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A Handful of Clouds

A Handful of Clouds
Movie: A Handful of Clouds(1930)[tt0020836] Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other. WIth the success of his leadership, Louie prospers, marries Doris and retires to Florida to write his autobiography and play golf. In his absence the gang warfare flares, but he does not return as he wants to give a respectable image of life to his wife, younger brother and his Florida neighbors. While letters and telegrams from Mileaway will not influence his decision, events will. Written byTony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>
Title A Handful of Clouds
Release Date 18 October 1930 (USA)
Runtime
Genres Crime, Drama
Production Companies Warner Bros.
Lew Ayres
Lew Ayres...
Louie Ricarno...
Dorothy Mathews
Dorothy Mathews...
Doris Ricarno...
Leon Janney
Leon Janney...
Jackie Ricarno...
Robert Elliott
Robert Elliott...
Police Chief Pat O'Grady...
James Cagney
James Cagney...
Steve Mileaway...
Kenneth Thomson
Kenneth Thomson...
Captain of Academy...
Noel Madison
Noel Madison...
Rocco...
Edwin Argus
Edwin Argus...
Midget...
Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson...
Big Shot Kelly - Gangster...
Dwight Frye
Dwight Frye...
Monk - Gangster...
Charles Judels
Charles Judels...
Florist (scenes ...

Reviews

gbill-74877 on 16 June 2016
This pre-Code gangster movie is interesting primarily because of James Cagney, who is in a supporting role, that of a gangster's right-hand man. His boss is played somewhat improbably by 21- year-old Lew Ayres, who is hard to believe as he threatens rival gang members to fall in line under his authority. However, fall in line they do, that is, until Ayres decides he's had enough and decides to retire. (Yes, the pretty boy baby-face had had enough of the game, when it looks like he hasn't started shaving) When he's gone, all hell breaks loose for reasons we can't really fathom, prompting them to attempt to reel him back in by kidnapping his kid brother, who is away at a military school. Ayres is one of the casting issues; the other is the policeman played by Robert Elliott, who is far too lethargic as he delivers his lines. The script is actually pretty good, and there are some lines that are wry and just perfect for the genre and time period. The ending is drawn out, however, and it's too bad the story surrounding the love interest (played well by Dorothy Matthews) who marries Ayres but secretly loves Cagney isn't expanded on, though the scene where she coyly slips off her wedding ring to encourage him is nice. The movie hits you over the head with an anti-crime message, but as you think about the actions of the police officer, coercing statements and selectively deciding who to protect, you have to wonder how effective this message was. Anyway, the net of all of this is a reasonably entertaining movie, but nothing to write home about. This was only Cagney's 2nd movie, just before a string of movies the following year which would cement him as a star, most notably, The Public Enemy, and he's such a natural with great screen presence. As a footnote, I found it ironic that while Ayres in the movie lauds Napoleon, his brother's military training, and war in general, Ayres in real life was a conscientious objector during WWII, making him very unpopular at the time, though he served with honor in the medical corps instead.

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