A young kid from Upstate New York named Eddie (Landis) is conned into fronting for a speakeasy on Broadway. Throughout the con there is an inevitable chorus-girl with a heart of gold (Costello), a cop-killing gangster boss (Oakman) and his downtrodden ex-girlfriend (Brockwell).Written by
It is easy to criticize this movie,which has so many shortcomings.But in all fairness we must remember what handicaps everyone was working under.Actors had to speak slowly,and enunciate very precisely to make sure that the primitive microphones could pick up what they were saying.The fact that they were shooting an entire feature as a talkie, instead of just a few isolated scenes,as in previous "talkies",undoubtedly put extra pressure on everyone. To my mind one of the funniest(unintended) aspects of is, when Hawk was telling his two henchmen to "take him for a ride", one of the henchmen looked, and was dressed, like Stan Laurel! Sort of hard to take him seriously as a hit-man! Primitive as it was,this was still a wonder to audiences who had grown weary of the limitations of silent movies.I have always like old silents, but a steady,exclusive diet would get tiresome very quickly.The jeering reaction of the audience in "Singin in the Rain" to the shortcomings of "The Dueling Cavalier" was an anachronism;that is the reaction of an audience used to PERFECTED sound movies.An actual audience of the day might have laughed,but still would have loved it.
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