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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on August 09, 2012, 08:35:30 AM



Title: The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 09, 2012, 08:35:30 AM
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0031867/


The Roaring Twenties (1939)

PLOT SYNOPSIS AND CAST, COURTESY OF IMDB

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

James Cagney    ...   Eddie Bartlett
    Priscilla Lane    ...   Jean Sherman
    Humphrey Bogart    ...   George Hally
    Gladys George    ...   Panama Smith
    Jeffrey Lynn    ...   Lloyd Hart
    Frank McHugh    ...   Danny Green
    Paul Kelly    ...   Nick Brown
    Elisabeth Risdon    ...   Mrs. Sherman (as Elizabeth Risdon)
    Edward Keane    ...   Henderson (as Ed Keane)
    Joe Sawyer    ...   The Sergeant
    Joseph Crehan    ...   Michaels
    George Meeker    ...   Masters
    John Hamilton    ...   Judge
    Robert Elliott    ...   First Detective
    Eddy Chandler    ...   Second Detective (as Eddie Chandler)


This is one of my favorite gangster movies. The screenplay was based on an original story by Mark Hellinger, a journalist who claimed to have known a lot of gangsters during the Prohibition Era.

 The following text, signed by Hellinger, appears at the beginning of the movie.

"It may come to pass that, at some distant date, we will be confronted with another period similar to the one depicted in this photoplay. If that happens, I pray that the events, as dramatized here, will be remembered. In this film, the characters are composites of people I knew, and the situations are those that actually occurred. Bitter or sweet, most memories become precious as the years move on. This film is a memory - and I am grateful for it."


The movie begins with Eddie (Cagney), George (Bogie), and Lloyd (Jeffrey Lynn) meeting in a foxhole, in the trenches of France during World War I. Turns out that they all live in New York, and they eventually all meet after the war. Eddie finds that, like many returning vets, he is unable to get a job, and begins working as a bootlegger after meeting Panama Smith (Gladys George), a speakeasy owner based on Texas Guinan. Ultimately they connect with George Hally, who is a nasty bad guy. Lloyd is a good guy with a law degree, and runs the legal aspects of the business, but who is not cut out for life as a gangster... And Jean Sherman (Priscilla Lane) is the pretty young girl who wrote letters to Bogie on the battlefield, and then the boys finally meet her when they return from the war.


As a returning vet who turns to bootlegging cuz he has no options, Eddie is a sympathetic character, a much different sort of gangster than eg.  Cagney's Tom Power in The Public Enemy. Bogie's character George plays that role of brutal, nasty bad guy.


All the actors are good, IMO Cagney was the greatest gangster actor of all-time. There is something very touching about Panama Smith, the older woman who has feelings for Eddie, is past her prime, and even when she's washed up she seems to have the heart of gold. Very touching character.

IMO this is one of the two best WB 30's gangster films, along with The Public Enemy

9.5/10



Title: Re: The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 10, 2017, 02:08:20 AM
here is a great 2-minute vid of Ksenia Parkhatskaya (I assume she is a Russian dancer) dancing the Charleston - and what better thread to post it in than The Roaring Twenties'  ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QClP5XsQOo


Title: Re: The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Post by: cigar joe on April 10, 2017, 04:06:03 AM
here is a great 2-minute vid of Ksenia Parkhatskaya (I assume she is a Russian dancer) dancing the Charleston - and what better thread to post it in than The Roaring Twenties'  ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QClP5XsQOo

Nice


Title: Re: The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Post by: kjrwe on April 11, 2017, 05:58:12 PM
I adore this movie. Great storyline, superb acting, lovely soundtrack.

Last time I watched this (a few weeks ago), I saw this film as a bit of an historical piece as well. The different years during which the events take place are introduced with a voice-over and some historical clips. They give some info as to what was happening during the various years (WWI ending, ladies cutting their hair and shortening their skirts, Prohibition introduced, excessive gangster activity, the stock market crash, etc.). All this sure added to the film.

I've always loved James Cagney as a gangster. Bogart did a great job here, too, in a supporting role. The underrated Gladys George was spot-on, as usual. A pity that she isn't better remembered for her fine work in films. The others were great, too.