In 1931, Captain Steven Warren, the chief investigator for the Chicago District Attorney's office, tries to arrest the henchmen of notorious gangster and bootlegger Roger Touhy for a series...
See full synopsis »
In 1931, Captain Steven Warren, the chief investigator for the Chicago District Attorney's office, tries to arrest the henchmen of notorious gangster and bootlegger Roger Touhy for a series of crimes, but the frightened witnesses refuse to cooperate. Warren releases Touhy's cohorts--Herman "Owl" Banghart, Bernard "Troubles" O'Connor, Icebox Hamilton, Maxie Sharkey and Thomas J. "Smoke" Reardon--from custody but vows to pursue them. In Dec 1933, after Prohibition is repealed, Touhy decides to go "straight" because he is tired of pressure from Warren and the police. Needing money to buy a brewery, Touhy asks businessman Joseph P. Sutton to repay the $200,000 that he owes him. Although Sutton has the money, he claims that he does not, and his partner, Edward Latham, advises him to stall Touhy. Fed up with waiting, Touhy and his men kidnap Sutton and eventually collect $70,000 ransom from Latham. After Sutton is released, Warren pressures him to identify Touhy's gang as the kidnappers, ...
The prison scenes were filmed at Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois, where the real Roger Touhy was incarcerated. The film was previewed at Stateville on July 12, 1943 with the Governor of Illinois (Dwight H. Green), and over 1,000 police officers and State's Attorneys from Chicago other Illinois communities in attendance. Touhy, who was suing 20th Century Fox to prevent the films release, was not invited to the show, nor were any other prisoners. The screening was held in the prison chapel. The lawsuit against Fox dragged on until 1949. Touhy won a $15,000 settlement on a $100,000 lawsuit for libel against Fox (for making the movie) and the Chicago based Balaban & Katz theatre chain (for showing the movie) on November 1, 1949. See more »
Roger Touhy (Preston Foster) and his gang are sent to jail for the kidnap of Joe Sutton (William Post Jr) thanks to the evidence given against them by former gang member 'Smoke' Reardon (Henry Morgan). A few years later, Reardon turns up in the same prison. Uh-oh. Touhy makes an escape with his gang but do they get away with it?
The cast are good, especially 'Troubles' (Frank Jenks), 'Owl' (Victor McLaglen) and Carroll (Anthony Quinn) as likable gang members. The film plays out at a good pace and whilst it is the story of a true life gangster, the events are not necessarily true to life. For example, although Touhy went to prison for kidnap, he was not actually involved in the crime and later released. The film portrays him as leading a kidnap. The facts don't matter (unless you are Roger Touhy) as it is a good story anyway. One minor criticism is that the film is quite dark in parts and difficult to make out. Still, I'm glad I bought it.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this