Nan, a racketeer’s daughter, is in love with The Kid, a shooting gallery showman. Despite Nan’s prodding, The Kid has no ambitions about joining the rackets and making enough money to support Nan in the lifestyle she’s accustomed to. Her attitude changes after her father implicates her in a murder and she’s sent to prison. During her incarceration, her father convinces The Kid to join the gang in order to help free Nan. When Nan is released, she wants nothing more to do with the mob and tries to get The Kid to quit, but she may be too late. —IMDb
With the possible exception of Stanley Kubrick, no director who worked in the Hollywood studio system ever exerted more influence over the entire field of film, and the sensibilities of audiences, than Rouben Mamoulian. With an output of a mere 16 movies across just 30 years, the Russian-born Armenian-descended Mamoulian, working as director and producer much of the time, managed to generate an array of classic films in the musical, dramatic, and action-adventure fields, and was also involved in the planning and all but the final direction of three renowned Hollywood films.
Rouben Mamoulian was born in Tbilisi — which was 60-percent Armenian at the time — in Russian Georgia, in 1897. He attended university in Moscow, studying law, no less, when he decided to join the Second Studio at the Moscow Art Theater, where he studied under Vakhtangov. It was during Mamoulian’s early training as an actor and a director that he learned the importance of rhythm — structural rhythm — in creating… read more
In about 80 minutes, this movie packs what modern gangster pictures take hours to show. Some of it may be a bit shallower, a bit more naive than others--like the gangsters in Sonatine, Gary Cooper plays the gangster as a child--but Hammett's cynicism unveils the treacheries in human interactions, especially when money is involved. (granted, this is an underworld picture, so generalizations may be inappropriate)
A rare Wellman one-sheet is discovered as part of a treasure-trove of early sound, pre-Code film posters in an attic in Pennsylvania.