Who is the real villain in “The Doorway to Hell” from 1930?

Is a gangster really a villain? Although common sense tells you he is, pre-Code films convince you otherwise. The first film to be set "behind the firing lines of Gangland" was "The Doorway to Hell" from 1930. Though late forgot, this film was the first to contain the hitherto unknown principle of a criminal being … Continue reading Who is the real villain in “The Doorway to Hell” from 1930?

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Jerry Flynn from “King of the Newsboys” vs. Jimmy Seymour from “Broadway Serenade”

What do Jerry Flynn, an enterprising newsboy, and Jimmy Seymour, a striving songwriter, have in common? Jerry is the leading man in King of the Newsboys, and Jimmy is the leading man in Broadway Serenade. King of the Newsboys was a low budget Republic Pictures film from 1938, and Broadway Serenade was an expensive MGM … Continue reading Jerry Flynn from “King of the Newsboys” vs. Jimmy Seymour from “Broadway Serenade”

The Gangster Film Sympathy Angle

     Would you feel sympathy for a cold-blooded murderer? Certain types of crime have always been more glamorous than others. The gangster from the 1920s and 30s in Chicago was a celebrity in his own day and remains an icon of the Prohibition era. Hollywood capitalized on the popularity and fame of gangsters by … Continue reading The Gangster Film Sympathy Angle