The Roaring Twenties

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Time Out says

Marvellously mixing semi-documentary aspects with traditional genre motifs, Walsh's archetypal gangster thriller follows the fates of three WWI doughboys who return to an America plagued with unemployment: while Lynn goes straight, Cagney's the good guy reluctantly drawn into bootlegging and killing by a ruthless Bogart, and forever pining for good girl Lane while ignoring the attentions of George's tart-with-a-heart. Most impressive for its frantic pace and its suggestion that in times of Depression almost everyone is corruptible, it's also a perverse elegy to a decade of upheaval: that sense of sadness and waste is perfectly encapsulated by George's final line, laconically pronounced over Cagney's corpse, 'He used to be a big shot'.
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Release details

UK release:

1939

Duration:

106 mins

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