The Roaring Twenties (1939)

104 or 106 mins | Drama | 28 October 1939

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Cinematographer:

Ernest Haller

Editor:

Jack Killifer

Production Designer:

Max Parker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The World Moves On . According to the Var review, Mark Hellinger wrote the original story from his own personal experiences as a newspaper reporter in the 1920s. A news item in HR adds that 40 former bootleggers applied for the job of technical director on this film. The one finally chosen declined screen credit. The picture marked Raoul Walsh's directorial debut at Warners. It was included in the National Board of Review's "ten best" list of 1939. Modern sources add Fred Graham to the ... More Less

The working title of this film was The World Moves On . According to the Var review, Mark Hellinger wrote the original story from his own personal experiences as a newspaper reporter in the 1920s. A news item in HR adds that 40 former bootleggers applied for the job of technical director on this film. The one finally chosen declined screen credit. The picture marked Raoul Walsh's directorial debut at Warners. It was included in the National Board of Review's "ten best" list of 1939. Modern sources add Fred Graham to the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
16 Oct 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 39
pp. 5-6.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jul 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 39
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Oct 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
16 Oct 39
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
23 Sep 39
p. 58.
Motion Picture Herald
21 Oct 39
p. 38.
New York Times
11 Nov 39
p. 12.
Variety
25 Oct 39
p. 11.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Al Herman
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Jack L. Warner in charge of prod
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Orig story
Contr to trmt
Contr to scr const
Contr to scr const
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Orch arr
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The World Moves On
Release Date:
28 October 1939
Production Date:
began 10 July 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
28 October 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9193
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
104 or 106
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5576
SYNOPSIS

In France, as the Armistice is signed, three American soldiers speculate about their future. Eddie Bartlett believes that his old job as a garage mechanic awaits him, while George Hally, a saloon keeper, has no fears of the just enacted prohibition and Lloyd Hart, a law graduate, plans to take up the law. However, the America to which they return home has changed. Eddie finds his old job filled and,in the face of rampant unemployment, is forced to drive a cab. One night, he unwittingly delivers a package of liquor to Panama Smith, a nightclub hostess, and the two are arrested. Eddie refuses to testify against Panama, and out of gratitude, she pays his fine and backs him in the bootlegging business, where he soars to prosperity and power. While at a show one night, Eddie meets Jean Sherman, his penpal during the war who is now an aspiring singer, and falls in love, not realizing that the girl is interested in Lloyd, who is now working as Eddie's attorney. Another person from his war days comes back into his life when Eddie meets George while hijacking a load of liquor from bootlegger Nick Brown. The two old army pals become partners, but are destined to become enemies. Ruined in the stock market crash, Eddie goes back to driving a cab and meets Jean, who is now happily married to Lloyd. George, the object of a criminal investigation, learns that Lloyd, who is now employed in the district attorney's office, has gathered evidence against him, and sends a death warning to Jean, who appeals to Eddie for help. When Eddie goes to George to ... +


In France, as the Armistice is signed, three American soldiers speculate about their future. Eddie Bartlett believes that his old job as a garage mechanic awaits him, while George Hally, a saloon keeper, has no fears of the just enacted prohibition and Lloyd Hart, a law graduate, plans to take up the law. However, the America to which they return home has changed. Eddie finds his old job filled and,in the face of rampant unemployment, is forced to drive a cab. One night, he unwittingly delivers a package of liquor to Panama Smith, a nightclub hostess, and the two are arrested. Eddie refuses to testify against Panama, and out of gratitude, she pays his fine and backs him in the bootlegging business, where he soars to prosperity and power. While at a show one night, Eddie meets Jean Sherman, his penpal during the war who is now an aspiring singer, and falls in love, not realizing that the girl is interested in Lloyd, who is now working as Eddie's attorney. Another person from his war days comes back into his life when Eddie meets George while hijacking a load of liquor from bootlegger Nick Brown. The two old army pals become partners, but are destined to become enemies. Ruined in the stock market crash, Eddie goes back to driving a cab and meets Jean, who is now happily married to Lloyd. George, the object of a criminal investigation, learns that Lloyd, who is now employed in the district attorney's office, has gathered evidence against him, and sends a death warning to Jean, who appeals to Eddie for help. When Eddie goes to George to urge him not to harm Lloyd and Jean, George orders Eddie killed. Pulling a gun, Eddie shoots George, but then meets his own death at the hands of George's gunmen. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.