The Bowery

1933, Movie, NR, 92 mins


A rousing, two-fisted action movie about two friendly rivals, Steve Brodie (George Raft) and Chuck Connors (Wallace Beery). Beery owns a glittering saloon on the Bowery and takes care of kid Jackie Cooper on the side. Raft plays the dapper daredevil who reportedly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge to make a name for himself. The two men and their gangs--groups of hooligans who provide muscle for their political organizations and social clubs--are in constant competition. The blustering, pompous Beery befriends the homeless, poverty-stricken Fay Wray, but the slick-haired Raft soon wins her heart. Angered and jealous, Beery schemes to exploit Raft's enormous ego, daring him to do something spectacular to impress Wray. He challenges Raft to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge. If he makes the leap and survives, he will win Wray and the saloon. Action-packed complications ensue.

The films of famed action filmmaker Walsh are noted for their masculine ethos and accelerated pace. Every scene in THE BOWERY bustles with a jocular belligerence befitting the wild and woolly Gay Nineties in New York City. This was producer Darryl F. Zanuck's first film for Fox as its production chief. It was a hit at the box office and cemented his position at the studio.

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