6.7/10
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20 user 11 critic

Angels Over Broadway (1940)

Passed | | Adventure, Comedy, Crime | 2 October 1940 (USA)
A cuckolded embezzler on the verge of suicide is helped by a tout, an alcoholic playwright, and a pick-up girl to reimburse the money with a gambling sting.

Directors:

Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes (co-director)

Writer:

Ben Hecht
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Bill O'Brien
Rita Hayworth ... Nina Barona
Thomas Mitchell ... Gene Gibbons
John Qualen ... Charles Engle
George Watts George Watts ... Hopper
Ralph Theodore Ralph Theodore ... Dutch Enright
Eddie Foster Eddie Foster ... Louie Artino
Jack Roper Jack Roper ... Eddie Burns
Constance Worth ... Sylvia Marbe
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Storyline

Charles Engle has been caught embezzling. He writes a suicide note, and goes out wandering on the town. Small-time hustler Bill O'Brian sees him give a couple of big tips, figures he's rich, and plans to take him over to a big-time card game and fleece him. He enlists Nina Barone to help get Engle to the game. She goes along, but is more interested in O'Brien than in his schemes. Meanwhile, a perpetually drunk and none too successful playwright, Gene Gibbons, finds the suicide note. He cooks up a scheme (with the reluctant aid of O'Brien) to get the money Engle needs to pay back his employer and save his life. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY BEN HECHT (original poster - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Angeli del peccato See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)| Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Walter Baldwin (Rennick) and Stanley Brown (Master of Ceremonies) are listed by a modern source as cast members for those roles, but they did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When the camera pans with Charles Engle as he gets up to leave the poker game, the shadow of a cable dangling from the microphone boom can be seen following him against the back wall. See more »

Quotes

Stage Doorman: [looking out into the darkened, empty theater] Shhh! Hear that noise? That's the rats - always performing! If I left this scenery here, they'd eat it up - eat the whole theater up if it wasn't for the actors! The hollering frightens them.
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Connections

Referenced in Bullets Over Broadway (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

My Man
(Mon Homme)
Music by Maurice Yvain
French lyrics by Jacques Charles and Albert Willemetz
English lyrics by Channing Pollock
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rita Hayworth as a sweet kid
8 January 2011 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This early Rita Hayworth movie shows off her more youthful charms of innocence and good will. She was not yet a femme fatale or a glamour queen, although she does get an opportunity for a brief dance. She was born Margarita ('Rita') Cansino in a family of dancers, so she could dance before she could act, and made numerous film appearances as Rita Cansino before she was reinvented by Columbia Studios. This film has never been released on DVD so I had to buy an old video to see it. It is written, produced, and directed by Ben Hecht, and describes Hecht's Broadway of that era. The unlikely casting of glamour boy Douglas Fairbanks Junior as a small-time chiseller is a surprise. He does tolerably well but is no genius at it. Thomas Mitchell plays an inebriated playwright who five years ago won the Pulitzer Prize but is now a flop. Well, that's Broadway! Or was! I am referring to a time, of course, when they still had plays on Broadway, and not just musicals. Yes, believe it or not, way back in the Stone Age there was something called drama on the Great White Way, but only mastodons and plesiosaurs (got my geological eras mixed up, but who cares) remember it. The film features a fine performance from sad-sack character actor John Qualen as 'Charles Engle', a rather obvious pun on the title of the film, 'Engel' being German for angel. The film is very heavy on dialogue and somewhat preachy, but Hecht's dialogue is interesting and often extremely witty, so even though it is longer than a modern 'text message', it is worth listening to. The film was made, after all, before attention spans shrank to five seconds. The story is rather contrived and corny, and lurches rather heavily in the direction of Moral Messages. Well, good for Hecht, he was trying to get some messages across, rather than just titillate. So he was a bit clumsy at it. The film is still very good and well worth watching. And there is the irresistible Rita to gaze at, in wonder and awe. Sometimes you just want to give her a hug, don'tcha?


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