Speakeasy 1929

It remained for Mr. Fox to talkify the first melodrama of the prize ring, and he made a good job of "Speakeasy." Its movie bones are old and obvious, but when Director Stoloff begins laying on the talkie meat the body begins to twitch, move and look about. It's the old, old story, mates of the bright young prizefighter surrounded by crooked handlers, hot song singers and bottles of rum of the pretty girl reporter who is all broken out with faith in him, and who turns up at the ringside of his comeback bout just in time to so rouse his dander as to enable him to knock the champion into a week from Wednesday night. " Speakeasy " bristles with action.

There are torrid sequences in the dive itself, exciting race bits, and a fight in Madison Square Garden that is no more affectionate than the usual run of photoplay sparring. There is also a fine example of what Mr. Stoloff thinks is a newspaper editor. The girl reporter is played by Lola Lane, and Martin, the intellectual pug, by Paul Page. They are nice-looking, pleasant spoken youngsters and work smoothly, if not with inspiration.

Two old-troupers steal the picture in an acting way. Helen Ware, of the stage, is splendid as the hostess of the speakeasy, and right behind comes Henry B. Walthall, The Little Colonel, as a sweet old gent who keeps alive by thumping jazz on the piano and who dies for the sake of Lola. Most of the exteriors were made in New York, and you can see Madison Square Garden as big as life, and at least as natural. One can say no, one WILL say, that "Speakeasy" is lively screen entertainment.

Photoplay May 1929

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US 1929

Directed by
Benjamin Stoloff

Warren Hymer
Erville Alderson
Marjorie Beebe


Running time:5,775 ft. 1

Imdb link