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In Old Chicago (1938)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Musical | 15 April 1938 (USA)
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3:27 | Trailer

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ON DISC
The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Sonya Levien (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Dion O'Leary
Alice Faye ... Belle Fawcett
Don Ameche ... Jack O'Leary
Alice Brady ... Molly O'Leary
Andy Devine ... Pickle Bixby
Brian Donlevy ... Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks ... Ann Colby
Tom Brown ... Bob O'Leary
Sidney Blackmer ... General Phil Sheridan
Berton Churchill ... Senator Colby
June Storey ... Gretchen
Paul Hurst ... Edward (Mitch) Mitchell
Tyler Brooke Tyler Brooke ... Specialty Singer
J. Anthony Hughes ... Patrick O'Leary
Gene Reynolds ... Dion O'Leary as a Boy
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Storyline

In 1854, the patriarch Patrick O'Leary of the O'Leary family dies in an accident nearby Chicago while traveling amid-western prairie. His wife Molly O'Leary raises her three sons alone working as laundress. Her son Jack becomes an idealistic lawyer; Dion is a gambler; and Bob helps his mother in the laundry business and marries local Gretchen (June Storey) in the old area known as The Patch. Dion meets the singer Belle Fawcett in the cabaret owned by Gil Warren and they fall in love with each other and become lovers. They also open a business of their own to compete with Gil that becomes their enemy. However Gil invites Dion to join the politics with him but Dion plots a scheme with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The great American motion picture!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicago See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakdale, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD which includes the roadshow version (information given in the accompanying leaflet) Western Costumes didn't have enough costumes on hand to dress all the extras in the fire scenes and had to borrow proper period costumes from other costumiers across the country. See more »

Goofs

At 1:26:10, Gil's position on the house changes. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Dion O'Leary: We O'Learys are a strange tribe.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original roadshow version of "In Old Chicago" ran 111 minutes, and was cut to 95 minutes for a 1943 re-release. For many years, the longer version was thought to be lost, and only the shorter re-release print was shown on television, and released on video in 1994. In 2002 the missing elements to the original version were found, and the 2005 DVD release included both the original and the shorter versions. See more »

Connections

Edited into Call Northside 777 (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Played by a marching band during an election rally
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tyrone, the cow, and going up in flames
15 June 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Immortalized by Martha at the beginning of "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolff," "In Old Chicago" is a dramatization (you know, 20th Century Fox style) of the 1871 Chicago fire. As is fitting, it focuses on the owners of the cow that allegedly started it all, the O'Learys. Tyrone Power is the drop dead gorgeous, bad boy brother of good Don Ameche. "Little Miss Alice Faye," (as Martha says) plays Power's love interest, a dance hall girl.

All of the performances are good, the threesome of Power-Ameche-Faye being a great combination that works well here and in "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Faye gets to show off her voice, and she looks very pretty, having graduated from the days when Zanuck tried to make her look like Jean Harlow. The role was actually intended for Harlow, who died before she could do it; Gable was also supposed to be loaned out for the Power role. Power had only started with Fox a year earlier. Harlow's death killed the deal. Also in the film is Rondo Hatton, referred to by Power as "Rondo." Hatton suffered from acromegaly after laughing gas exposure in World War I. Standing side by side were a man who, due to disease, was deformed and ugly, and Power, perhaps the handsomest man in the world. More ironic yet, Power had no appreciation of his looks, feeling they kept him from roles he wanted.

The fire and devastation effects are fantastic, Fox no doubt feeling the "heat" from MGM's "San Francisco" earthquake scenes.

Alice Brady gives a strong performance, with a somewhat melodramatic monologue at the end. She won an Oscar, which was stolen by the person she sent to accept it. A lovely actress, it's a shame she died at the age of 47.


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