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East of the River (1940)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama  -  9 November 1940 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 197 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe's girl Laurie, trouble erupts ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: East of the River (1940)

East of the River (1940) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Laurie Romayne
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Mama Teresa Lorenzo
...
Tony Scaduto
William Lundigan ...
Nicholas Antonio 'Nick' Lorenzo
Moroni Olsen ...
Judge R.D. Davis
...
Cy Turner
Jack La Rue ...
Frank 'Frisco' Scarfi (as Jack LaRue)
Jack Carr ...
'No Neck' Griswold
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Balmy
Russell Hicks ...
Warden
Charley Foy ...
Customer (as Charles Foy)
Ralph Volkie ...
Smith, Turner's Henchman
Jimmy O'Gatty ...
Turner's Henchman
Robert Homans ...
Patrolman Shanahan
Edit

Storyline

Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe's girl Laurie, trouble erupts between the two men and also with the gang that has it in for Joe. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

direction-in-title See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mama Raviola  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cagney turned down the role of Joe Lorenzo. See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Garfield Story (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Funiculi, Funicula
(uncredited)
Music by Luigi Denza
Played at the wedding reception
See more »

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User Reviews

Good cast makes routine crime drama watchable
4 November 2003 | by (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Gotta admit it, no studio was as good at making crime movies as Warner Brothers during the 1930's. With Cagney, Bogie, and, here, John Garfield, there were fewer actors at any one studio who were as good at being bad. And that's what makes "East of the River" so watchable. The performances help to turn what's basically a routine crime drama into a watchable, second-string noir treasure.

As to the basic plot, that's been done again and again in endless variations. Warners even used it at least a half a dozen times. Boyhood best friends/brothers get into some sort of juvenile scrape. One goes "good," the other "bad." Both meet years later and thereby hangs the tale. However, when the boys are played by Garfield and popular 30's second-lead William Lundigan and the girl they both love by Brenda (Mrs. William Holden) Marshall, the good performances that result raise the story above the standard clichés. Almost as good, albeit with a lot of stock "Italian" mannerisms ("You a good-a boy!"), is Marjorie Rambeau as the boys' mother. Rambeau was one of those actresses who could shine in a broom closet, playing either the star's mother or a world-weary chippie (Catch her her in 1931's "The Secret Six" sometime) with equal finesse, transcending whatever stereotyped qualities may have been in the script. Also excellent are old Warners standby George Tobias as an excitable "Italian" waiter, Douglas Fowley as a particularly despicable heavy, and Moroni Olsen playing yet another of the authority figure roles he always did so well.

Okay, "East of the River" may not be in the same league with "Little Caesar," "The Public Enemy," "Angels with Dirty Faces," or even "You Can't Get Away with Murder." What it IS, though, is an excellent little (75 minutes) crime melodrama of the old school that is definitely worth a look.


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