George Raft, playing himself, recalls his days on Broadway, where he acquired a reputation as a great dancer--and also one as a brawler, a ladies man and an associate of some of the city's most notorious gangsters.
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George Raft, hoofer at the Paradise Club, shares his ambitions with his dancing partner, Billie Moore. She is also the quarry of Stave Crandall, a big-shot racketeer and bootlegger. When Steve bumps of "Scar" Edwards, from whom he has hijacked four truckloads of, the Paradise, where the shooting occurred, becomes the focal point of interest of Police Detective Dan McCorn. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With only a brushing acquaintance with the truth, "Broadway" offers a glimpse of the early speakeasy life of George Raft. Raft plays himself, a good idea as later attempts would prove no one else could ever portray him. It is a bowdlerized version of his time as a dancer employed in the nightclub of Texas Guinan - here renamed Lil. This George Raft is all about work, pines for only one woman, and never met a gangster he liked - so far from reality it has to provoke a smile. But its heart, and his, is in the right place.
The movie is completely worth seeking out for the all too brief George Raft style of dance. Too rare were the films that allowed him to exhibit that "fastest dancer in New York" technique. Raft was past 45 when he shot this and was recreating moves from his 20s, and that alone is impressive. The boy could still move! Raft's poker pal Pat O'Brien gets to play a wise cop again, and bombastic Broderick Crawford is a real scene-stealer as the bootlegging gang leader with a penchant for murder.
A major problem with the film is its complete neglect of setting. There is no attempt to create the styles of the late 1920s, which would have added so much atmosphere (and truth). It could have used a lot more grit as well.
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