In Old Chicago
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Theatrical Version (96 min.)
Roadshow Version (109 min.)
Additional Release Material:
Bonus Shorts - MovieTone News (4 Segments)
Biography - Don Ameche
As much as I have always loved this Best Picture Oscar nominee, I have always been very disappointed never to have seen the original, longer "roadshow version", which includes almost fourteen minutes of additional footage. Finally, after years of waiting, it appears that my chance to see the entire movie in all its glory will be coming with the DVD release of this movie from Fox Home Video. As noted above, the disc will be two-sided, and will contain both versions of the film ... the familiar "Theatrical" version which has played on television all these years, and the rarely screened original "Roadshow" edition which was a box office smash ... and earned Alice Brady the Best Supporting Actress Oscar back in 1937. Thank you in advance, Fox Home Video ... this is exactly the type of consumer-friendly offering that will earn you the loyalty and financial support of classic movie connoiseurs!
Based on the story by Niven Busch, "In Old Chicago", centres it's story around the O'Leary family in particular brothers Dion (Tyrone Power), and Jack (Don Ameche). The two brothers are as different as night and day with Dion becoming a shady business man running a gambling saloon in Chicago's non respectable area called The Patch, while Jack becomes a respectable lawyer determined to improve the image of Chicago by removing it's unsavoury elements. Dion falls for singer Belle Fawcett (Alice Faye), who also has the eye of corrupt businessman Gil Warren (Brian Donlevy), and after sweepign her off her feet involves her in running a new business in direct opposition to Gil. Gil however wants to gain political power and engages Dion's support in his race to be mayor.Read more ›
Seeing the roadshow version of the film makes one wonder why Fox bothered to put the shorter version on the DVD because you may never view it again. All of a sudden, the dramatic portions of the film make better sense, with the smooth continuity of a Henry King directed film and notably missing from the shorter version. All the principals' performances improve too because what seemed quite superficial now has more depth. For example, instead of being told Don Ameche is an honest lawyer, we SEE him in action; instead of being told Tyrone Power is a crook, we SEE him offering bribes. Power, in particular, is very convincing as the charming Irish rogue.
The story is a corny tale of the Irish O'Leary family and has that hokey quality which undermined a lot of Fox's big productions. By the time you have heard for the third time that "We O'Learys are a strange tribe", you can almost hope that they suffer some unspeakable death when the fire starts! Alice Faye plays Belle Fawcett, the dance hall attraction whom the crooked Power marries. This was Faye's bid for major stardom when she replaced Jean Harlow who died just before production began. Faye is diffident at first but Henry King coaxed her along and her confidence grows. The film was a great success for her.Read more ›
Alice Brady won an Academy award for her portrayel of Mrs. O'Leary, the owner of the infamous cow and mother of the O'Leary clan. Her performance is sentimental and tough, and her award richly deserved.
The trio of Tyrone Power, Don Ameche and Alice Faye hit it off with memorable characters. Ameche is the honest, hard-working brother who means to make Chicago as good a place as he can. Power gives a splendid performance as the charming but rotten brother whose power in Chicago is both impressive and abused. Faye is the singer caught between them, alternately loving and hating Power along with the rest of us.
This is a wonderful example of the universal tale in which rascals can always be redeemed and cities are never burnt forever. A classic from the silver screen era, with lovely music and an unforgettable climax. Haunting in its tragedy, inspiring for the human story behind it.
A must-see, for any silver-screen fan.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love anything with Tyrone, but good lord was the ending terrible. I understand it was one of the earlier "talkies", but come on :(Published 7 months ago by Cheyenna Clouse
A good classic.good cast. I highly recommend it. I bought it on kindle. On Chicago fire.Published 9 months ago by Kindle Customer
While a bit over acted and melodramatic, this film has some wonderful moments. Alice Faye sings some great songs and the Great Chicago Fire scene at the end of the film is amazing. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Marli Lopez
Another disaster classic with Oscar-winning special effects, this is the one about the great Chicago fire caused by the cow kicking over the milk bucket. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Ronald Adams
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