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A Lion Is in the Streets (1953)

 -  Drama  -  23 September 1953 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 366 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

A charismatic peddler from the bayous finds his true calling in politics. Is he a demagogue in the making?

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: A Lion Is in the Streets (1953)

A Lion Is in the Streets (1953) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Hank Martin
...
Verity Wade
...
Flamingo McManamee
Warner Anderson ...
Jules Bolduc
...
Jeb Brown
Jeanne Cagney ...
Jennie Brown
...
Spurge McManamee (as Lon Chaney)
Frank McHugh ...
Frank Rector
...
Robert L. Castleberry IV
Onslow Stevens ...
Guy Polli
James Millican ...
Samuel T. Beach
Mickey Simpson ...
Tim Peck, Blacksmith
Sara Haden ...
Lula May McManamee
...
Singing Woman
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Storyline

Colorful bayou peddler Hank Martin marries pretty teacher Verity, who finds that the rural poor all love Hank. Gradually, she realizes that Hank's popularity is the fruit of his expert manipulation of everyone he knows. She's further taken aback when she meets sexy swamp girl Flamingo, who considered Hank hers and is murderously jealous. Now Hank starts crusading against a crooked cotton buyer, and swiftly rises toward political power. Is there no stopping him? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE ROARING STORY OF A GIVE-AND-TAKE GUY! He took plenty from the chiselers...the crooks...and the tin-horns...and gave 'em nothing in return!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fera  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was based on a 1945 novel which was a fictionalized account of assassinated Louisiana politician Huey Long by Adria Locke Langley. A film based on a similar roman a clef by Robert Penn Warren, "All the King's Men," won an Oscar as Best Picture in 1949. That b/w film shot on location with non-professional extras had a gritty realism that the studio-bound "A Lion Is in the Streets" did not have, and the later film suffered by comparison. See more »

Goofs

Cagney's Southern accent (which frankly isn't very good) disappears for the most part after the first half-hour, recurring only occasionally thereafter in scenes that were obviously shot out of sequence. See more »

Quotes

Verity Wade: It's these folks. They're all so wonderful.
Hank Martin: Well, all folks is wonderful. You just have to know the right place to kick 'em in.
Verity Wade: What?
Hank Martin: Sure. It's like learnin' to play a musical instrument by ear. All you gotta know is what place to push to get what note. Then pretty soon, everybody's dancin'...to your tune.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Sung with substitute lyrics by the courtroom spectators and later by the mob
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cagney is an acquired taste.
17 October 2011 | by (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This isn't the worst Cagney movie, but it is a good example of the problem with his acting. He was an amazing screen presence, demanding to be watched, a wonderfully versatile performer and an incredibly successful professional, but (and I know it's almost sacrilege to say this in the company of nostalgia-hungry Americans) he brought far too much of his dancing to his straight acting. The result is so often irritating, jerky physicality producing an uncomfortable caricature rather than a believable character. Hank Martin is one of many Cagney performances that needs the melodrama turning down a notch or two. This isn't the worst culprit; for that see "What Price Glory", "Blood on the Sun" or "The Fighting 69th".


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