IMDb > East of the River (1940)

East of the River (1940) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Fred Niblo Jr. (screenplay)
John Fante (story) ...
View company contact information for East of the River on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 November 1940 (USA) See more »
New York's "other side of the tracks" (original poster) See more »
Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Good cast makes routine crime drama watchable See more (5 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Garfield ... Joseph Enrico 'Joe' Lorenzo

Brenda Marshall ... Laurie Romayne

Marjorie Rambeau ... Mama Teresa Lorenzo

George Tobias ... Tony Scaduto

William Lundigan ... Nicholas Antonio 'Nick' Lorenzo

Moroni Olsen ... Judge R.D. Davis

Douglas Fowley ... 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
Joe Conti ... Joe ( as a young Boy
O'Neill Nolan ... Nick (as a young Boy)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bonnie Gaye Cowen

Murray Alper ... Dink Rogers, Blackjack Player (uncredited)

Roy Barcroft ... Policeman (uncredited)

David Bruce ... Student (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Railroad Detective (uncredited)
Richard Clayton ... Flower Delivery Boy (uncredited)
Ann Edmonds ... Marie Carmine (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Tour Guide (uncredited)
Edward Fielding ... University President (uncredited)
Sol Gorss ... Prisoner (uncredited)

Fred Graham ... Slugged Policeman (uncredited)

Creighton Hale ... Casino Floor Man (uncredited)
Arch Hendricks ... Sergeant McNamara (uncredited)
Al Herman ... Hotdog Vendor (uncredited)
George Humbert ... Ice Cream Vendor (uncredited)

George Lloyd ... Charlie, Man with Letter (uncredited)
Jerry Mandy ... Mr. Lombardo, a Diner (uncredited)
William Marshall ... Commencement Usher (uncredited)

Frank Mayo ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Howard M. Mitchell ... Detective (uncredited)

Jack Mower ... Prison Guard (uncredited)

Pat O'Malley ... Policeman (uncredited)
William Pawley ... Dave Carter (uncredited)
Al Rhein ... Blackjack Dealer (uncredited)

Ralph Sanford ... Policeman (uncredited)
Hector V. Sarno ... Pop Fiachhetti (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Edwin Stanley ... Commencement Speaker (uncredited)
Armand 'Curly' Wright ... Bruno (uncredited)

Directed by
Alfred E. Green 
Writing credits
Fred Niblo Jr. (screenplay)

John Fante (story "Mama Ravioli") and
Ross B. Wills (story "Mama Ravioli")

Produced by
Harlan Thompson .... associate producer
Jack L. Warner .... producer
Bryan Foy .... producer (uncredited)
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Adolph Deutsch 
Howard Jackson (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox  (as Sid Hickox)
Film Editing by
Thomas Pratt 
Art Direction by
Hugh Reticker 
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup (gowns)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lester D. Guthrie .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound recordist
Sol Gorss .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Other crew
Marie Jenardi .... technical advisor
Hugh MacMullan .... dialogue director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
74 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Australia:PG | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #6562)

Did You Know?

James Cagney turned down the role of Joe Lorenzo.See more »
Movie Connections:
References He Was Her Man (1934)See more »


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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Good cast makes routine crime drama watchable, 4 November 2003
Author: BobLib from Cherry Hill, New Jersey

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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