6.8/10
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44 user 17 critic

In Old Chicago (1938)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Musical | 15 April 1938 (USA)
Trailer
3:28 | Trailer
The O'Leary brothers -- honest Jack and roguish Dion -- become powerful figures, and eventually rivals, in Chicago on the eve of its Great Fire.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screen play), Sonya Levien (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Dion O'Leary
Alice Faye ... Belle Fawcett
Don Ameche ... Jack O'Leary
Alice Brady ... Molly O'Leary
Andy Devine ... Pickle Bixby
Brian Donlevy ... Gil Warren
Phyllis Brooks ... Ann Colby
Tom Brown ... Bob O'Leary
Sidney Blackmer ... General Phil Sheridan
Berton Churchill ... Senator Colby
June Storey ... Gretchen
Paul Hurst ... Edward (Mitch) Mitchell
Tyler Brooke Tyler Brooke ... Specialty Singer
J. Anthony Hughes ... Patrick O'Leary
Gene Reynolds ... Dion O'Leary as a Boy
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Storyline

In 1854, the patriarch Patrick O'Leary of the O'Leary family dies in an accident nearby Chicago while traveling amid-western prairie. His wife Molly O'Leary raises her three sons alone working as laundress. Her son Jack becomes an idealistic lawyer; Dion is a gambler; and Bob helps his mother in the laundry business and marries local Gretchen (June Storey) in the old area known as The Patch. Dion meets the singer Belle Fawcett in the cabaret owned by Gil Warren and they fall in love with each other and become lovers. They also open a business of their own to compete with Gil that becomes their enemy. However Gil invites Dion to join the politics with him but Dion plots a scheme with tragic consequences. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

blockbuster | fire | lawyer | cow | brother | See All (51) »

Taglines:

The great American motion picture!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

15 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicago See more »

Filming Locations:

Oakdale, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The 20-minute climactic fire sequence cost $150,000 to stage and burned for three days on the Fox back lot. It helped make this one of the most expensive films made at the time. See more »

Goofs

When singing around the organ, the three boys and Gretchen are clapping in time to the music. A close up of Dion (Tyrone Power) shows him clapping, but very slowly, not in beat. The next shot with all of them again has them all clapping in rhythm in beat. See more »

Quotes

Dion O'Leary: Nothing can lick Chicago!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original roadshow version of "In Old Chicago" ran 111 minutes, and was cut to 95 minutes for a 1943 re-release. For many years, the longer version was thought to be lost, and only the shorter re-release print was shown on television, and released on video in 1994. In 2002 the missing elements to the original version were found, and the 2005 DVD release included both the original and the shorter versions. See more »

Connections

Edited into Time Travelers (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

In Old Chicago
(1937) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel
Sung by Alice Faye and chorus girls at The Senate
See more »

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User Reviews

Classy '30s picture
22 January 2001 | by jhaggardjrSee all my reviews

"In Old Chicago" is an entertaining 1930s movie that focuses on the adventures of two brothers who live in the Windy City during the latter portion of the 19th century. One of them runs for mayor of Chicago; the other finds love with a showgirl. The brothers' mother is Mrs. O'Leary, a headstrong woman who makes a living in the laundry business. And it is Mrs. O'Leary's cow that kicked over a lantern in the barn that started the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. That scene is recreated here in brilliant fashion. The special effects are excellent (by 1930s standards), and the sets are marvelous. 19th century Chicago has never looked as good as it does here. The late Don Ameche (Oscar winner for the 1985 fantasy "Cocoon") stars in one of his early film roles as the brother who becomes a candidate for mayor of Chicago. "In Old Chicago" is an old movie that's classy and realistic.

***1/2 (out of four)


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