The Roaring Twenties (1939)

The Roaring Twenties, directed by Raoul Walsh, is widely considered one of the greatest gangster films and is an homage to early gangster films of the 1930s. It stars James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart in their third and final film together. This is also Cagney’s last gangster film until he appeared in White Heat in 1949.

The film begins at the end of World War One, when three friends Lloyd (Jeffrey Lynn), George (Bogart) and Eddie (Cagney) attempt to return to normal life. Lloyd becomes a lawyer, George becomes a bootlegger and Eddie becomes a cab driver. Since it is the era of prohibition, Eddie builds a business that delivers bootleg alcohol. When George becomes his second in command, tensions build and a power struggle results. over power and romance.

The Roaring Twenties is part-gangster film, part-documentary. It utilizes newsreels, which provide historical context and pleasantly recreate the Jazz Age. Like other classic gangster films, The Roaring Twenties shows the fatalistic rise and fall of a manwho is bound to die in a final act of heroism.

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