Tom Powers and Matt Doyle are best friends and fellow gangsters, their lives frowned upon by Tom’s straight laced brother, Mike, and Matt’s straight laced sister, Molly. From their teen-aged years into young adulthood, Tom and Matt have an increasingly lucrative life, bootlegging during the Prohibition era. But Tom in particular becomes more and more brazen in what he is willing to do, and becomes more obstinate and violent against those who either disagree with him or cross him. When one of their colleagues dies in a freak accident, a rival bootlegging faction senses weakness among Tom and Matt’s gang, which is led by Paddy Ryan. A gang war ensues, resulting in Paddy suggesting that Tom and Matt lay low. But because of Tom’s basic nature, he decides instead to take matters into his own hands. —IMDb
William A.Wellman, the Oscar-winning director-screenwriter producer, was nicknamed “Wild Bill” because his larger-than life personality was as dynamic and freewheeling as one of his movies. TCM’s salute to this film legend includes a revised version of Richard Schickel’s The Men Who Made the Movies: William Wellman,made in 1973 and now updated with new interview material, re-mastered footage and a new narration by director Sydney Pollack. Joining host Robert Osborne to introduce and discuss TCM’s lineup of films is the filmmaker’s son, actor-producer-author William Wellman Jr.
Wellman (1896-1975) was born in Brookline, Mass., and saw action in World War I as part of the famous Lafayette Flying Corps. Between 1920 and 1923 he rose from bit actor to director of Hollywood films and made his name as a major filmmaker by directing the 1927 Wings, which won the first Best Picture Oscar®. He went on to create a wide variety of movies, and our festival is divided into genres in which… read more
The vignettes of Powers as a kid underscore the whole film. Tom really never grows up, he's always a child who is a product of his environment just trying to keep up. Consider him recieving his first gun for Xmas, or how he's sexually intimidated by Harlow (who's made up to look a bit scary). Most of all consider how the rival gangsters are never seen, just going to show how lost little Tommy really is. Must see.
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.