In Old Chicago

In Old Chicago

Director: Henry King

Cast: Henry King, Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche

     
 

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In Old Chicago was 20th Century-Fox's spin on MGM's San Francisco--a personal saga played out against the backdrop of a famous 19th Century disaster. Alice Brady plays Mrs. O'Leary, a widow who brings her two young boys to the sleepy village of Chicago. As the city grows in prominence and prestige, so do the boys: One son (Tyrone Power) becomes a rascalSee more details below

Overview

In Old Chicago was 20th Century-Fox's spin on MGM's San Francisco--a personal saga played out against the backdrop of a famous 19th Century disaster. Alice Brady plays Mrs. O'Leary, a widow who brings her two young boys to the sleepy village of Chicago. As the city grows in prominence and prestige, so do the boys: One son (Tyrone Power) becomes a rascal who dreams of creating his own entertainment empire, while the other son (Don Ameche) matures into an honest, straight-laced lawyer. Both boys woo a beautiful singer (Alice Faye), who favors the more reckless of the two. As the headstrong son gains control of the more disreputable forms of Chicago entertainment, the serious son becomes the city's Mayor. The requisite rivalry between the two reaches a fever pitch just before their mother's cow knocks over a lantern and sets off the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The O'Leary boys unite in trying to fight the conflagration and rescue the populace; the mayor dies, and the wastrel son vows to mend his ways and help build a "new" Chicago. In Old Chicago is climaxed spectacularly by the famous fire, a masterwork of special effects courtesy of 20th Century-Fox's Fred Sersen. The film, which originally ran 115 minutes, is currently available only in its shorter (and better paced) reissue version.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Henry King's In Old Chicago is usually thought of as 20th Century Fox's attempt to emulate and outdo MGM's San Francisco, but its origins go back much further than that. The movie actually owes a great deal more, in story and structure, to The Bowery (1931), the first movie that Darryl F. Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures ever released. Both movies build colorful fiction around historical characters and celebrate a boisterous if sometimes dangerous past in ways that pushed the envelope of good taste, even in their own time. In lieu of Wallace Beery and George Raft, we have Tyrone Power and Brian Donlevy as the primary antagonists who, in this case, battle to the near-death of their city. The movie benefits considerably from opulent production values and a solid supporting performance from Alice Faye as a woman who is convincingly vivacious enough to turn the heads of several key male characters; and Alice Brady adding a memorable turn as the well-intended but ill-fated Mrs. O'Leary, mother of two of the protagonists. Don Ameche also gives a rich, rounded performance as Power's straightarrow brother, and Andy Devine adds some comic grace notes while Rondo Hatton -- with some lines of dialogue, no less -- is hanging about in the background adding menace to the proceedings. And even seven decades later, it seems as though no expense was spared on the climactic fire or the depiction of its aftermath, which is as impressive a screen spectacle as anything seen before Gone With the Wind's burning of Atlanta. Little of what we see is, strictly speaking, accurate or real -- certainly in the drama -- but watching this movie even 70 years later, it sort of makes you wish the reality of life leading up to the Great Chicago Fire had been this much fun.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/09/2005
UPC:
0024543178804
Original Release:
1938
Rating:
NR
Source:
20Th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; "Road Show" (Extended) and theatrical versions; "Don Ameche: Hollywood's Class Act" as seen on Biography® on the A&E network; Movietone news footage (Film premieres, Hollywood spotlights); Full frame format (Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1); Audio: English Stereo, English Mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tyrone Power Dion O'Leary
Alice Faye Belle Fawcett
Don Ameche Jack O'Leary
Alice Brady Molly O'Leary
Andy Devine Pickle Bixby
Brian Donlevy Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks Ann Colby
Tom Brown Bob O'Leary
Sidney Blackmer Gen. Phil Sheridan
Berton Churchill Senator Colby
June Storey Gretchen O'Leary
Paul Hurst Mitch
Tyler Brooke Specialty Singer
J. Anthony Hughes Patrick O'Leary
Gene Reynolds Dion O'Leary (younger)
Bobs Watson Bob O'Leary (younger)
Billy Watson Jack as a Boy,Jack O'Leary (younger)
Spencer Charters Beavers
Rondo Hatton Rondo, Bodyguard
Ruth Gillette Miss Lou
Eddie Collins Drunk
Scotty Mattraw Beef King
Charles Lane Booking Agent
Frank Dae Judge
Harry Stubbs Fire Commissioner
Joe King Ship's Captain
Francis Ford Driver
Robert Murphy Police Officer
Wade Boteler Police Officer
Gustav von Seyffertitz Man in Jack's Office
Russell Hicks Man in Jack's Office
Ed Brady Wagon Driver
Harry Hayden Johnson, Secretary
Vera Lewis Witness
Minerva Urecal Frantic Mother
Sul Te Wan Hattie
Clarence H. Wilson Lawyer

Technical Credits
Henry King Director
Niven Busch Screenwriter
Sidney Clare Songwriter
William S. Darling Art Director
Mack Gordon Songwriter
Eugene Grossman Sound/Sound Designer
Ralph Hammeras Special Effects
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Sonya Levien Screenwriter
Thomas K. Little Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Kenneth MacGowan Associate Producer
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
Barbara McLean Editor
Lew Pollack Costumes/Costume Designer
Harry Revel Songwriter
Royer Costumes/Costume Designer
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Louis Silvers Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Rudolph Sternad Art Director
Lamar Trotti Screenwriter
Robert Webb Asst. Director
Louis J. White Special Effects
Darryl F. Zanuck Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- In Old Chicago, Side A
1. Main Titles [1:23]
2. Chicago Bound [5:08]
3. Mud and Soap [3:38]
4. Molly's Boys [4:29]
5. Grand Plans [:23]
6. Belle Fawcett [1:24]
7. Sweet Charity [3:30]
8. Belle's Boudoir [4:40]
9. In Old Chicago [2:54]
10. Backroom Deal [1:29]
11. Dion's Scheme [4:04]
12. O'Leary for Mayor [4:40]
13. Molly and Belle [2:06]
14. Campaign [1:53]
15. Double-Cross [2:31]
16. Reform [6:14]
17. A Wife's Testimony [4:34]
18. Fire in the Patch! [:27]
19. A City in Flames [2:52]
20. Brothers United [5:11]
21. Stampede [4:28]
22. River Refuge [2:25]
23. From ASh to Steel [4:40]
24. End Titles [4:01]
Side #2 -- In Old Chicago, Side B
1. Main Titles [1:23]
2. Chicago Bound [5:08]
3. Mud and Soap [3:38]
4. Molly's Boys [4:29]
5. Grand Plans [:23]
6. Belle Fawcett [1:24]
7. Sweet Charity [3:30]
8. Belle's Boudoir [4:40]
9. In Old Chicago [2:54]
10. Backroom Deal [1:29]
11. Dion's Scheme [4:04]
12. O'Leary for Mayor [4:40]
13. Molly and Belle [2:06]
14. Campaign [1:53]
15. Double-Cross [2:31]
16. Reform [6:14]
17. A Wife's Testimony [4:34]
18. Fire in the Patch! [:27]
19. A City in Flames [2:52]
20. Brothers United [5:11]
21. Stampede [4:28]
22. River Refuge [2:25]
23. From ASh to Steel [4:40]
24. End Titles [4:01]

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