There's nothing special about this routine crime yarn; in fact it's so crudely made that one wonders at the professional talent behind the film, or the lack of it. The film does have one historic distinction; it was the first all-talking motion picture and it was a great sensation, costing
only $75,000 to make and returning to Warner Bros. a whopping $2 million. Landis and Pallette move to Manhattan and open a barbershop, which they discover is being used as a front for a large bootlegging operation. Nightclub owner and racket boss Oakman is later killed, and Landis is framed for
the murder, a gun belonging to Costello, who works in Oakman's club as a singer, being found on Landis. But before the innocent is sent to the electric chair, Brockwell, Oakman's mistress, confesses to the killing. The sound on this film, although carrying 100 percent dialog, is simply dreadful,
worse than the quality of phonograph records at the turn of the century. Oakman does, however, deliver an underworld line that would become a cliche in scores of future gangster movies. Oakman orders one of his henchman to get rid of a rival gangster, stating: "Take him for a ride!" Foy, son of
the famed comedian Eddie Foy, directs the film sloppily, as if he had something better to do and was rushing the job. He would later go on to become head of B productions at Warners and other studios, grinding out films that were little better than this historic but inept film.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: There's nothing special about this routine crime yarn; in fact it's so crudely made that one wonders at the professional talent behind the film, or the lack of it. The film does have one historic distinction; it was the first all-talking motion picture and… (more)