6.2/10
215
5 user 2 critic

East of the River (1940)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 9 November 1940 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Mama Ravioli") | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Laurie Romayne
...
Mama Teresa Lorenzo
...
Tony Scaduto
...
Nicholas Antonio 'Nick' Lorenzo
...
Judge R.D. Davis
...
Cy Turner
...
Frank 'Frisco' Scarfi (as Jack LaRue)
Jack Carr ...
'No Neck' Griswold
...
Balmy
...
Warden
Charley Foy ...
Customer (as Charles Foy)
Ralph Volkie ...
Smith, Turner's Henchman
Jimmy O'Gatty ...
Turner's Henchman
...
Patrolman Shanahan
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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

References He Was Her Man (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Lucia
(uncredited)
Written by Teodoro Cottrau
Hummed by Mamma toward the beginning
Also sung by the men
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Shows No one at His or Her Best
6 December 2004 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

Two boys behave badly and are to be sentenced. The Italian mama of one implores the judge to let her take care of her son and he hesitantly agrees. The other one, though, is off to reform school. He has no parents. So mama says she will adopt him; and William Lundigan and John Garfield are raised as if they were brothers, above a restaurant in Little Italy.

This movie begins stylishly, with a tour guide telling about New York. Not too different from what they say 80-some years later than the action is meant to take place. Orchard Street used to be an orchard and yes, Canal Street was once a canal.

And the action is standard Warner Brothrs crime drama issue. Not at all bad. Brenda Marshall, furthermore, is very appealing as a moll who decides to walk the straight and narrow. She was a beautiful woman in a somewhat unusual way and, though not a great actress based on her performances, she could have been coached into one had she been so inclined.

The problem is the casting. OK, John Garfield was not Italian. Neither was Edward G. Robinson, but they both played Italians at times. However, what really shocked me is the direction of the mother character, and her man friend as well, to use thoroughly implausible "he's-a my good- bambino"-type dialect. It's almost as if major characters were in blackface.

I didn't notice who the secondary players in the cast at the beginning and was horrified to see that the marvelous character actress Marjorie Rambeau ("Primrose Path," "Scandal Sheet," among many superb performances) was playing this role.

It was in keeping with the times to a degree but it comes across as offensive today. .


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