The Doorway to Hell (A Handful of Clouds) (1930)
In this early talkie, a vicious crime lord (played by Lew Ayres in a rare villainous role) decides that he has had enough and much to the shock of his colleagues decides to give the business to his second in command (James Cagney in hi second film role) and retire to Florida after marrying his moll. Unfortunately, he has no idea that she and Cagney are lovers. Part of the reason the don wants to leave is to keep his young brother, who idolizes him, from learning the awful truth about his avocation. Soon after moving down to Florida, former rivals kidnap the brother and kill him, causing the reformed gangster to come back for deadly revenge. This was an innovative film and featured a lot of elements that would become standards in the gangster genre including tommy guns carried in violin cases, terrible shoot-outs, and lots of rum-running rivalry. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Doorway to Hell (A Handful of Clouds)
A historical relic flawed by miscasting but almost redeemed by an unjustly misunderstood ending.
Audience Reviews for The Doorway to Hell (A Handful of Clouds)
A bit muddled and creaky but decent crime drama that suffers from miscasting in the lead role. Lew Ayres was a fine actor but never convincing as a villian, Cagney should have played the role and the picture would have had much more impact. The actor playing the police chief stinks up the screen whenever he appears with some of the worst, most wooden acting you'll ever see.More
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