10 August 2011 | bkoganbing
Not A Profession He Wants For His Brother
In watching the early Paramount talkies with William Powell it never ceases to amaze that Powell stage trained voice that he had apparently knew instinctively how to modulate for the new medium of talking motion pictures. It was why he was able to have three successful Philo Vance films and Street Of Chance is in the same mode.
Powell's character of 'Natural' Davis is of course modeled on the legendary Arnold Rothstein who gambled with quite a bit more than just games of chance. This is the life Powell has chosen for himself and he and wife Kay Francis are content. He's the best at what he does in a business filled with uncertainty.
But this is not a life he wants for his brother Regis Toomey who comes into town wanting to try the gambling world and be the best like 'Natural Davis. That's not what Powell wants for his kid brother, he wants Toomey to be and stay respectable. Tragedy results when Powell tries some desperate means to keep Toomey from the life.
Powell and Francis are at the top of their game and Toomey registers well as the eager younger brother. Jean Arthur is here as well, but she's really not the Jean Arthur who developed later on in those Thirties screwball comedies, she took quite a while to develop as a screen personality.
Street Of Chance shows William Powell at really good advantage in a carefully delineated role. For his fans definitely catch this one.