Mon 22 Jul 2013
SONG OF THE EAGLE. Paramount, 1933. Richard Arlen, Charles Bickford, Jean Hersholt, Mary Brian, Louise Dresser, Andy Devine, George E. Stone. Director: Ralph Murphy. Shown at Cinefest 19, Syracuse NY, March 1999.
Hersholt plays a genial brewery owner who attempts a comeback after the lifting of Prohibition, but refuses to go along with the extortion scheme of former employee and now big-time mob boss, Charles Bickford.
Arlen is the honest son, Dresser the naive, and Devine a brewery employer who stays with Hersholt while certified rat George E. Stones casts his lot with Bickford. The scene in which Bickford gets his comeuppance is highly improbable although enormously satisfying.
This plays like a Warner Brothers meller that got a bit soft in the head when it was re-routed through Paramount, but it’s still great fun.