6.3/10
478
16 user 10 critic

A Lion Is in the Streets (1953)

Approved | | Drama | 23 September 1953 (USA)
A charismatic peddler from the bayous finds his true calling in politics. Is he a demagogue in the making?

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Spurge McManamee (as Lon Chaney)
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Frank Rector
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Samuel T. Beach
Mickey Simpson ...
Tim Peck, Blacksmith
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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:

Guy Polli - a rat who squirmed through every loophole in the law! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fera  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

When Brown's body is being carried out of the courtroom by six men. Brown is holding his head up. Neither one of the men supporting Brown's shoulders is doing anything to support the head. See more »

Quotes

Flamingo: I've been your wife ever since I knowed what the word meant.
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Soundtracks

Oh, Dem Golden Slippers
Written by James Allen Bland
Played when Hank is dancing with the children
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User Reviews

 
Somehow it doesn't satisfy.
18 September 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I am a massive fan of James Cagney as an actor. I've loved some of the films he starred in, tolerated more. This one falls into the second camp. It is by no means a bad or unworthy film, but it really fails to compel.

Cagney is of course, irreproachable and effortlessly walks away with the film, but he just isn't quite as compelling a figure here as in "White Heat", "Angels with Dirty Faces" or that splendid musical, "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Perhaps it is because the character is really more predictable than most of his characters; based on the Huey Long template. There was not the sense that I was rooting for his character in the same odd way that I usually do when he is essaying a villainous part.

The film is visually quite opulent, but hardly overpoweringly. Perhaps monochrome would have better suited the film's fairly straight forward moral message. The characters, save Cagney's demagogue, are far from that interesting, and play little part, other than be part of the rural "mob" that Cagney is inciting, or part of the slick, gangster-swayed metropolitan set, who replenish Cagney's corruption.

This film just isn't compelling enough; it has a lack of interesting incident, character or dialogue, and while it is morally in a worthy cause (in the era of McCarthy) it is too small a fry in the largely incendiary career of Cagney.

Rating:- ***/*****


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