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The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties

1939
Drama, Suspense/Thriller
1h 46m
After the WWI Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging... (imdb)
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The Roaring Twenties

1939
Drama, Suspense/Thriller
1h 46m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 68.6% from 429 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(429)
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Rated 19 Jun 2016
84
84th
Cagney and bogart are great. Cagney plays the traditional man forced by circumstance to twist himself convincingly and sympathetically. Dialogue is good, every scene has life. Wellpaced and even if the story is predictable its still a great piece of entertainment.
Rated 16 Nov 2014
84
77th
Bogart has some good moments, but it's the Cagney show all the way. What's so good about his performance is that he can sell the whole gamut from war despair to good bloke done wrong to prohibition kingpin and beyond, making the inevitable downfall and the surrounding themes particularly effective. His character is sympathetic without ever being denied the agency of being the instrument of his own downfall. It's a fine line to balance both for a script and an actor, and not many do it as well.
Rated 05 Mar 2011
75
77th
Quite good but never great. I prefer Bogart to Cagney for sure.
Rated 20 Dec 2006
74
50th
I was hoping for more Bogart. I still don't like Cagney that much, but he's better in this film than in White Heat. I really don't have any strong opinions about the movie one way or another... I didn't love it, but nothing about it annoyed me or bored me.
Rated 18 Jul 2009
82
81st
lots of great action augmented by some poor (but short) singing sequences, a dicey second half, but strong finish, and some of bogart's best work. i was happy with cagney, and the other actors. my main complaint is some hot/cold editing, but this movie is overall impressive considering how much gunplay it has compared to its peers.
Rated 09 Jan 2013
92
93rd
A melodrama where everything works, nothing is wasted.
Rated 22 Nov 2009
72
76th
Cagney is a force that would intimidate modern audiences. The precursor to Goodfellas.
Rated 04 Dec 2012
68
34th
adamlar 1918'de dünyaya demokrasi götürmekten bahsediyor daha açılışta. gerisi izlenmese de olur.
Rated 24 Feb 2016
15
81st
Star Rating: ★★★★
Rated 18 Sep 2022
82
79th
When people talk about 1939 as the best year for cinema or the best of Bogart and Cagney, I rarely hear this film mentioned, this is a very, very good picture with both Cagney and Bogart in fine form and a good supporting cast (including Bogart--who is definitely secondary to Cagney here). More subtle than a lot of Cagney gangster roles, which is interesting to see. Really good.
Rated 13 Dec 2009
64
69th
One of the best gangster film's of the 30's. In his first film for WB Raoul Walsh choose docu-melodrama style of narrative, and tells the story of the whole decade, rather of one individual. Protagonist is portrayed as a victim of social conditions, not a criminal by choice. Made under the Hays code where the only ending gangster movie could have was the death of criminals, it is distinguishable by good acting, production values and directing, that goes way above 'director-for-hire" standard.
Rated 25 Aug 2010
80
81st
It was good fun to see an early version of the relatively recent gangster movies (like Goodfellas) that I grew up with. Cagney is decent in the lead, and Bogart playing a crook works really well.
Rated 02 Dec 2011
53
6th
#936
Rated 22 Oct 2011
35
90th
"An epochal rise-and-fall epic of the gangster cycle." - Eric Henderson
Rated 29 Feb 2012
90
85th
A classic. This is a great piece of film which not only works on you as crime story but as a deep well of historical facts, knowledge and cultural life of a pre-war America. Wonderful how this kind of movies can be so enthralling and not too cruel at the same time.
Rated 04 Jun 2015
80
99th
The Public Enemy 2.
Rated 30 May 2011
79
34th
It's good, but I didn't feel it stood apart enough from Cagney's other gangster stuff. Should re-watch.
Rated 24 Dec 2008
87
71st
Great film, working with three characters (one good, one in the middle and one bad- naturally Bogie!). Cagney is the star of the film and carries it extremely well. Gladys George also gives a great performance.
Rated 11 Oct 2010
60
40th
a fantastic film hampered only by the ending foolishness of bogart's character, and the silliness of the narrator who insists upon telling rather than showing. great stuff by both bogart and cagney; the singer adds a great feminine touch; and gladys george is a snarky, entertaining lil' devil.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
60
62nd
Classic.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
89
57th
Cagney's return to the gangster pictures has a pretty formulaic structure: a fall from grace following WWI, Cagney treads to keep his neck above water until he becomes a highfalutin gangster running a liquor racket. Watch as he sweats bullets when the cops lean on him hard.
Rated 16 Jan 2010
52
4th
968
Rated 28 Nov 2008
74
69th
I thought this could have been better. I'm not sure how, but there was something missing here that limited my enjoyment -- maybe the themes are just too dated and haven't aged well.
Rated 31 Aug 2014
85
81st
Maybe my favorite Cagney performance so far? He brings a more gentle side to his more manic gangster airs, but he still reveals that intensity at times.
Rated 28 Jul 2015
78
63rd
A good story with decent pacing and acting. The moral of the story, although clearly pushed, is too general and not coherent enough to be convincing.
Rated 09 Apr 2009
75
82nd
Among the last of the Warner gangster cycle, this was perhaps the best production of them all, despite the familiar plot line: stars and studio were in cracking form.
Rated 19 Feb 2024
70
63rd
Cagney is pretty terrific in his complex role, and stands out among a range of far less compelling characters. The pace is fast, and in charting so much history makes for a gripping ride that doesn't skip many beats. At the same time there's something missing in the detached and facile way that they all get chewed up and spit out, but maybe such heartlessness is appropriate for this tale.
Rated 01 Feb 2010
93
91st
A homage to the great gangster films almost a decade later. Cagney's performance is first rate, and Gladys George and Bogart are fine in support.
Rated 11 May 2010
90
94th
Something about this really clicked with me and I was engaged and entertained all the way through.
Rated 24 Jan 2015
2
21st
The text is often downright terrible. Cagney is decent, and this film isn't a moralization piece, but it lacks gusto. It feels sterile and boring.
Rated 15 Oct 2018
82
77th
Oh Cagney, Cagney, always getting your cocky self into too much trouble. Good stuff, I love it. Bogart sweetens the deal; however, to see him in the end cowering and sniveling on the other end of Cagney's gat just doesn't work. That just ain't Bogey.
Rated 18 Oct 2018
75
84th
Cagney & Bogart play well off of each other and each scene they're in together is a highlight. The documentary voice over worked well but I think the movie would've been better without it.
Rated 07 Mar 2021
75
44th
You know exactly where this is going to end up the second it begins, and it makes it's way there fairly unremarkably until the third act where the egotistical kingpin is brought down not by a hail of bullets but by the 1929 stock market crash. The brief post-crash coda is the most interesting part of the film until it resumes the usual course and Cagney ends up dead. Stick with the pre-code 'Public Enemy's instead.
Rated 06 Feb 2019
78
69th
Good gangster movie about the rise and fall of a gangster during the prohibition era. Cagney sells every stage his character goes trough (which not many actors can). Bogart is great in his supporting role.
Rated 14 Mar 2019
90
77th
89.50
Rated 12 Oct 2019
70
81st
A cold and collected James Cagney in this one, ruthless and somewhat reckless in his classic gangster portrayal. Albeit supporting cast, Bogart has formidable screen presence, although shadowed by Cagney's neverending energy. Gladys George is the silent star here: gorgeous in her passing beauty and forlorn hope, every expression filled with a million unsaid words and deep longing that's been long accepted. A good sing sequence from Priscilla Lane too.
Rated 06 Jul 2020
70
44th
James Cagney's character is hard to like - as is just about everyone in this. Well made as gangster movies go, however, with a memorable ending. Gladys George as Panama was a stand-out I thought.
Rated 15 Oct 2020
65
56th
Good performances, but nothing much else.

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