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Roaring Twenties, The (Warner 1939, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart)



The Roaring Twenties was a summation of the Warner tough-guy gangster movies of the ’30s depicts the entire Prohibition era in the rise and fall of three WWI doughboys.

James Cagney tries to return to the taxi business he loves, but gets involved in bootlegging. Humphrey Bogart, an icy killer, first becomes a Cagney lieutenant, then ascends to the top of the rackets as Cagney becomes a down-and-outer. The third buddy (Jeffrey Lynn) first makes a mark as Cagney’s attorney, then becomes a crusading D.A. When Lynn turns his investigators on Bogart, Cagney comes to the aid of the woman he still loves (Priscilla Lane), though she’s married to Lynn, and asks Bogart to spare Lynn’s life.

At the end of the climactic confrontation, both gangsters, the kingpin and the one ‘who used to be a big shot,’ die violent deaths. Walsh punctuates the decade with a brisk, brilliant look back at a lawless time that created the mythology of the gangster.

The Roaring Twenties was a breakthrough film for director Raoul Walsh. With this movie, he emerged as a great action director, capable also of emotional subtlety and psychological profundity.

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Raoul Walsh Producer: Samuel Bischoff Original Story: Mark Hellinger Director of Photography: Ernest Haller Editor: Jack Killifer Composers: Ray Heindorf, Heinz Roemheld

production details
USA | Warner Bros. | 104 minutes | 1939

Director: Raoul Walsh
Script: Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, Robert Rossen, Mark Hellinger,

Kernan Cripps as Cop
Harry C. Bradley as Restaurant Patron
Humphrey Bogart as George Hally
Stuart Holmes as Taxi Passenger
Eddie Acuff as Cabbie
Billy Wayne as Cabbie at Grand Central
Fred Graham as Henchman Eddie Pushes Over Railing
Sayre Dearing as Nightclub Patron
Cyril Ring as Charlie
Jack Mower as Guard
Paul Kelly as Nick Brown
John Ridgely as Cabbie at Grand Central
Frank Wilcox as Cabbie at Grand Central
Al Hill as 1st Ex-Con
Oscar O’Shea as
Ben Welden as Tavern Proprietor
George Meeker as Masters
Bert Hanlon as Pianist
Arthur Loft as Still Proprietor
Clay Clement as Bramfield
Sam Harris as Nightclub Patron
Joe Devlin as Order-Taker
King Mojave as Nightclub Patron
James Cagney as Eddie Bartlett
Priscilla Lane as Jean Sherman
Gladys George as Panama Smith
Jeffrey Lynn as Lloyd Hart
Frank McHugh as Danny Green
Elisabeth Risdon as Mrs. Sherman
Edward Keane as Henderson
Joe Sawyer as The Sergeant
Joseph Crehan as Michaels
John Hamilton as Judge
Robert Elliott as First Detective
Eddy Chandler as Second Detective
Abner Biberman as Henchman
Vera Lewis as Mrs. Gray
John Deering as voice
Robert Armstrong as Hatted Passerby Before Nightclub (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict as Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Nat Carr as Waiter (uncredited)
Glen Cavender as Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Maurice Costello as (uncredited)
Bess Flowers as Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee as Cabbie (uncredited)
Frank Mayo as (uncredited)
Ernie Alexander as Bootleg Customer
Murray Alper as Fletcher’s Mechanic
Raymond Bailey as 2nd Ex-Con
James Blaine as Club Doorman
Max Blum as Nightclub Patron
Wade Boteler as Policeman in Speakeasy
Al Bridge as Ship Captain
Paul Bryar as Gangster
Ann Codee as Saleswoman
James Conaty as Nightclub Patron
Ray Cooke as Orderly (uncredited)
Calvin Coolidge as Himself (archive footage)
Charles Corrigan as
Alan Davis as Vermont Man in Speakeasy
Robert Dobson as Lieutenant
Bill Elliott as Bootlegger
James Flavin as
Curt Furburg as Nightclub Patron
Creighton Hale as Customer
Carl Harbaugh as Street-Cleaner
John Harron as Soldier
Eddie Hart as Store Doorman
Lew Harvey as 3rd Ex-Con
Oscar ‘Dutch’ Hendrian as First Mate
Al Herman as Gorman Gin-Taster
Herbert Heywood as Pop
Adolf Hitler as Himself (archive footage)
Harry Hollingsworth as
Herbert Hoover as Himself (archive footage)
George Humbert as Luigi
Lloyd Ingraham as Official in Montage
Michael Jeffers as Joe – The Bartender
Jane Jones as Singing Trio Member
Mel Kalish as Singing Trio Member
Don Thaddeus Kerr as Bobby Hart
Donald Kerr as Cabbie
Reid Kilpatrick as Announcer
Mike Lally as Gangster
Alfred Linder as Foreman
George Lloyd as Singing Trio Member
Charles Marsh as Timid Man
Philip Morris as Policeman
Benito Mussolini as Himself (archive footage)
Wendell Niles as Himself – Announcer
Field Norton as Nightclub Patron
Jack Norton as Drunk at Henderson Club
Wedgwood Nowell as Nightclub Patron
Pat O’Malley as Jailer
David Oliver as
Emory Parnell as
William Pawley as Cabdriver
Lee Phelps as Bailiff
Paul Phillips as Mike
John J. Richardson as Sleeping Train Passenger
Warren Rock as Gangster
Franklin D. Roosevelt as
Don Rowan as Gangster
Hector V. Sarno as Warehouse Boss
Cliff Saum as Train Conductor
Jeffrey Sayre as Order-Taker
Bruce Sidney as Nightclub Patron
John St. Clair as
Amzie Strickland as Nightclub Patron
Charles Sullivan as Freighter Crew Member
Elliott Sullivan as Eddie’s Cellmate
Westbrook Van Voorhis as Himself – Narrator
Max Wagner as
Dick Wessel as Fletcher’s Mechanic
Leo White as Nightclub Patron
Lottie Williams as Restaurant Patron
Norman Willis as Bootlegger
Charles C. Wilson as Policeman