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Beau James (1957)

 -  Biography | Drama  -  7 June 1957 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 266 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 2 critic

Biopic of the political career of Jimmy Walker, flamboyant and somewhat corrupt Mayor of New York City from 1926-1932.

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Title: Beau James (1957)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mayor James J. 'Jimmy' Walker
...
Betty Compton
...
Chris Nolan
...
Allie Walker
...
Charley Hand
...
Bernie Williams - Broadway producer
Horace McMahon ...
Prosecutor
Richard Shannon ...
Dick Jackson
...
Arthur Julian
...
Sid Nash
George Jessel ...
George Jessel
Walter Catlett ...
Gov. Alfred E. 'Al' Smith
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Storyline

The story of Jimmy Walker who became mayor of New York in the '20s. Used by professional politicians and money-grabbers, Walker himself was "stupid but clean", although his open affair with Betty Compton cost him dear. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He took New York for its wildest joyride! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

7 June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El alcalde de Broadway  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Walter Catlett. See more »

Goofs

Mayor Walker is in a parade near movie's end. In the background is a 1955 or 1956 Cadillac. See more »

Connections

Follows Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

When We're Alone (Penthouse Serenade)
(uncredited)
Written by Will Jason and Val Burton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not meticulous history, maybe, but great Hollywood
30 May 2007 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Over all the many times I've seen this film, it never once occurred to me that it might actually be historically accurate. Nor did it occur to me that it would matter much either way. This is the perfect glossy 1950s Hollywood 'biopic'... a totally charming film, yet with more emotional depth and dramatic substance than most that were cranked out in this politically-delicate period.

For starters, there's a totally charming performance by Bob Hope. This was the perfect part for him: the chance to seriously play a character who was never quite serious. Hope makes the good times effervescent, and the sad times not quite so sad. He makes the central love affair between a man and a city seem completely believable. (Where in real life, obviously things could never be so simple.)

But the real star of this film is the City of New York itself. Not the 'real' city... the fabulous city of myth, as only Hollywood can spin that myth. Resonant with names that are familiar even to people who've never been within thousands of miles of New York, and evocative of a history that even New Yorkers probably recall only vaguely. Just as The Untouchables etched out a stark black-and-white portrait of 1920s Gangland Chicago, Beau James paints a fond, Technicolor memory of 1920s New York.

It's true that Bob Hope's performance, while perfect for the film, was perhaps not Oscar-worthy. (The question would be moot if the Academy had the brains to give out occasional Oscars for the great art of Comedy!) But no matter... Beau James is a well-polished gem of a movie for more reasons than just Hope. Yes, it's corny, and commercial, and formulaic... but in the best way. It romanticizes something that really deserves it.

I wish I was watching it right now...


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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