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This Day and Age (1933)

High school students band together to dispense vigilante justice against a vicious gangland boss.


Cecil B. DeMille


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bickford ... Louis Garrett
Richard Cromwell ... Steve Smith
Judith Allen ... Gay Merrick
Harry Green ... Herman Farbstein
Bradley Page ... Toledo
Edward J. Nugent ... Don Merrick (as Eddie Nugent)
Ben Alexander ... Morry Dover
Lester Arnold Lester Arnold ... Sam Weber
Michael Stuart Michael Stuart ... Billy Gordon (mistakenly listed in end credits as Billy Anderson)
Oscar Rudolph Oscar Rudolph ... Gus Ruffo
Mickey Daniels ... Mosher
Fuzzy Knight ... Max
George Barbier ... Judge Michael Maguire
Charles Middleton ... District Attorney (as Charles B. Middleton)
Warner Richmond ... Defense Attorney


High school students band together to dispense vigilante justice against a vicious gangland boss.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The FIRST Great Spectacle of Modern Times.


Crime | Drama







Release Date:

25 August 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rough on Rats See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


While in pre-production for this film, Cecil B. DeMille was also planning a subsequent epic film called "The End of the World", which was inspired in part by the novel "When Worlds Collide" by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, and by the film La fin du monde (1931). DeMille went so far as to purchase the rights to both subjects ("When Worlds Collide" was bought for $7,500). Ultimately the script was never even written and the project was discarded. "When Worlds Collide" was eventually made into a film, When Worlds Collide (1951), with DeMille as an uncredited Executive Producer. See more »


[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »


References M (1931) See more »

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User Reviews

These Kids Are All Right
17 May 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

This Day And Age is a rarely seen cult classic about high school youth during the beginning of the Roosevelt years and was directed by Cecil B. DeMille. In his sound period DeMille never did stories like this, but he was not totally unfamiliar with them. His last silent film The Godless Girl involves some Christian kids and jocks muscling an atheist club in their high school because atheism equals hedonism in their's and the Victorian Cecil B. DeMille's eyes.

But there's no mistaking the gangster threat to this small town. As Prohibition is ending, the local mob is trying other rackets and is using the old protection scam under the guise of a guild for craft workers like tailors. When Harry Green refuses to knuckle under, chief enforcer Charles Bickford kills him in front of student leader Richard Cromwell. Later on a set alibi and smart lawyering by defense attorney Warner Richmond discredits Cromwell on the witness stand. After that Bickford kills another of their friends Michael Stuart who was breaking in and frames another Oscar Rudolph for the crime.

In a plot situations that was later used in the Dead End kids film Angels Wash Their Faces, several of the kids are given honorary government jobs for a day like mayor, district attorney, and judge. Using that power plus the charisma of leader Cromwell the kids from several schools unite, there's a few hundred of them giving us the crowd scenes that DeMille films all have. They kidnap Bickford and use some persuasion to get at the truth.

It wouldn't be a DeMille film without a little sex thrown in as well. Judith Allen gets the job to pique the interest of Bickford's bodyguard Bradley Page and separate him from Bickford which she does accomplish.

This Day And Age was accused of promoting fascism which charge DeMille strongly denied. But there's no doubt here that mob rule has definitely taken over this town and traditional law and order has broken down.

By the way, the real mayor of the town played by Samuel S. Hinds has a very interesting political perspective on the situation when the fertilizer hits the cooling unit. You'll have to see the film to get what I'm talking about if it's ever broadcast.

And let's hope TCM does broadcast it.

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