affair held at the Warner Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. on Oct. 23, 1939. Attendees included Harry M. Warner, Hal B. Wallis, Darryl F. Zanuck, Louis B. Mayer, Joseph I. Breen, Walter Wanger and Mark Hellinger. 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. Furthermore that same footage was seen in the film 'Angels with Dirty Faces'. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Bartlett: You always said you were going to take real good care of me, didn't you George?
George Halley: Wait a minute Eddie, I can explain!
Eddie Bartlett: Here's one rap you ain't gonna beat!
[fires twice]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happy Days: The Roaring Twenties (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Cryin' for the Carolines
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Jean shows up at Flanagan's
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User Reviews

My favorite thirties Gangster Film
3 March 1999 | by (otter) – See all my reviews



Most of the famous gangster films were made in the early part of the decade, before the infamous Production Code took all the sex and violence out of the movies, and before they figured out how to make decent movies with sound. The landmark films of the genre like "Little Caesar" and "Public Enemy" are actually kind of poorly made, by modern standards.

Not so this entertaining film, it's full of life and energy and great fun to watch. James Cagney gives a wonderful performance as a dynamic and ambitious man who goes from a barely-eating taxi driver to a gang lord, and back again. Humphrey Bogart gives one of his best pre-Casablanca villain performances, and even generic leading lady Priscilla Land is fresh and likeable.

The only quibble I have with this film is it lacks the immediacy of the earlier "ripped from the headlines" films. It's made about days that had since gone by, and owes more to earlier films than the reality of the day (post-modernism in the thirties?). Still, it's great fun, do see it.


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