The Crowd Roars (1932 film)
|The Crowd Roars|
|Directed by||Howard Hawks|
|Written by||Howard Hawks|
Seton I. Miller
|Music by||Bernhard Kaun|
|Edited by||Thomas Pratt|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
The Crowd Roars is a 1932 American Pre-Code film directed by Howard Hawks starring James Cagney and featuring Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Eric Linden, Guy Kibbee, and Frank McHugh. A film of the same name was made in 1938 with a different story line, starring Robert Taylor.
The driver in the film's auto racing sequences was Harry Hartz, a successful board track and Indianapolis 500 race professional. It was remade in 1939 as Indianapolis Speedway with Pat O'Brien in Cagney's role, Ann Sheridan in Blondell's role, and McHugh playing the same role he played in the original.
Motor racing champion Joe Greer (James Cagney) returns home to compete in an exhibition race featuring his younger brother Eddie, who has aspirations of becoming a champion. Joe's misogynistic obsession with "protecting" Eddie (Eric Linden) from "women" causes Joe to interfere with Eddie's relationship with Anne (Joan Blondell), leading to estrangement between Joe and Eddie, and between Joe and his longtime girlfriend Lee (Ann Dvorak), who is made to feel "not good enough" to be around Eddie.
During the race, a third driver, Spud Connors (Frank McHugh), wrecks and is burned alive. Driving lap after lap through the flames and the smell of burning flesh (and maybe past the burning body) while blaming himself for the accident, Joe loses his will to race. Eddie goes on to win. Afterward, Joe's career plummets as Eddie's rises. The power of love eventually triumphs and Joe's career and his relationships with Lee and Eddie are rehabilitated.
Cast (in credits order)
- James Cagney as Joe Greer
- Joan Blondell as Anne Scott
- Ann Dvorak as Lee Merrick
- Eric Linden as Edward 'Eddie' Greer
- Guy Kibbee as Pop Greer
- Frank McHugh as Spud Connors
- Billy Arnold as Himself
- Fred Frame as Himself
- Ralph Hepburn as Himself
- Wilbur Shaw as Himself
- Shorty Cantlon as Himself
- Mel Keneally as Himself
- Stubby Stubblefield as Himself
Sentimentalism is downplayed in this "pre-Code" film. The lingering stench of Spud's burning body is implied strongly by the horrified expression on each driver's face as he passes through the smoke and tongue of burning gasoline that marks the wreck site, sometimes pushing his scarf against his nose.
- "Harry Hartz", IMDb, undated page, retrieved on August 12, 2008.
- Weird New Jersey. Issue 45. p. 57.
- The Crowd Roars at the Internet Movie Database
- The Crowd Roars at the TCM Movie Database
- The Crowd Roars at AllMovie
- The Crowd Roars at the American Film Institute Catalog
- Indianapolis Speedway at the Internet Movie Database