6 user 3 critic

East of the River (1940)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 9 November 1940 (USA)
Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe's girl Laurie, trouble erupts ... See full summary »


Alfred E. Green


Fred Niblo Jr. (screenplay), John Fante (story "Mama Ravioli") | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John Garfield ... Joseph Enrico 'Joe' Lorenzo
Brenda Marshall ... Laurie Romayne
Marjorie Rambeau ... Mama Teresa Lorenzo
George Tobias ... Tony Scaduto
William Lundigan ... Nicholas Antonio 'Nick' Lorenzo
Moroni Olsen ... Judge R.D. Davis
Douglas Fowley ... Cy Turner
Jack La Rue ... Frank 'Frisco' Scarfi (as Jack LaRue)
Jack Carr Jack Carr ... 'No Neck' Griswold
Paul Guilfoyle ... Balmy
Russell Hicks ... Warden
Charley Foy ... Customer (as Charles Foy)
Ralph Volkie Ralph Volkie ... Smith, Turner's Henchman
Jimmy O'Gatty Jimmy O'Gatty ... Turner's Henchman
Robert Homans ... Patrolman Shanahan


Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe's girl Laurie, trouble erupts between the two men and also with the gang that has it in for Joe. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


New York's "other side of the tracks" (original poster) See more »


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 November 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mama Raviola See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


James Cagney turned down the role of Joe Lorenzo. See more »


Marjorie Rambeau's Italian accent is so shaky that, after the graduation ceremony, she tells a well-wisher "Gracias" ("thank you" in Spanish) instead of the Italian "Grazie." See more »


Featured in The John Garfield Story (2003) See more »


Santa Lucia
Written by Teodoro Cottrau
Hummed by Mamma toward the beginning
Also sung by the men
See more »

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User Reviews

Reaching For Something Better
16 November 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

East Of The River is your typical Warner Brothers urban drama which that studio had down as a formula. Though the plot might not be recognizable at first, it's taken from The Charge Of The Light Brigade where Olivia DeHavilland switches her affections from Errol Flynn to younger brother Patric Knowles. More than any other major studio, Warner Brothers was big on recycling stories if they worked.

The two brothers are John Garfield and William Lundigan. As no one would believe these two are blood kin, there is a prologue where the orphan who grows up to be Lundigan is placed in the care of Marjorie Rambeau the Italian immigrant mother and she raises him as her own. Lundigan turns out to be a real straight arrow, college degree and all. Garfield however continues in his hoodlum from childhood and he's just getting out of prison on the West Coast when he goes east to see Lundigan graduate from college and he takes his moll Brenda Marshall with him.

Garfield also has a score to settle with Douglas Fowley and Jack LaRue who framed him into the joint though the film ain't real clear on how they did it. The fact he's losing Marshall to Lundigan cramps his style though.

Of course it all works out in the end and East Of The River doesn't exactly break any new ground. James Cagney passed on this one, he'd done it all before and Garfield was only in his third year at Warner Brothers.

Both Marjorie Rambeau and George Tobias played all kinds of ethnic characters in their careers and they do well in their silver screen Italian parts. Marshall does well also as the girl reaching for something a lot better than Garfield can give her.

John Garfield's most devoted fans won't rate East Of The River as one of his top performances, but the film does showcase Garfield at his urban best.

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