King of the Roaring Twenties (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

King of the Roaring Twenties (1961)





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David Janssen is hardly perfect casting for the role of 1920s gambling king Arnold Rothstein (Rod Steiger or Gene Barry may have been better choices), but the sure-handed direction of Joseph Newman smooths over all the rough spots in this fanciful biopic. Set up in the gambling business by crooked politico Jack Carson, Rothstein cheats his partner Mickey Shaughnessy, cheats on his lovely wife Dianne Foster, and does his best to discredit his bitterest enemy, on-the-take police detective Dan O'Herlihy. When O'Herlihy engineers the death of Rothstein's pal Mickey Rooney, Rothstein pulls strings in the New York judicial system, assuring the conviction and execution of the rogue cop. As quickly as he rises to the top of the dung-heap, Rothstein falls with equal rapidity, and ends up riddled with mob bullets. Curiously, King of the Roaring Twenties bypasses Rothstein's involvement in the "Black Sox" baseball scandal of 1919, perhaps because too many participants in that debacle were still alive in 1960 (this incident would later be covered in toto in the 1988 film Eight Men Out, which co-starred Michael Lerner as Rothstein). While King of the Roaring Twenties ignores the facts, for the most part the film is to be treasured if for no other reason than the fact that director Newman managed to draw uncharacteristically subtle performances from Mickey Rooney and Jack Carson.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Jo Swerling, Leo Katcher
On DVD: Apr 4, 1991
Warner Bros

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David Janssen
as Arnold Rothstein
Mickey Rooney
as Johnny Burke
Dianne Foster
as Carolyn Green Rothst...
Jack Carson
as Timothy W. 'Big Tim'...
Dan O'Herlihy
as Phil Butler
Keenan Wynn
as Tom Fowler
Joseph Schildkraut
as Abraham Rothstein
Murvyn Vye
as Williams
Regis Toomey
as Bill Baird
Jimmie Baird
as Arnold as a Boy
Jimmy Baird
as Arnold as a Boy
Tim Rooney
as Johnny Burke as a Bo...
Howard Wendell
as Mr. Simmons
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Critic Reviews for King of the Roaring Twenties

All Critics (3)

Low key gangster saga about a crook who's more a brainy con-man than tough guy.

Full Review… | August 16, 2012
Classic Film and Television

David Janssen is miscast in this fictionalized, B-level bio of the Jewish gangster, but the supporting cast is god.

Full Review… | February 25, 2011

Plodding biopic.

Full Review… | September 29, 2010
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