Monday, February 6, 2017

The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties is yet another compelling James Cagney lead gangster movie. This one seeking a slightly larger scope, in terms of time frame, than a few of his others depicting a former World War I veteran being forced into crime during the depression. This film I will say has a plenty going for it, another strong turn by Cagney which allows us to sympathize with his downfall, even while being a great tough guy as usual, a more interesting supporting turn by Gladys George as his female cohort, and Humphrey Bogart, still in full heel mode, as a untrustworthy and psychotic partner in crime. Raoul Walsh as usual has a real panache for this type of story. He keeps the pace, except for a few I'm sure contractually obligated Priscilla Lane song numbers, but also keeps a real investment in the story. Walsh makes us truly care about this guy, he never judges Cagney's Eddie, even if the code basically required him to treat him rather poorly. The film never forgets the tragedy of adrift veteran though particularly in the final scenes of the film which carry quite the emotional impact.

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