The Beast of the City Reviews

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jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2013
Overblown antique that would be forgotten except for fans of Huston were it not for the presence of Jean Harlow in the cast. In her last supporting role before Red Headed Woman moved her to the top of the MGM pecking order she is cheap, brassy and sexual in a way that would disappear once the Hays Code went into effect in a few years. As for the rest of the film, it has pieces of dialogue that are wildly inappropriate in both racial and feminist context but were standard at the time. Huston's performance is variable, mostly good but with some ham-fisted touches but he is subtlety itself compared to Tully Marshall as the defense attorney who is so florid during one of his speeches it's impossible to keep a straight face. The climax is another piece of over the top absurdity but if you're a Harlow fan the film is worth watching.
½ February 19, 2010
Excellent early crime drama. The cast is terrific. Jean Harlow shines as a gangster?s moll, Walter Huston does a great job and Wallace Ford is at his best as a hard drinking police detective assigned to entrap Harlow. Well photographed, great snappy dialogue and a very interesting story that moves along quick and easy. look for a very young Mickey Rooney.
November 1, 2013
Good crime drama, with Walter Huston as a hard-nosed police chief, and Wallace Ford as his less hard-nosed detective brother. When gangster's moll, Jean Harlow, leads Ford astray, it sets up a conflict between the cops and criminals trying to run the city. Harlow is a memorable standout, despite a relatively small part, and Huston gives steely determination to his role as an incorruptible figure of law-and-order.
½ October 14, 2012
"The Beast of the City" is a good film, but its confusing narrative and editing detracts from its greatness.
½ February 19, 2010
76/100. Excellent early crime drama. The cast is terrific. Jean Harlow shines as a gangster's moll, Walter Huston does a great job and Wallace Ford is at his best as a hard drinking police detective assigned to entrap Harlow. Well photographed, great snappy dialogue and a very interesting story that moves along quick and easy. look for a very young Mickey Rooney.
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