Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
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William A. Seiter
Charles Engle has been caught embezzling. He writes a suicide note, and goes out wandering on the town. Small-time hustler Bill O'Brian sees him give a couple of big tips, figures he's rich, and plans to take him over to a big-time card game and fleece him. He enlists Nina Barone to help get Engle to the game. She goes along, but is more interested in O'Brien than in his schemes. Meanwhile, a perpetually drunk and none too successful playwright, Gene Gibbons, finds the suicide note. He cooks up a scheme (with the reluctant aid of O'Brien) to get the money Engle needs to pay back his employer and save his life. Written by
John Oswalt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Popular writer Ben Hecht certainly was no stranger to the Broadway cornucopia of gangsters, molls, hoofers, & sharpies and mixes them all in a non-glamorous look at the Great White Way.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in a bit of offbeat casting plays Bill O'Brien, Broadway sharpie who thinks he's latched on to a sure thing in steering rube John Qualen into a fixed poker game. Qualen however is not a millionaire. Fairbanks has it all wrong, Qualen doesn't have money, he's embezzled $3000.00 from his employer and is thinking of suicide. Fairbanks ain't as sharp as he thinks, but with the help of inebriated playwright Thomas Mitchell he tries to bluff his way through the gangsters and turn a profit.
Always appealing to Fairbanks's better nature is Rita Hayworth who does a good job of arousing the noble and the carnal at the same time. She's not Queen of Columbia pictures yet, just a crown princess. But Hayworth is just magnificent in this part.
Thomas Mitchell is always given kudos for his part and they are deserved, but one who's not talked about is John Qualen. Qualen had a fine run of character parts in his long career of little men constantly being victimized. He started that cycle with The Front Page and continues it on with Muley in The Grapes of Wrath and now this part in Angels Over Broadway. He was a fine, but underrated actor and another favorite of John Ford.
It's worth it just to see Rita Hayworth as always and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. with that New York City accent.
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