Posts Tagged ‘Raoul Walsh’

Happy Birthday, Raoul Walsh!

March 11, 2010

Regeneration: Gangsters Before Gangsters

December 17, 2009

Raoul Walsh’s 1915 film Regeneration is often acclaimed as one of the first gangster films, but these aren’t really gangsters modern audiences would be familiar with. The gang Owen (John McCann) leads are more of a mob of Lower East Side plug uglies than true sports. They wear floppy caps and the working clothes of the docks and congregate in a basement called the Chicory Hall, where the thugs are as likely to be found sleeping on the bare dirt floor as playing cards.

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The Movies, Mr. Griffith and HBO

March 17, 2009

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The big film news of the day doesn’t have much to do with film at all. It’s that David Chase, whose The Sopranos became a kind of Mahābhārata of the Mob, is headed back to HBO and making a miniseries about the days when Hollywood wasn’t much more than an orange grove.

Ribbon of Dreams will unspool around the friendship between a cowboy and a mechanical engineer who both go to work for D.W. Griffith. They graduate to becoming producers of their own, and are soon negotiating the nascent business of the movies–as well as real life characters like John Ford, John Wayne, Raoul Walsh, Bette Davis and Billy Wilder. An unconfirmed and possibly imaginary report implied one episode would see the two guys barely surviving a drinking bout with John Barrymore, Errol Flynn and W.C. Fields.
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