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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 345 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?

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Writers:

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

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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
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

bayou | peddler | flamingo | politics | cotton | See more »

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

Eleventh and final time that James Cagney co-starred with his close friend Frank McHugh. The first time being The Crowd Roars in 1932. 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

Hank Martin: Brighten up, sweet-face, brighten up, 'cause you married a winner, not a loser!
See more »

Soundtracks

Turkey in the Straw
Traditional
Played when Hank and Verity are being carried to Jules' house
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Storm warning
30 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

More like a bull in a china shop! Cagney completely unfettered here, carrying everything before him in a typical barn-storming performance of sheer bravura.

Forget all the succeeding shortcomings of the plot, they're there from the start and almost far too numerous to mention, but let's just throw some in - like Cagney's whirlwind romance with too-young-for-him school-marm Barbara Hale and even more ridiculous fling with far-too-much-younger-for-him Anne Francis as a wild-child with a crush on our hero, who in a "hath no fury" scorned moment improbably tries to feed Cagney's new bride to the crocodiles, mix in a plumb-loco trial scene where Cagney props up a dying witness to testify for his innocence even as he expires on the stand and grandstand it all with Cagney's "Kingfish" character Hank Martin getting shot at point-blank range by widow of same dying witness when Cagney's treachery in thrall of power is exposed, just at the point when he's fathered his first child and lost the election to boot!.

Only Raoul Walsh could whip all this into, I hesitate to call it shape and in under 90 minutes at that. Shot in gleaming technicolour, with hordes of well-marshaled crowd scenes and with Cagney threatening to self-combust from the off, this has to be one of the most preposterous films I've ever watched. You could argue with some justification that the great man chews more scenery than Hungry Horace, but best just to surrender yourself to the whirlwind, suspend all disbelief and see where it deposits you. It may not be Oz, but there's certainly a wizard at work here.


5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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