Overall look at the gangster films of the 1930's, mainly from Warner Brothers productions with tough guy stars like Bogart and Cagney. Montages of car chases, shootouts and fighting are ... See full summary »

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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself - Host / Narrator
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Overall look at the gangster films of the 1930's, mainly from Warner Brothers productions with tough guy stars like Bogart and Cagney. Montages of car chases, shootouts and fighting are accompanied by a semi-serious narration following along the subtitle's premise. Newsreel clips show real life criminals like Capone and Dillinger. Written by WesternOne

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4 November 1963 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Not to be taken seriously as a documentary.
4 November 2016 | by See all my reviews

As typical of many David Wolper documentaries, this one really seems to be a sloppily made quickie. The cute subtitle probably is an illusion to a popular musical comedy of the time, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Keeping in that vein, a not-too-serious approach is used. They did no research on this, and it's full of misinformation, including the years that incidents occurred in. It tells us that the gangster film began with Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), and after a flood of shooting, chasing and other violent outbursts from miscellaneous (apparently all Warner Bothers) films, they conclude the "Gangster Cycle" ended 1940 with Robinson in "Brother Orchid", a film where a gangster seeks redemption as a monk. How ironic, and untrue. Weren't there important flicks in this genre before and after the 1930's? Sure there were- but to have some enforced happy ending was on their minds. If this was too subtle, the finale is a chunk of Cagney's flag waving number from "Yankee Doodle Dandy", a movie that has nothing to do with gangsters, unless we confuse Cagney the actor as an actual gangster, reformed as a song and dance man in a movie.


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