6.5/10
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28 user 13 critic

The Doorway to Hell (1930)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 18 October 1930 (USA)
Despite his efforts to go straight, a young gangster keeps falling back into crime.

Director:

Archie Mayo

Writers:

Rowland Brown (story "A Handful of Clouds"), George Rosener (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lew Ayres ... Louie Ricarno
Charles Judels ... Florist (scenes deleted)
Dorothy Mathews ... Doris Ricarno
Leon Janney ... Jackie Ricarno
Robert Elliott ... Police Chief Pat O'Grady
James Cagney ... Steve Mileaway
Kenneth Thomson ... Captain of Academy
Jerry Mandy ... Joe - Gangster
Noel Madison ... Rocco
Edwin Argus Edwin Argus ... Midget
Eddie Kane Eddie Kane ... Dr. Morton
Tom Wilson ... Big Shot Kelly - Gangster
Dwight Frye ... Monk - Gangster
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Storyline

Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries Doris and retires to Florida to write his autobiography and play golf. In his absence the gang warfare flares, but he does not return as he wants to give a respectable image of life to his wife, younger brother and his Florida neighbors. While letters and telegrams from Mileaway will not influence his decision, events will. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They found themselves on the one-way street of crime - with no turning back! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1930 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Handful of Clouds See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$240,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Second film for James Cagney, after Sinners' Holiday (1930). He would become a star the following year in The Public Enemy (1931). See more »

Goofs

What appears to be a typo in the gangland slaughter headline of the newspaper Louie reads in the boarding house - it reads 'grewsome' instead of 'gruesome' - is in fact an acceptable variant that was more popular at the time the film was released. See more »

Quotes

Louie: Give me my violin case, will ya?
See more »


Soundtracks

Taps
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played by a bugler at the funeral
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Like a crystal Ball.
7 March 2002 | by MStillrageSee all my reviews

To see this movie on the Big Screen(like my Father,his uncles, and my Grandfathers did)would have been a treat. Well,not in my Dad's instance,because when my Dad saw the film on the Screen, it was shortly after Bogart's death and Cagney was already a long since established star.But still a treat nonetheless. Anyway for the Old oldtimers,they had to have the attitude:"This Cagney guy is gonna be around. Can't wait to see him again." Cagney always made his surroundings crackle with anticipation and uncertainty. You never really knew what was gonna happen. Doorway to Hell took risks. Real life gangsters dared Hollywood to make this movie because it hit close to home, for them. It's an interesting film to watch because of the miscasting. A thing William Wellman took note of during the filming of "Public Enemy", and had Cagney and the Lew Ayres clone "switch roles"...because "this Cagney guy has that gutter quality that this story needs to become effective". A must see movie.Especially for the buffs.


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