The five years between 1929 and mid-1934 was a period of loosened censorship that finally ended with the imposition of a harsh Production Code that would, for the next 34 years, censor much of the life and honesty out of American movies. The smiling, confident hero of just a few years before fell out of favor, and the new heroes who emerged were gangsters, opportunists, sleazy businessmen, shifty lawyers, shell-shocked soldiers-men whose existence threatened the status quo. This 1934 classic film entered into American folklore after John Dillinger, Public Enemy #1 at the time, came out of hiding just to see this film. As soon as it was over, he was betrayed by one of the women who accompanied him and the FBI gunned him down in the streets of Chicago. Gable is irrepressible and delightfully amoral as Blackie, the bad guy we're all rooting for; William Powell delivers a multi-layered performance as Blackie’s best friend from childhood and the governor that must decide Blackie’s fate; and Myrna Loy is the woman that they both love.
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