Lyrics by Lorenz
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by M.G.M.
Directed by W.S. Van Dyke
Starring: Clark Gable, William Powell,
Myrna Loy, Leo Carrillo, Isabel Jewell, Mickey Rooney and Nat Pendleton
Two boyhood pals grows up and find themselves on opposite side of the law:
a persecuting attorney and a racketeer. Further complicating their lives
is the woman they both love.
Boyhood pals remain adult friends though one is a gangster and the other
a D.A. (a plot device reused many times). What might be unbearably corny
is top entertainment, thanks to this star trio and a director with gusto.
Arthur Caesar's original story won an Oscar. Footnoted in American history
as the film John Dillinger saw just before being gunned down at the Biograph
Theatre in Chicago. Also shown in computer-colored version.
Leonard Maltin Review: 3 stars out of 4
The film made famous when Public Enemy No. 1, John
Dillinger, went to see Clark Gable in it (as Blackie, a gangster who strode
to the electric chair with a smile on his face) and was shot down as he
It's a deluxe melodrama. Gable and William
Powell play boyhood friends from the slums who grow up on what Hollywood
writers used to call "opposite sides of the law." In the climax, Powell,
the District Attorney, must prosecute his old friend, who gallantly dies
rather than allow Powell to jeopardize his career.
Despite the heavy moralizing tone, the picture
holds one's interest; Powell manages to get his conflicting emotions across,
and he has an unusual rapport with Myrna Loy, the woman both men love. (Powell
and Loy were then teamed and made THE THIN MAN later that year.) Produced
by David O. Selznick and directed by W.S. Van Dyke, it was originally released
by MGM as one of their Cosmopolitan Productions (which meant a William Randolph
Hearst production), but after the Dillinger shooting, Hearst, who was sensitive
to any hint of scandal or notoriety, had the Cosmopolitan credit deleted.
The cast includes Leo Carrillo, Isabel Jewell,
the one-man goon squad Nat Pendleton, Leonid Kinskey playing a Trotskyite,
and Mickey Rooney playing Clark Gable as a 12-year-old. The screenplay involved
at least four writers (Oliver H.P. Garrett, Rowland Brown, Joseph L. Mankiewicz,
Pete Smith), working from Arthur Caesar's Academy Award-winnign screen story.
Cinematography by James Wong Howe; Shirley
Ross appears in a set that is meant to represent the Cotton Club, singing
"The Bad in Every Man"-a song by Rodgers and Hart that later got new lyrics
and became "Blue Moon."
33" nowrap> On TV
Wed May 5 04:00A on Turner Classic Movie Eastern Time Zone Used