I am velvety-smoothReview is BELOWI am veltely smooth, too
DVD: Barbary Coast (1935)
Review Rating:   Standard  
...back to Index
Catalog #:
...or start from scratch
1 (NTSC)

March 8, 2005



Genre: Western / Romance  
A gorgeous gold digger moves to San Francisco, but when her wealthy fiancé is found dead as a doornail, she finds thrills and chills by hooking up with a local crime goon.



Directed by:

Howard Hawks
Screenplay by: Ben Hecht,  Charles MacArthur
Music by: Alfred Newman
Produced by: Samuel Goldwyn

Miriam Hopkins,  Edward G. Robinson,  Joel McCrea,  Walter Brennan,  Frank Craven,  Brian Donlevy,  Clyde Cook,  Harry Carey,  Matt McHugh,  Donald Meek,  Rollo Lloyd,  J.M. Kerrigan,  Roger Gray

Film Length: 90 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.33:1
Black & White
Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:   English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono) / English, French, & Spanish Subtitles
Special Features :  

Theatrical trailer for "Barbary Coast"

Comments :

"Barbary Coast" is part of MGM's recent wave of Samuel Goldwyn-produced films that were originally distributed by United Artists.

A prolific and speedy writing team, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur allegedly concocted the script when producer Goldwyn wanted a movie to accompany his snappy title. "Barbary Coast" is a classic example of a high-concept project taking advantage of popular elements: Edward G. Robinson plays a somewhat more refined thug in the wake of his successful "Little Caesar" characterization (here, with earring, and a silver-plated cane); Miriam Hopkins suffers onscreen again, though unlike "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," it's all emotional, further strained by mounting guilt; and Joel McCrea plays a good-natured idiot who nudges the film's maudlin conflicts into the bathos bathtub (with the song "I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" endlessly quoted over a very blonde Hopkins).

The real stars of the film are the superlative cast - a marvelous band of character actors - and the moody black & white cinematography by Ray June; like MGM's Charlie Chan transfers, however, there's visible compression during some of the fog-enshrouded scenes, particularly during the film's waterfront finale.

Between his more iconic works - such as "Scarface," and "Brining Up Baby" - Howard Hawks directed a number of lesser-known films which still deserve a look, particularly for fans in search of Hawksian archetypes; in "Barbary Coast," you have a lonely, tough female surrounded by tough guys; fast-paced dialogue; and snappy nicknames for the multi-layered cast - Swan, Old Atrocity, Sawbuck, and Knuckles.

Hawks would re-team with co-star McCrea in "Come and Get It" the following year, for producer Goldwyn

© 2005 Mark R. Hasan

_IMDB Entry________Script Online _________Fan/Official Film site________Cast/Crew Link
_IMDB Detailed Entry_______Scripts available online ________Fan/Official Film Site__________Additional Related Sites
____Amazon.com __________Amazon.ca _________Bay Street Video_______Comparisons_
__Amazon.com_____Amazon.ca (Canada)_ _Basy Street Video info______Compare Different Region releases_
_Soundtrack CD__________CD Review__________LP Review__________Composer Filmog.
_________Soundtrack Review_______Yes, VINYL_________Composer Filmography/Discography at Soundtrack Collector.com

Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colours, and optimized for MS Explorer 6.0. KQEK Logo and All Original KQEK Art, Interviews, Profiles, and Reviews Copyright © 2001-Present by Mark R. Hasan. All Rights Reserved. Additional Review Content by Contributors 2001-Present used by Permission of Authors. Additional Art Copyrighted by Respective Owners. Reproduction of any Original KQEK Content Requires Written Permission from Copyright Holder and/or Author. Links to non-KQEK sites have been included for your convenience; KQEK is not responsible for their content nor their possible use of any pop-ups, cookies, or information gathering.