10 user 3 critic

King of the Roaring 20's: The Story of Arnold Rothstein (1961)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 11 June 1961 (USA)
The story of flamboyant Prohibition-era gangster, gambler and bootlegger Arnold Rothstein.


Joseph M. Newman


Leo Katcher (book), Jo Swerling (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon




Complete credited cast:
David Janssen ... Arnold Rothstein
Dianne Foster ... Carolyn Green Rothstein
Jack Carson ... Timothy W. 'Big Tim' O'Brien
Diana Dors ... Madge
Dan O'Herlihy ... Detective Phil Butler
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Jim Kelly
Keenan Wynn ... Tom Fowler
William Demarest ... Henry Hecht
Regis Toomey ... Bill Baird
Robert Ellenstein ... Lenny
Tim Rooney ... Johnny Burke as Young Boy (as Timothy Rooney)
Murvyn Vye ... Williams
Jimmy Baird Jimmy Baird ... Arnold Rothstein as Young Boy (as Jim Baird)
Joseph Schildkraut ... Abraham Rothstein
Mickey Rooney ... Johnny Burke


Moving from one scam to another Arnold Rothstein quickly becomes rich, and settles into the life of owning big-town gambling joints. Along the way he falls in loves and marries, makes a life-long enemy of a cop on the take, and gradually becomes hardened even to his closest friends. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE ROARING 20S, THE VICE-RIDDEN YEARS OF THE JAZZ-MAD ERA! original lobby card-all caps) See more »


Biography | Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 June 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Cartas Marcaram Sua Morte See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tim Rooney (Young Johnny Burke) was the son of Mickey Rooney (Johnny Burke). See more »


[first lines]
receptionist: [answers the telephone] International Tobacco. Yes. Just a moment, please.
Arnold Rothstein: [Rothstein hands a card to the receptionist] I'd like to see Mr. Simmons, please.
receptionist: Oh yes, you're expected. Go right in.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Calculating Life
16 September 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Although Arnold Rothstein was a great deal older than David Janssen when he portrayed Rothstein in King Of The Roaring Twenties, he does deliver a good performance as the rather bloodless Rothstein who had the heart of a calculating machine. He came by that personality by being a mathematical genius as a child and deciding to apply his talents in the best way calculated to make money. Rothstein in real life and Janssen on the screen spent their lives calculating.

In fact the title is something of a misnomer because Rothstein being born in 1882 to a respectable middle class Jewish family with father played in the film by Joseph Schildkraut, started his career way before the Roaring Twenties set in. His most famous exploit, the fixing of the 1919 World Series is certainly before the Twenties, but when Prohibition came in, Rothstein saw the possibilities.

The characters in the film are mostly fictional and in some cases pseudonyms are used. Jack Carson's farewell big screen role as Tammany politician Tim O'Brien is more than likely based on Jimmy Hines, later convicted by Thomas E. Dewey. Carson is always good in any film he's in.

The two supporting players who stand out are Dan O'Herlihy as a fictional rogue cop who was taking payoffs back when Janssen was a kid and Mickey Rooney who was the best in the film as Rothstein's boyhood pal who meets a tragic end. The women in Rothstein's life are Dianne Foster and British bombshell Diana Dors who do well as typical Roaring Twenties flappers.

The film has the look and feel of The Untouchables TV series which spawned a revival of the gangster films, this time using the real names of the public enemies. The smartest one of them all Arnold Rothstein might well have been called, King Of The Roaring Twenties.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Recently Viewed