Big City (1937)

75 or 80 mins | Drama | 3 September 1937

Director:

Frank Borzage

Producer:

Norman Krasna

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to a news item in HR , the "Jack Dempsey Sequence," was filmed by Clyde De Vinna in New York, under George Seitz's direction. The sequence featured many popular sports figures of the day portraying themselves. Jack Dempsey's restaurant was a popular New York restaurant in the 1930s. This was the first film of actress Ruth Hussey (1911--2005), who was listed in the CBCS, as one of the mayor's secretaries, under the name Ruth March. Hussey, who received her first onscreen credit in Madame X , released on 1 Oct 1937 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), was never billed onscreen as anything other than Ruth Hussey. ... More Less

According to a news item in HR , the "Jack Dempsey Sequence," was filmed by Clyde De Vinna in New York, under George Seitz's direction. The sequence featured many popular sports figures of the day portraying themselves. Jack Dempsey's restaurant was a popular New York restaurant in the 1930s. This was the first film of actress Ruth Hussey (1911--2005), who was listed in the CBCS, as one of the mayor's secretaries, under the name Ruth March. Hussey, who received her first onscreen credit in Madame X , released on 1 Oct 1937 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ), was never billed onscreen as anything other than Ruth Hussey. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
25 Aug 37
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Jun 37
p. 7.
Film Daily
30 Aug 37
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 37
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 37
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
26 Aug 37
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Aug 37
p. 33.
Motion Picture Herald
4 Sep 37
p. 40, 43
New York Times
17 Sep 37
p. 29.
Variety
15 Sep 37
p. 13.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Edward James Flanagan
Frank S. Hagney
Leigh DeLacy
Jack C. Grey
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Frank Borzage Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Jack Dempsey seq dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Jack Demspey seq photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
COSTUMES
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
Vocal coach for Russian chorus
SOUND
Rec dir
PRODUCTION MISC
DETAILS
Release Date:
3 September 1937
Production Date:
mid June--28 July 1937
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 August 1937
Copyright Number:
LP7387
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 80
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3613
SYNOPSIS

New York cabbie Joe Benton and his Russian-born wife Anna have a loving marriage, despite their constant teasing. Joe and Anna's brother, Paul Roya, are both independent cab drivers who are at odds with the large Comet Cab Company. After Paul is beaten up by some Comet cabbies, he decides to be a "double agent" and infiltrate the company. Beecher, a labor agitator, is hired by Comet to foment trouble among the independents and secretly works with Buddy, a friend of Joe and Paul's. On the night of Anna's birthday, Anna, who is pregnant, asks Buddy to take a raincoat to Paul, who is working late. When Buddy turns up at the garage, Beecher is angry with him for being there, then takes the box with the raincoat from him. Meanwhile, the night watchman finds a bomb in the garage and, seeing Paul there, thinks that he is the bomber. He then shoots and kills Paul just before the bomb goes off, terrifying Buddy, who did not know that he would be involved in serious violence. At the inquest, Beecher accuses Anna of transporting the bomb to Paul in the box with the raincoat. Though District Attorney Gilbert does not believe that Anna is involved in the bombing, he feels that Beecher will use the incident to his political advantage, and so decides that Anna should be deported. At Paul's funeral, government men try to take her away, but she escapes, aided by her friends. Because they do not want her to be deported, all of her friends decide to take turns hiding her from the authorities. After ... +


New York cabbie Joe Benton and his Russian-born wife Anna have a loving marriage, despite their constant teasing. Joe and Anna's brother, Paul Roya, are both independent cab drivers who are at odds with the large Comet Cab Company. After Paul is beaten up by some Comet cabbies, he decides to be a "double agent" and infiltrate the company. Beecher, a labor agitator, is hired by Comet to foment trouble among the independents and secretly works with Buddy, a friend of Joe and Paul's. On the night of Anna's birthday, Anna, who is pregnant, asks Buddy to take a raincoat to Paul, who is working late. When Buddy turns up at the garage, Beecher is angry with him for being there, then takes the box with the raincoat from him. Meanwhile, the night watchman finds a bomb in the garage and, seeing Paul there, thinks that he is the bomber. He then shoots and kills Paul just before the bomb goes off, terrifying Buddy, who did not know that he would be involved in serious violence. At the inquest, Beecher accuses Anna of transporting the bomb to Paul in the box with the raincoat. Though District Attorney Gilbert does not believe that Anna is involved in the bombing, he feels that Beecher will use the incident to his political advantage, and so decides that Anna should be deported. At Paul's funeral, government men try to take her away, but she escapes, aided by her friends. Because they do not want her to be deported, all of her friends decide to take turns hiding her from the authorities. After some time, the district attorney, supported by the mayor, decides to offer amnesty to cabbies if they voluntarily turn Anna in. No one takes advantage of the offer, but soon detectives follow Joe to the home of Jim and Sophie Sloan, who are currently hiding Anna. Though the detectives only find Grandpa Sloan in the house, they know that Anna has been there, and the district attorney decides that he will arrest all of the cabbies for the bombing. Anna cannot stand to think of her friends suffering to protect her, so she calls the mayor to see if his amnesty offer is still available. When he says yes, she tells him where she is staying and waits for the authorities. At the boat that will take her back to Europe, Joe comes to visit Anna and promises to meet her there, but she tells him that she wants him to stay in America. When he leaves, he and his friend, Mike Edwards, find Buddy and discover that he is being paid to keep quiet about the bombing. They then force him to come with them while they look for the mayor and the district attorney. They track the mayor down at Jack Dempsey's restaurant, where he and the district attorney are attending a banquet with a number of famous athletes. After Joe and Mike force Buddy to confess in front of the dignitaries, Joe pleads with the mayor to do something quickly to save Anna. Everyone at the banquet then rushes to the pier, where they arrive just before the boat is about to sail. As Anna is being taken away from the boat, she says that she is about to give birth and an ambulance is summoned. While she is giving birth, the Comet cabbies decide to teach the independent cabbies a lesson, and a fight breaks out in which the mayor, Dempsey and other athletes join Joe in teaching the Comet cabbies a lesson. A few days later, when Joe and Anna christen their baby, he is given dozens of names to honor all of their friends. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.