Movie Diary 3/20/2014

The Doorway to Hell (Archie Mayo, 1930). Gangland chief Lew Ayres tries to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. A year before stardom, James Cagney plays his deputy, serving notice about what was to come.

The Alibi (Roland West, 1929). Ex-con Chester Morris returns to his old gang, in a very elaborate plot that takes a good while to play out. William Cameron Menzies did the production design, which means there’s a lot to look at, and some very slow scenes in which to look.

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One Response

  1. Amazing to think that Alibi was an Academy contender. Then again, 1929 was an interzone with everyone breathing helium. The one category Alibi deserved its nomination in was Art Direction, which means Menzies, who did win–but for Bulldog Drummond, one of the year’s still-viable movies.

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