- SKU: 2602898
- Release Date: 10/21/2008
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- Expert commentaries
- All-new TCM/WHV documentary Public ENemies: The GOlden Age of the Gangster Film
- Warner Night at the Movies Extras: Select music / comedy / patriotic shorts, cartoons, newsreels and trailers from the film's release year
Produced for Turner Classic Movies, this documentary looks at the early days of the gangster film. The filmmakers utilize clips from the work of various directors like Raoul Walsh, Michael Curtiz, and William Wellman. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Fight manager Nick Donati (Edward G. Robinson) has just lost his best fighter to crooked promoter Turkey Morgan (Humphrey Bogart). During a party at Donati's apartment, a bellhop (Wayne Morris) kayos Morgan's boxer, who has insulted the honor of Donati's girlfriend, Louise "Fluff" Phillips (Bette Davis). Sensing a good thing when he sees it, Donati takes the bellhop under his wing, promoting the erstwhile pugilist as Kid Galahad. Morris is shipped to Donati's farm for training, where he falls in love with Donati's sheltered kid sister, Marie (Jane Bryan). Angered at this, Donati sets up Kid Galahad for a fall, ordering him to take a dive in an upcoming bout and betting his bankroll on Morgan's boy. Kid Galahad takes a terrific beating until, at the urging of Fluff and Marie, he abruptly changes his ring strategy. When Galahad wins, Morgan, feeling he's been double-crossed by Donati, shoots the latter. Morgan manages to fatally wound Morgan before expiring himself; as he breathes his last, he gives his belated blessing to Galahad and Marie's romance. To avoid confusion with Elvis Presley's 1962 remake of Kid Galahad, the earlier film was retitled The Battling Bellhop for TV. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Little Giant
The end of prohibition spells the end of business as usual for Chicago gangster Bugs Ahearn (Edward G. Robinson in this delightful spoof of mob melodramas from Warner Bros. Paying off their latest moll, Edith (Shirley Grey, Bugs and chief lieutenant Al Daniels (Russell Hopton) grab their ill-gotten gains and go west, hoping to crash polo playing Santa Barbara society. Bugs acquires a rental mansion and a high class girlfriend, Polly Cass (Helen Vinson), but the estate actually belongs to kind but down-on-her-luck socialite Ruth Wayburn (Mary Astor) -- whom the former mobster retains as his social secretary -- while Polly and her relatives prove to be bigger crooks than he ever was. The Little Giant was reportedly filmed in 18 days on a budget of $197,000. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi
The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse
Edward G. Robinson shines in a fine comic role as Dr. Clitterhouse, a brilliant psychiatrist doing research into the criminal mind. The good doctor wants to gain a clearer understanding of how a thief feels when he's in the midst of a robbery, so strictly for academic purposes he tries to crack a safe at a high society party to which he's been invited. While trying to get rid of the jewels he swiped in the course of this experiment, Clitterhouse makes the acquaintance of "Rocks" Valentine (Humphrey Bogart), the tough-as-nails leader of a group of professional thieves. Clitterhouse is fascinated by Valentine and discovers that he enjoys committing robberies, so he joins forces with Valentine's gang and uses his superior intellect to mastermind a series of daring and profitable heists. Clitterhouse is also beguiled by Jo Keller (Claire Trevor), a beautiful dame who fences stolen gems. But Valentine doesn't appreciate how Dr. Clitterhouse has worked his way into the gang, and he is soon looking for an opportunity to get him out of the picture. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse was co-written by John Huston and features several key members of the Warner Brothers stock company in supporting roles, including Allen Jenkins and Donald Crisp. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Invisible Stripes is a cookie-cutter Warners prison drama which rounds up the usual suspects. George Raft and Humphrey Bogart are top-billed, and as is often the case in such a circumstance, it is Raft who is given the larger (albeit less interesting) role. Raft plays Cliff Taylor, an ex-convict who finds that his "invisible stripes" prevent him from getting a decent job. Cliff's younger brother (William Holden) shows unfortunate signs of following his older sibling's footsteps when he is pressured into crime to support himself and his girl friend (Jane Bryan). To save his brother, Cliff joins Humphrey Bogart's gang and earns enough dishonest money to set his brother up in business. But movie censorship prevails, and all of the miscreants in Invisible Stripes--even those motivated by good intentions--must pay the penalty. Side note: The prankish Humphrey Bogart spent so much time needling newcomer William Holden that Holden nearly came to blows with the older actor; the animosity persisted into the Bogart-Holden costarring feature Sabrina, made fourteen years later. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
This parody of gangster flicks centers on an incarcerated gangster who decides to reform after he is released from Sing Sing. He and his cell mate have earned a small fortune in investments and are planning to buy a dog track. Unfortunately, another prisoner eavesdrops and attempts to force the fellow to use his savings to buy a luggage store and then dig a tunnel to the bank next door so they can easily rob it. The reformer and his partner refuse. They sing a different tune when they learn that most of their money was lost by their third partner. In desperation, he buys the suitcase outlet. While he tries to deal with his many customers, the other two bumblers attempt to dig, but it's not easy because every time someone comes in, they must stop their noisy operation. More trouble follows when another gangster tries to get in on their operation. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi