City Streets (1931)

80 or 83 mins | Melodrama | 18 April 1931

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HISTORY

Dashiell Hammett's story, his first original for the screen, was called "After School." This film marks stage actress Sylvia Sidney's screen debut. Early scripts list Clara Bow as "Nan," Juliette Compton as "Agnes," and Terrance Ray as "McCoy." Modern sources add the following production credits: Prod , E. Lloyd Sheldon; Ed , William Shea; Mus/Orch , Sidney Cutner; and Sd , J. A. Goodrich and M. M. Paggi. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Terry Carroll ( Esther March ), Edward Le Saint ( Shooting gallery patron ), Willard Robertson ( Detective ), Hal Price ( Shooting gallery onlooker ), Ethan Laidlaw ( Killer at prison ), George Regas ( Machine gunner ), Bob Kortman ( Servant ), Leo Willis ( Henchman ), Bill Elliott ( Dancer ), Allan Cavan ( Policeman ), Bert Hanlon ( Baldy ), Matty Kemp ( Man stabbed with fork ) and Kate Drain ... More Less

Dashiell Hammett's story, his first original for the screen, was called "After School." This film marks stage actress Sylvia Sidney's screen debut. Early scripts list Clara Bow as "Nan," Juliette Compton as "Agnes," and Terrance Ray as "McCoy." Modern sources add the following production credits: Prod , E. Lloyd Sheldon; Ed , William Shea; Mus/Orch , Sidney Cutner; and Sd , J. A. Goodrich and M. M. Paggi. Modern sources list the following additional cast members: Terry Carroll ( Esther March ), Edward Le Saint ( Shooting gallery patron ), Willard Robertson ( Detective ), Hal Price ( Shooting gallery onlooker ), Ethan Laidlaw ( Killer at prison ), George Regas ( Machine gunner ), Bob Kortman ( Servant ), Leo Willis ( Henchman ), Bill Elliott ( Dancer ), Allan Cavan ( Policeman ), Bert Hanlon ( Baldy ), Matty Kemp ( Man stabbed with fork ) and Kate Drain Lawson. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
19 Apr 31
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
10 Jan 31
p. 55.
Motion Picture Herald
11 Apr 31
p. 34.
New York Times
18 Apr 31
p. 17.
Variety
22 Apr 31
p. 19.
Variety
31-Oct-84
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DETAILS
Release Date:
18 April 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Publix Corp.
Copyright Date:
16 April 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2156
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
80 or 83
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Bootlegging chief Blackie is killed by Pop Cooley at the urging of Big Fella Maskal because Blackie was against Maskal's involvement with Blackie's gun moll Aggie. After Pop shoots Blackie, he passes the gun to his step-daughter Nan, and she naïvely takes the rap for her father, believing the mob will arrange for her acquittal. While in prison, Pop recruits Nan's straight boyfriend, "The Kid," a sharpshooter with the circus, into the illegal beer trade. When he visits Nan in a fur coat, she becomes terrified of his involvement with Pop's gang after witnessing a fellow inmate's mobster boyfriend being gunned down outside the prison gate the day the girl was to go home to him. Earlier, however, Nan had recommended The Kid take a job with her step-father so they would have enough money to marry. Having served her term, Nan is released safely into The Kid's arms, but returns home to find her father unrepentant and involved with a loose, gold-digging woman named Pansy. Maskal soon takes a strong liking to Nan and throws her a homecoming party, forcing her to dance with him all evening. When The Kid finally asserts his claim over Nan, Maskal threatens him, then later sends his thugs to kill him, but The Kid successfully disarms them, then goes after Maskal. Terrified her lover will be killed, Nan goes to Maskal to warn him and offers herself to him in exchange for The Kid's life. Aggie, now Maskal's mistress, shoots him with Nan's gun after he leaves her for Nan, and Nan is accused of murder. The Kid then names himself mob chief and escapes with ... +


Bootlegging chief Blackie is killed by Pop Cooley at the urging of Big Fella Maskal because Blackie was against Maskal's involvement with Blackie's gun moll Aggie. After Pop shoots Blackie, he passes the gun to his step-daughter Nan, and she naïvely takes the rap for her father, believing the mob will arrange for her acquittal. While in prison, Pop recruits Nan's straight boyfriend, "The Kid," a sharpshooter with the circus, into the illegal beer trade. When he visits Nan in a fur coat, she becomes terrified of his involvement with Pop's gang after witnessing a fellow inmate's mobster boyfriend being gunned down outside the prison gate the day the girl was to go home to him. Earlier, however, Nan had recommended The Kid take a job with her step-father so they would have enough money to marry. Having served her term, Nan is released safely into The Kid's arms, but returns home to find her father unrepentant and involved with a loose, gold-digging woman named Pansy. Maskal soon takes a strong liking to Nan and throws her a homecoming party, forcing her to dance with him all evening. When The Kid finally asserts his claim over Nan, Maskal threatens him, then later sends his thugs to kill him, but The Kid successfully disarms them, then goes after Maskal. Terrified her lover will be killed, Nan goes to Maskal to warn him and offers herself to him in exchange for The Kid's life. Aggie, now Maskal's mistress, shoots him with Nan's gun after he leaves her for Nan, and Nan is accused of murder. The Kid then names himself mob chief and escapes with Nan in a car with three of Maskal's men, who aim to kill him. By racing a train and maintaining high speeds, The Kid keeps himself alive until Nan pulls a gun on the men and disarms them. Dropping the thugs off with "no hard feelings," The Kid tells them he has quit the beer business, and he and Nan drive off. +

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

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