18 user 4 critic

Big City (1937)

Passed | | Drama | 3 September 1937 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer
To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her. The mayor is speaker at a boxers' banquet where Joe pleads for... See full summary »


Frank Borzage, George B. Seitz (uncredited)


Dore Schary (screen play), Hugo Butler (screen play) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Luise Rainer ... Anna Benton
Spencer Tracy ... Joe Benton
Charley Grapewin ... The Mayor
Janet Beecher ... Sophie Sloane
Eddie Quillan ... Mike Edwards
Victor Varconi ... Paul Roya
Oscar O'Shea ... John C. Andrews
Helen Troy ... Lola Johnson
William Demarest ... Beecher
John Arledge ... Buddy
Irving Bacon ... Jim Sloane
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Danny Devlin (as Guinn Williams)
Regis Toomey ... Fred Hawkins
Edgar Dearing ... Tom Reilley
Paul Harvey ... District Attorney Gilbert


To avoid a taxi war, city officials blame a gang bombing on driver Joe Benton's wife Anna and put her on a ship to deport her. The mayor is speaker at a boxers' banquet where Joe pleads for them to go with him to the wharf and rescue Anna (about to deliver their baby) from the ship. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

taxi | rescue | murder | banquet | mayor | See All (28) »


1937's Best Actress Now Teams With the Star of "Captains Courageous" (print ad -Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Broadway Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - May 7, 1938) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Ruth Hussey. See more »


Although the film is set in New York City, in one of the shots of the cars racing to the ship, a car is shown on Vine St. in Hollywood, passing a Schwab's drug store and the offices of the Hollywood Citizen-News newspaper. The group of Comet cabs are subsequently shown on the same street. See more »


Paul Roya: I feel pretty good. This is the first time I'm going to be an uncle.
Joe Benton: Well, you never can tell. Maybe it'll be a girl, then you'll be an aunt.
Paul Roya: That's right... what? Aw.
[waves him off]
Joe Benton: Watch yourself, Paul.
Paul Roya: Okay, Joe.
See more »


References Damaged Lives (1933) See more »

User Reviews

Good Film
28 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Big City (1937)

*** (out of 4)

Incredibly off the wall and insane drama from MGM has an independent taxi service battling with a union led taxi service. When the union side has their placed bombed one of the indie guys (Spencer Tracy) has his wife (Luise Rainer) suspected and shipped out of the country. This film is all over the map that you could put it in any genre including a romantic comedy, a screwball comedy and an action film. Tracy and Rainer deliver very good performances and their chemistry together is right on the mark. They make for a very romantic couple and Tracy's big crying scene is incredibly touching. It's also great seeing NYC back in the day plus there's a scene inside Jack Dempsey's restaurant, which leads to a street fight with Dempsey himself plus other famous athletes including Jim Thorpe, Man Mountain Dean and various others.

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Release Date:

3 September 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Skyscraper Wilderness See more »


Box Office


$621,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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