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A proper English gentleman, traveling in the American West, inadvertently stops an Indian attack on the stagecoach in which he is a passenger. When the stage gets to the nearest town, the ... See full summary »
Set in the early '40s, a San Francisco prostitute is run out of town just as the second World War has begun to intensify. Mamie settles down in Hawaii, hoping to start a new life. Though ... See full summary »
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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
Raoul Walsh directs this incredibly uneven and at times poorly written tale of a poor peddler (James Cagney) who finds his calling in politics. After the death of his friend, the man begins to slowly rise up and lead the poor people against the evil rich but this game contains one twist after another. A LION IS IN THE STREETS features a terrific cast, some great cinematography and at times a compelling story but there are just way too many beyond stupid moments that keep this film from being a complete success. I must admit that I got caught up in the story and it made for a mildly entertaining film but at the same time there were moments where I was wanting to scream at the television. There's no doubt in my mind that this was an incredibly poor screenplay that needed a major re-write. There's no doubt that those involved wanted to get their message across but they should have done it with better, more realistic writing. I won't spoil anything but there's a court scene and the sequence at the end, which should have been terrific but they're just so far fetched that the message involved in them are just lost. Another problem is that stuff will come up in the story and never get explained or even commented on again. There's an entire subplot with Cagney's swamp girl lover that comes and goes. Cagney's wife gets pregnant but this disappears from the screenplay only to then pop back up out of no where. There are some terrific performances here including Barbara Hale as the wife, Anne Francis as the swamp girl and we've also got strong work from Lon Chaney, Warner Anderson, John McIntire, Jeanne Cagney, Onslow Stevens and Cagney's old buddy from Warner, Frank McHugh. As far as Cagney goes, there's no question that he's got some passion and fire going on. The performance is incredibly energetic, although the accent comes and goes at times. A LION IS IN THE STREETS isn't a complete success but the cast alone makes it worth sitting through.
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