Incredibly impressive gangster film from a script by Ben Hecht with top notch casting and solid direction from Howard Hawks and an uncredited Richard Rosson. For those only familiar with the DePalma remake this is a must see if only to see just how much of the story and dialogue made it into a remake set almost 50 years later!!! 'The world is yours' indeed.
I didn't know you could do so much in 93 minutes, there's everything going on: a perfect dramatization that keeps the false-psychologizing to a minimum, a near-demonic pacing and violence that veers from the breakneck machinegun shootouts to the stasis of a greek tragedy at the very end, great acting (watch the secretary) and an economy of storytelling that wraps everything up in bits of almost self-contained events.
A true classic and seminal to its genre. Faster-paced and harder-edged than most films of its era, and laced with dark humor - the only thing sharper than Howard Hawks' direction is Ben Hecht's screenplay. Even nearly 80 years later it maintains its innovation and intensity.
Far more effective, subtle, and exciting than the 1983 remake. Howard Hawks' breakthrough film remains a towering classic of American cinema. Everything works so well here, and once the film finds its footing it's an inescapable experience. The performances, dialogue, and cinematography are all top notch and there are so many brilliantly staged sequences. Highly recommended.