6.8/10
1,995
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 »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American pilot impulsively joins His Majesty's Royal Air Force in Britain in an attempt to impress his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, John Sutton
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The daughter of a struggling musician forms a symphony orchestra made up of his unemployed friends and through persistence, charm and a few misunderstandings, is able to get Leopold ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Adolphe Menjou, Alice Brady
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Blake is in love with an aristocratic woman whose husband seriously injures him. Blake's friendship with Lord Nelson provides the basis for Blake's part in the growth of Lloyd's insurance ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Madeleine Carroll, Freddie Bartholomew
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The invasion of Mexico by Cortez, as seen by a young Spanish officer fleeing the Inquisition.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An unscrupulous agent for the Borgias suffers a change of heart when asked to betray a noble count and his much younger, very beautiful wife.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Wanda Hendrix
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A singer becomes a star in the Ziegfeld Follies, but her marriage to a con man has a bad effect on her career.

Director: Gregory Ratoff
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Suez (1938)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ferdinand de Lesseps, disappointed in love, is sent as a junior diplomat to the Isthmus of Suez, and realizes it's just the place for a canal.

Director: Allan Dwan
Stars: Tyrone Power, Loretta Young, Annabella
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Michael Curtiz
Stars: Fredric March, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Woods
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

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

Just before the fire in 1871, the Mayor speaks about replacing the combustible buildings in "The Patch" with newer ones made of stone and steel. The first buildings with steel frameworks were not constructed until the 1880's. Before then, large buildings were constructed of wood with a stone shell. 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 »


Soundtracks

Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
(1878) (uncredited)
Written by James Allen Bland
Sung by Alice Faye and an unidentified male quartet at The Hub
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Fighting fire with fire.
11 January 2009 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

This is the fictional story of the O'Leary family and the birth of the Great Fire of Chicago.

Big budget, big stars and a completely big production, In Old Chicago may be deemed as a Zanuck cash in on the previous years MGM eye opener, San Francisco, it is however a wonderful picture that features two differing halves of worth. Casting aside historical accuracy (lets really not go down that road in cinema history), this Henry King directed piece firstly engages us as a jaunty family character piece, only to then pull the rug from underneath us to let in political intrigue, deception, down right ugliness and a near $2 million fire besieged Chicago!

Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Alice Faye, Alice Brady (Best Supporting Actress Academy Award) and Brian Donlevy all line up to entertain the viewers, all possibly aware that they are merely the starter course for the extravagant main course that will be the 20 minute final reel of panic and burning disaster. Yet to focus merely on the fire itself, and the effects that some 70 years later still impact smartly, is to do the first half a disservice, characters are formed and the story is fully fleshed to make the wait for the fire completely worth our time. It's no history lesson for sure but the devilment of some characters, and the ineptitude of some others, more than make this an essential watch for fans of 30s cinema. 7.5/10


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed