×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

In Old Chicago

An elaborate and liberally budgeted entertainment, the pictorial climax is the Chicago fire of 1871. This portion envisaging mob panic, desperate efforts to stop the fire by dynamiting, etc, is highly effective.

With:
Tyrone Power Alice Faye Don Ameche Alice Brady Andy Devine Brian Donlevy

An elaborate and liberally budgeted entertainment, the pictorial climax is the Chicago fire of 1871. This portion envisaging mob panic, desperate efforts to stop the fire by dynamiting, etc, is highly effective.

It is historically cockeyed in the placement of its main characters, and its story [by Niven Busch] is mere rehash of corrupt political mismanagement of a growing American city. But as a film entertainment it is socko.

The O’Leary family plays the most important part in the story, even to the point where one of the sons is projected as mayor of the city at the time of the fire, and another is pictured as the dishonest political boss, saloonkeeper and villain.

First portion (80 minutes) carries the characters to the eve of the great fire. Scores of elaborate scenes establish the primitive type of architecture of the frame-built, rambling town with its unpaved, muddy streets. Most of the action is laid in gaudy saloons and beer halls. Chicago is pictured as a dirty and corrupt city, a Sodom on the brink, ready for the torch of annihilation. Second part contains views of the holocaust, and a devastating series of actual and processed shots.

Alice Brady and Alice Faye give the outstanding performances. Brady is Mrs O’Leary, an honest, hardworking laundress with a pleasing Irish brogue. Tyrone Power as the film’s heavy is good in his romantic scenes with Faye, who appears as a musical hall singer. Latter is especially effective when singing several musical numbers, tuned by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel, of which ‘In Old Chicago’ is the best. Don Ameche is a vehement political reformer and Brian Donlevy plays a dive keeper and crooked politician.

1937: Best Supp. Actress (Alice Brady), Assistant Director (Robert Webb).

Nominations: Best Picture, Original Story, Score, Sound

In Old Chicago

Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Henry King; Producer Darryl Zanuck; Screenplay Lamar Trotti, Sonya Levien; Camera Peverell Marley; Editor Barbara McLean; Music Louis Silvers (dir.); Art Director William Darling, Rudolph Sternad

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1938. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Tyrone Power Alice Faye Don Ameche Alice Brady Andy Devine Brian Donlevy

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content