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The Mayor of Hell (1933)

TV-PG | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 24 June 1933 (USA)
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »

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, (uncredited)

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(screen play), (based on a story by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Patsy
... Dorothy
... Judge Gilbert
... Mike
... Thompson
... Jimmy
... Blonde with Mike
... Fred Smith
... Smoke (as Farina)
... Joe
... Mrs. Smith
... Brandon (as George Pat Collins)
... Louis Johnson
John Marston ... Hopkins
... Mr. Walter
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Storyline

Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed Deputy Commissioner as a political favor, arrives complete with hip flask and blonde. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles. But Thompson, to conceal his years of graft, needs a quick way to discredit Gargan... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

24 June 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reform School  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$229,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Thompson is brought to trial by the boys in their court for the murder of Johnny, a white handkerchief is visible in the breast pocket of his black suit coat in the medium close-ups. In the long shots, the handkerchief is missing. See more »

Quotes

Lawyer: All he wants is that little velvet. You know, side money. Yeah, that deputy's salary.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Crime School (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

First of Three
25 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

Mayor of Hell, The (1933)

*** (out of 4)

James Cagney plays a crime boss who uses his power to get a "real" job working in a boys reformatory school. At first he doesn't take the job too serious but then he sees how the boys are mistreated so he takes over running the school and tries to turn it into something good. This film was remade twice in the next six years with Crime School and Hell's Kitchen and while both of those films were very entertaining there's no question this is the best of the three versions. One thing that helps is the fact that this one was made before the code came into play so it has a lot more of a raw feel to it whereas the remakes were toned down in content. Another added bonus is seeing Cagney who once again delivers a strong performance. He doesn't show up until the twenty-five minute mark and it speaks well of the young actors who hold the film up before the star gets on screen. The supporting players all do fine work with Madge Evans as the love interest, Allen Jenkins as Cagney's sidekick and Dudley Digges as the bad guy running the school. I think one fatal flaw is the ending and the aftermath. The ending turns into a Frankenstein type setting, which might have worked but the aftermath is so rushed and faked that it really ends the film on a sour note. Outside of that this is a pretty good drama with its heart in the right place and the toughness you'd expect from a Warner/Cagney film.


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