Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Day 333: The Roaring Twenties (1939) - Rank 3.5/5
Cagney, Bogart and bootlegging...what else need I say? Another period piece, designed to capture the spirit and essence of a certain era, similar to "Radio Days." However, the retrospective is a little less nostalgic that Allen's film or others of that ilk, which I mentioned in the review. The film seems intent on recreating many of the important historical events of the decade, but that dedication, while appreciated (speaking as one who has a penchant for the era), also distances it from emotion a bit more.
Centered around a WWI vet named Eddie Bartlett who becomes a prime time bootlegger(James Cagney), we get our proper tastes of the grand times that prohibition brought for the mob, tommyguns and all, as well as the cruelty of the stock market crash. Bartlett starts out as a lowly cab driver, struggling to make ends meet, but then he meets a dark dame with a hand in the underworld (the always welcome Gladys George) and after pairing up with a fellow former soldier (Bogart), teh booze and bullets flow like there's no tomorrow. The narrative disassociates the viewer from the primary characters a bit as I mentioned, but on the whole, considering the principle leads involved, it's hard for it to not hold your interest.
Watch the Trailer