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 »
It's amazing to find a buzzword cult movie of the 1960s so utterly neglected 50 years later. True, "Roger Touhy, Gangster" was not numbered among the top ten, but it would certainly have made the 1960s' top thirty. Originally filmed as a 95-minute "A" feature and given a great publicity boost with an elaborate in-prison premiere in 1943, the movie came unstuck when the Hays Office demanded that 32 minutes be jettisoned. Although the events depicted all occurred in Touhy's real-life criminal career, the censors objected that this still gave no license to Fox to show such brutality on the screen. In order to placate the Hays Office, Fox made the cuts and then shot an extra two minutes with the Warden of Statesville Prison as an Epilogue. Even so, the movie still packs quite a punch in its shorn version. Director Robert Florey has handled his big-budget scenes with considerable flair. But while some scenes stagger the eye with their generous budget, other episodes (re-takes, perhaps?) have obviously been filmed on the cheap with some of the most incredible skimping ever perpetrated by a major studio.
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