The Roaring Twenties

Watch The Roaring Twenties

  • Passed
  • 1939
  • 1 hr 46 min
  • 7.9  (14,911)

As the title suggests, The Roaring Twenties is a classic movie set in the decade known for its exuberance, prosperity, and wild parties. Directed by Raoul Walsh, the movie stars James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Priscilla Lane in lead roles. The Roaring Twenties begins with a stunning panoramic shot of New York City in 1918, where thousands of soldiers are returning home from the war. Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) is one of them, a honest and hard-working man who dreams of becoming a millionaire someday. However, fate has other plans for Eddie. When he returns home to find no job and no prospects, he turns to bootlegging to make ends meet. Soon, he teams up with his old pal Danny Green (Frank McHugh) and they become successful bootleggers - until they get caught and sent to prison.

When Eddie gets released from prison, he discovers that the world has changed drastically. Prohibition has been lifted, and his old boss, Nick Brown (Paul Kelly), is now a wealthy nightclub owner with connections to the underworld. Eddie becomes a cab driver by day and a nightclub driver by night, hoping to make enough money to fulfill his dream of becoming a restaurateur. Along the way, he meets Jean Sherman (Priscilla Lane), a sweet and smart woman who works as a typist and dreams of becoming a successful writer.

Meanwhile, Danny has joined a rival gang led by Hawk (Humphrey Bogart), a ruthless and cunning man who will stop at nothing to control the bootlegging business. Eddie tries to stay away from the violence and bloodshed, but soon he finds himself embroiled in a deadly feud with Hawk and his gang. As the stakes get higher, Eddie and his friends must navigate a treacherous world of greed, betrayal, and violence, where trust is a rare commodity and death is always around the corner.

The Roaring Twenties is a gripping and entertaining movie that captures the spirit of the era it portrays. One of the defining features of the movie is its fast-paced and dynamic storytelling, which manages to keep the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end. The movie also benefits from the strong performances of its lead actors. James Cagney, who was one of the biggest stars of the time, shines as the charismatic and determined Eddie Bartlett, bringing both humor and pathos to the character. Humphrey Bogart, who was still a rising star at the time, delivers a chilling performance as the ruthless Hawk, showcasing the intensity and range that would make him one of the greatest actors of his generation. Priscilla Lane, in a smaller but no less important role, infuses her character with intelligence and warmth, making her a memorable presence on the screen.

Another notable aspect of The Roaring Twenties is its technical prowess. The movie boasts impressive cinematography, especially in its use of shadows and light to convey the mood of the scenes. The film also features some highly choreographed sequences, such as the shootout in the woods, that showcase Walsh's skill as a director. The music, too, is an integral part of the movie's charm, featuring jazz and swing tunes that capture the lively and adventurous spirit of the era.

In many ways, The Roaring Twenties is a quintessential Hollywood movie, with its mix of action, romance, and drama. At the same time, it is a movie that reflects its times, with its gritty portrayal of the criminal underworld and its indictment of the greed and corruption that flourished during Prohibition. The movie does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of life, but it also imbues its characters with a sense of optimism and resilience that makes them inspiring and relatable.

In conclusion, The Roaring Twenties is a classic movie that has stood the test of time. With its talented cast, its thrilling storyline, and its technical accomplishments, the movie remains a shining example of the golden age of Hollywood. Whether you are a fan of old movies or just looking for a good time, The Roaring Twenties is a must-see.

The Roaring Twenties is a 1939 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9.

The Roaring Twenties
Where to Watch The Roaring Twenties
The Roaring Twenties is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Roaring Twenties for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (14,911)