Thunder in the City (1937)

Thunder in the City (1937)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Dir. Marion Gering
Cast: Edward G. Robinson, Nigel Bruce, Constance Collier
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Screening Time: Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Storyline
A fascinating British-made comedy of a go-getting American promoter making a fortune in a stock exchange scam. A tailor-made role for Edward G.!

4 Comments

  1. IMDBReviewer

    January 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

    In the middle of one of his disputes with the Brothers Warner, Edward G. Robinson went over to the United Kingdom to make this feature about a fast talking promoter who essentially inflates the value of some mining stock to get more money for the owner who is being squeezed by a tough minded businessman in the purchasing negotiations. The owners are Nigel Bruce and Constance Collier and the businessman is Ralph Richardson in one of his early screen roles.

    The role Robinson is playing is one Pat O'Brien probably would have been better suited for, it's the kind of fast talking ballyhoo artist that O'Brien did in his sleep. Bruce and Collier are fine, but Ralph Richardson really gives the best performance with Donald Calthrop as a French chemist who has patented the process to manufacture the 'magnalite' ore from the Bruce/Collier mines, a close second.

    If anyone can tell me what magnalite is I'd like to know. Robinson promotes it in the way that Rock Hudson promoted Vip in Lover Come Back.

    Thunder in the City is a great deal cheaper on the production values than anything Robinson was doing at Warner Brothers and unfortunately it shows. Still it's not a bad film and it certainly shows British business practice sure ain't different than American ones.

  2. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I'd love to know how producer Alexander Esway landed Edward G. Robinson for this low budget British feature. Robinson plays a crafty American businessman who relocates to the old country in order to pick up a few pointers–in addition to teaching the locals a few tricks about wealth creation. Nigel Bruce is delightful (and typically fuddled) as the nobleman who sells his stake in some Rhodesian mines to Robinson, Ralph Richardson is nice and chilly as the villain of the piece, and sexy Luli Deste is adequate as the film's love interest. For a low budget effort, the film is very well made, and features a few impressive sequences, most notably a brief scene in the Escher-like Challoner Hall that seems to consist primarily of staircases leading nowhere. The old Madacy Video tape leaves a lot to be desired, however: their print is worn and washed out. Thunder In the City is no classic, but it deserves to get cleaned up for DVD.

  3. IMDBReviewer

    January 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

    The Atlantic Film Company only released one film–"Thunder in the City". I know nothing about this British company but was surprised to see a big star from the era, Edward G. Robinson, slumming it with a small production company instead of working with familiar old Warner Brothers. Regardless of why he agreed to this, it turned out to be an enjoyable sort of movie.

    The film begins with Robinson being fired from his job. It seems his way of marketing didn't sit well with the company, as they didn't like his hard sell techniques. On a whim, he decides to travel to the UK to look up some relatives and ends up coming up with a crazy scheme to market something that he knows nothing about–a mineral called magnalite. And, he actually is able to pull it off with a nationwide crazy blitz that got the Brits abuzz about this 'miracle metal'. However, the path to riches isn't all THAT easy, as he's about to discover the hard way.

    Robinson turns in a rather delightful performance as a good-hearted huckster. However, he's ably supported by a nice cast that includes Ralph Richardson and Nigel Bruce (among others). Not a brilliant film by any means but enjoyable throughout. Fluff? Perhaps…but enjoyable fluff!

  4. Anonymous

    January 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Advertising man Dan Armstrong (Edward G. Robinson) is fired because his ideas are seen as out-of-date and undignified by his bosses, who cite the English as having a respectable approach to business. He decides to go to England to visit relatives. While there he falls for pretty Lady Patricia (Luli Deste), who is considering marrying stuffy jerk Manningdale (Ralph Richardson) just for his money. Dan cooks up a scheme to help his financially struggling family as well as make himself enough money he could provide Patricia with more security than Manningdale.

    Pretty much any film with Eddie G. is worth watching and this is no exception. It's a fish-out-of-water story with the colorful American teaching and learning from the staid Brits. The funniest scene to me was when Robinson gets lost in the family manor. It's all genial enough and the cast is certainly a quality one. Robinson is great. Richardson is always good. Nigel Bruce and Constance Collier are fun. Interesting look at British/American relations and attitudes at the time.

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