7.2/10
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43 user 12 critic

City Streets (1931)

Man joins a gang to free his girlfriend from prison.

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

Dashiell Hammett (story), Max Marcin (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... The Kid
Sylvia Sidney ... Nan Cooley
Paul Lukas ... Big Fellow Maskal
William 'Stage' Boyd ... McCoy (as William Boyd)
Wynne Gibson ... Agnes
Guy Kibbee ... Pop Cooley
Stanley Fields ... Blackie
Betty Sinclair ... Pansy
Robert Homans ... Police Inspector
Barbara Leonard ... Esther March
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Storyline

Nan, a racketeer's daughter, is in love with The Kid, a shooting gallery showman. Despite Nan's prodding, The Kid has no ambitions about joining the rackets and making enough money to support Nan in the lifestyle she's accustomed to. Her attitude changes after her father implicates her in a murder and she's sent to prison. During her incarceration, her father convinces The Kid to join the gang in order to help free Nan. When Nan is released, she wants nothing more to do with the mob and tries to get The Kid to quit, but she may be too late. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love and courage pitted against a ruthless hate!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruas da Cidade See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first sound flashback. Dialogue heard earlier in the film was repeated over a huge close-up of Sylvia Sidney's tear-stained face as she recalls the past. See more »

Quotes

The Kid: I used to want to be a sailor before I made up my mind about the circus.
Nan Cooley: You sure go for jobs with no dough.
The Kid: There's plenty of money in the circus. I can shoot and throw a rope and do trick-ridin'. I used to ride some pretty tough broncs back on the ranch.
Nan Cooley: You'll probably get stranded again the way that you did with the rodeo. Only next time maybe you won't even land with a pop-gun joint.
The Kid: Money isn't everything.
Nan Cooley: People use it sometimes to get married on!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le Doulos (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude to Act I of 'Die Meistersinger'
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
Played at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gangland classic
12 June 2013 | by MikeMagiSee all my reviews

Only two years after the introduction of sound, "City Streets" combined innovation and expressionism into one of the most riveting gangster movies of the era. So why isn't it as well known as "Scarface" or "Public Enemy," for example? Because the movie so outraged the Hayes office that Paramount was forbidden from re-releasing it for the next several decades. Fortunately, Turner Classic Movies has a pristine print which showcases the ingenuity of Rouben Mamoulian's direction (and his brilliant establishing shots,) the genius of Lee Garmes' shadowy camera-work and the suspense of the screenplay based on a Dasheill Hamlett story. That tale portrays gangland as a place where alliances are fleeting, where your best pal one moment is the same guy waiting to gun you down in an alley. Typical is Guy Kibbee, in a total turnabout from the affable old roue he so frequently played, as a smiling, sauntering hit man for hire. Heading the cast are two relative newcomers (at the time,) Gary Cooper as an ambitious sharpshooter known only as "The Kid" and Sylvia Sydney as his gullible young girl friend who swears that the mob will protect her -- until she winds up in the prison sweat shop. If you're a movie buff or simply want to see just how good (and ahead of its time) a movie from 1931 can be, catch "City Streets."


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