This fluke of a picture was originally a play by Arthur Arent for the Federal Theater Project before it was picked up for the movies by the New York outfit Excelsior, with backing from Paramount. McCormick's affable commie spearheads an agit-prop assault on firetrap housing conditions, with 14-year-old urchin Sidney Lumet holding midnight conversations with the Spirit of the Slums ('So they want to tear me down... I'll still be here after you're dead! Heh, heh, heh!'). But property baron Erickson has his conscience awakened by Sylvia Sidney, the rose of the tenements, and the film ends on a New Deal vision of capital and labour working together for a better tomorrow. A museum piece, dramatically crude, cinematically null, but with a still palpable sense of grievance.
- one third of a nation -
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Oliver HP Garrett, Dudley Murphy|