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The Roaring Twenties (1939)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 8,067 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 36 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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Title: The Roaring Twenties (1939)

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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 ...
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:

Biggest of all the Cagney smashes! (Trade Paper ad) 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

James Cagney's character is introduced while the soundtrack is playing the song "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" - the same song that is playing at the end of his star-making film, The Public Enemy (1931) (made eight years earlier and also set in the 1920s), when his corpse is delivered to his family's home. See more »

Goofs

The film is full of classic songs from the 1920s, but the arrangements and vocal styles are those of 1939. No attempt is made to reproduce the actual sound of 1920s dance music. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Bartlett: [speaking to Jean Sherman] You want the Brooklyn Bridge, all you gotta do is ask for it. If I can't buy it, I'll steal it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town
(1932) (uncredited)
Music by Jack Little and John Siras
Lyrics by Joe Young
Sung by Gladys George at Flanagan's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
In this movie, Bogart proves to be the sneering, sadistic gangster…

After nearly a decade of concentrating on the gangster period of the twenties, it appeared that Warner Brothers had decided to make one, final glorified kiss-off to the genre in the spectacularly staged "The Roaring Twenties."

Director Raoul Walch was an odd choice for what turned out to be a first-rate action film, for Walsh was not normally a crime-film director… The film contained every possible cliché connected with the era…

Bogart's portrayal was interesting as we watched him coldly murder an ex-army sergeant who had given him a rough time in the service, and then set put to get rid of Jeffrey Lynn, now a successful lawyer working for the district attorney and intent on crushing Bogart's empire…

Cagney, whose energy gave him a panerotic sexual magnetism, was evident with his two relationships which both tend to increase our valuation of Cagney as a person as are the two ladies involved: Priscilla Lane, the innocent whom Cagney helps and loves, and the experienced Gladys George who is evidently devoted to him but never expresses her feelings to him…

This basic relationship between Cagney and the two female characters does not take away the great merit of "The Roaring Twenties"—much more it proves the skill of Raoul Walsh and the writers in deploying conventional elements in an effective and meaningful way…


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