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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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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

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

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:

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

"Melancholy Baby", a pre-WWI song, was first introduced in the "tavern circuit" by William Frawley ("Fred Mertz" of I Love Lucy (1951)). A dominant tune in this film, it later surfaced in Johnny Eager (1941) and Scarlet Street (1945). See more »

Goofs

Eddie's arms change position when he falls on the church steps. 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

Edited from Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Smiles
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Played on piano during mail call
Also played when the armistice is announced
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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