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In Old Chicago (Bilingual)

10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Alice Brady, Andy Devine
  • Directors: Henry King
  • Writers: Lamar Trotti, Niven Busch, Sonya Levien
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, Kenneth Macgowan
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Aug. 9 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009NZ2NS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,984 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Benham on 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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Format: VHS Tape
that's a line of dialogue that gets pretty tired towards the end of this spectacular, since it is much too overused. However, be that as it may, this film used to be on TV a lot when I was a kid, and I always used to watch it for the marvelous fire footage. It's the sort of scene that appears to be a history book come to life, with horse-drawn fire engines racing down the street, and massive buildings caving in while blazing away. And wouldn't you know it? The whole thing started in the barn of Mrs. O'Leary--the same Mrs. O'Leary who is the mother to mayor Don Ameche and crooked guy Tyrone Power. The two brothers are always at odds, eventually even clashing, though not romantically, over Ty's treatment of chanteuse Alice Faye. Yet, because they are A Strange Tribe, they always are there for each other when the chips are down--and with an inferno raging away, the chips don't get downer than this!
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Format: VHS Tape
20th Century-Fox took its cue from MGM's 1936 hit "San Francisco" (with its spectacular earthquake scenes) and made its own disaster hit. Tyrone Power and Alice Faye were Fox's answer to MGM's Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald, and along with Don Ameche and the incomparable Alice Brady, their film just as fun and entertaining as MGM's hit.
Good Americana, with enough melodrama and music to satisfy any diehard movie fan. The highlight is the great Chicago fire, which is even more spectacular than the burning of Atlanta in another 30's classic, "GWTW". It is amazing they did all those great special effects without computers and animation. Just good old-fashioned sets on the back-lot. "In Old Chicago" is a golden chestnut from the early disaster movie genre of the 1930's.
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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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken on Feb. 28 2010
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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