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In Old Chicago

Tyrone Power , Alice Faye , Henry King    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.98
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In Old Chicago + Alexander's Ragtime Band + Rose of Washington Square
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In Old Chicago was 20th Century Fox's grandest production of 1938, and it's still worthy of classic status. Along with MGM's 1936 earthquake drama San Fracisco, it ranks among the finest of the early disaster films, and the climactic depiction of the great Chicago fire of 1871 is still impressive, with some shots that are just as amazing as the digitally rendered disaster effects of present-day Hollywood. It's a highly fictionalized account of the O'Leary family, whose legendary milk-cow kicked over the lamp that set Chicago ablaze, and the teaming of Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, and Alice Faye (as O'Leary brothers Dion and Jack, and Jack's showgirl wife Belle) proved so popular that they were reunited, along with director Henry King, in Darryl F. Zanuck's follow-up production of Alexander's Ragtime Band. They lead a lively cast (including Andy Devine and Brian Donlevy) that delivers all the entertainment value that Zanuck could muster, focusing on the rivalry between Jack and Dion as they clash over their political ambitions and future plans for "The Patch," the beloved Chicago slum district in which they were raised. Their mother (played by Alice Brady in an Oscar®-winning performance) struggles to hold her brood together, and the sibling rivalry reaches a fever pitch just as the city's about to go up in flames. Along the way we're treated to Faye's silky-smooth performances of vintage show tunes (like the title song), and movie buffs will appreciate the early appearance of Rondo Hatton, a bit player who suffered from acromegaly, a deforming pituitary condition (similar to gigantism) that caused him to have one of the most unique faces in the history of movies. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road Show Version a Treasure! Nov. 17 2005
Format:DVD
At last - the full movie! The scenes included in the road show version help flesh out the narrative, and the movie is now much more consistent and coherent than in the shorter version (until now, the only version available). If you liked this movie before, you'll like it even better now. It was an ambitious project by a fledgling studio (made when 20th Century Fox was only two years old) and they pulled it off in style. In addition, this disc includes a worthwhile biography of Don Ameche - a mainstay of the era's movies who won the Oscar decades later for "Cocoon".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
IN OLD CHICAGO (1940) - Alice Faye, Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Alice Brady, Andy Devine, Brian Donlevy, Sidney Blackmer, Gene Raymond

This DVD presents two well-preserved versions. An original "road show" edition of the film that was whittled down before general circulation from 111 to 95 minutes. The final cut is here as well. Also included is a BIOGRAPHY episode, Don Ameche: Hollywood's Class Act, plus commentary tracks and a trailer.

Like all features and cartoons released during the lengthy ASCAP strike, "In Old Chicago" relies for music on such public domain chestnuts as "Oh Genevieve," "The Irish Washerwoman" and "Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys."

Set in 1871, a fictional drama of the O'Leary family unfolds while we wait for the family's skittish cow to kick over that lantern. This small barn fire culminates in the destruction of a major portion of the city from an all-engulfing inferno. Really spectacular fire sequences still boggle the mind fully 70 years later. IMO, Tyrone Power's best and a most enjoyable FOX motion picture.

Note: it's surprising that "In Old Chicago" has yet to be remade!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service & product Feb. 1 2013
By MFJ
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent sur toute la ligne. Produit de première qualité et expédié rapidement !
Exactement comme promis et selon la réputation du fournisseur.
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4.0 out of 5 stars In Old Chicago... April 8 2004
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I thought this was a pretty accurate account of the Chicago Fire in 1871, not 1873, as someone else has said, but this person being from California, I can understand.
I am a Chicagoan, and try to find out as much as a possibly can about the fire. This is a historical fiction, but it does justice. The whole cow issue, is just a legend.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great special effects! Sept. 6 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Tyrone Power and Don Ameche co-star in this stagey, grandiose historical drama, in which the rivalry of two brothers culminates in the Great Chicago Fire of 1873. The plot leading up to the fire is kind of standard fare, but the special effects at the end are really dazzling and horrific. Power gets a bigger, juicier role than Ameche, but they're both pretty good here. A reasonably fun rental.
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