Film (1934)

Musique: Richard Rodgers
Paroles: Lorenz M. Hart
Production à la création:

Two boyhood pals grows up and find themselves on opposite side of the law: a persecuting attorney and a racketeer. Further complicating their lives is the woman they both love.

The film made famous when Public Enemy No. 1, John Dillinger, went to see Clark Gable in it (as Blackie, a gangster who strode to the electric chair with a smile on his face) and was shot down as he emerged.
It's a deluxe melodrama. Gable and William Powell play boyhood friends from the slums who grow up on what Hollywood writers used to call "opposite sides of the law." In the climax, Powell, the District Attorney, must prosecute his old friend, who gallantly dies rather than allow Powell to jeopardize his career.
Despite the heavy moralizing tone, the picture holds one's interest; Powell manages to get his conflicting emotions across, and he has an unusual rapport with Myrna Loy, the woman both men love. (Powell and Loy were then teamed and made THE THIN MAN later that year.) Produced by David O. Selznick and directed by W.S. Van Dyke, it was originally released by MGM as one of their Cosmopolitan Productions (which meant a William Randolph Hearst production), but after the Dillinger shooting, Hearst, who was sensitive to any hint of scandal or notoriety, had the Cosmopolitan credit deleted.
The cast includes Leo Carrillo, Isabel Jewell, the one-man goon squad Nat Pendleton, Leonid Kinskey playing a Trotskyite, and Mickey Rooney playing Clark Gable as a 12-year-old. The screenplay involved at least four writers (Oliver H.P. Garrett, Rowland Brown, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Pete Smith), working from Arthur Caesar's Academy Award-winnign screen story.
Cinematography by James Wong Howe; Shirley Ross appears in a set that is meant to represent the Cotton Club, singing "The Bad in Every Man"-a song by Rodgers and Hart that later got new lyrics and became "Blue Moon."

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