6.7/10
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13 user 4 critic

The Widow from Chicago (1930)

Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob.... See full summary »

Director:

Edward F. Cline (as Edward Cline)

Writers:

Earl Baldwin (screen version), Earl Baldwin (dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alice White ... Polly Henderson
Edward G. Robinson ... Dominic
Neil Hamilton ... 'Swifty' Dorgan
Frank McHugh ... Slug O'Donnell
Lee Shumway ... Chris Johnson
Brooks Benedict ... Mullins
E.H. Calvert ... Police Captain R.L. Davis
Betty Francisco ... Helen
Harold Goodwin ... Jimmy Henderson
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Storyline

Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob. When he's killed his sister Polly poses as Swifty's widow and gets a singing job at Dominic's nightclub. Then the real Swifty shows up. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WIDOW STEALS GANGSTERS LOVE (original print ad - call caps - ad shows woman reading newspaper headline)

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Udovica iz Cikaga See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before jumping off the train, Dorgan is seen reading a copy of College Humor magazine, a real magazine published from 1920 to 1943. The cover price in 1930 was thirty cents ($4.34 in 2016) and it was typically 130 pages long at that time. See more »

Quotes

Slug: What would you take for a little dance?
Polly: I'd take arsenic!
Slug: Smart little cracker, ain't ya?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Get Happy
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Played as dance music at the Crystal Dance Palace
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Propriety's sake
9 December 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson certainly showed what the movie going public were destined to see in The Widow From Chicago. It was the film immediately proceeding his breakthrough and forever identifiable role as and in Little Caesar.

He's got a job to do and need's some out of town talent so he imports Neil Hamilton sight unseen. But the police get wind of it and have a cop gain entree to Robinson's gang by posing as Hamilton. Then Robinson gets wise and the cop is bumped off.

After that both Hamilton does show up and the sister of the slain officer shows up claiming to be Hamilton's wife. I have to say these two think fast on their feet and Hamilton decides to not expose Alice White the sister.

White was very effective in her role though I think for propriety's sake her sending Hamilton out of her room was a bit much even for 1930 audiences to follow. I mean they could have done a Walls of Jericho like arrangement.

It's sad what happened to Neil Hamilton who went from an A list player gradually down to some really horrid B flicks. That strong voice and clear diction should have made him a big star in talkies, bigger than the silent screen. But the man did have a thirst problem. He did bounce back as a character player later on and is now best known as the Caped Crusader's number one fan Commissioner Gordon on Batman.

Still this film is Robinson's show, but he had a much bigger show just awaiting him.


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