Barbary Coast (1935)

Approved   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Romance


Barbary Coast (1935) Poster

Mary Rutledge arrives from the east, finds her fiance dead, and goes to work at the roulette wheel of Louis Charnalis' Bella Donna, a rowdy gambling house in San Francisco in the 1850s.


6.8/10
1,584

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14 February 2018 | HotToastyRag
7
| How did this one make it past the censors?
Even though Barbary Coast came out after the restrictive Hays Code, it is one nasty movie! Imagine what they could have filmed if the censors hadn't been in play!

Miriam Hopkins arrives in San Francisco in the 1850s. She thinks she'll get married and start a respectable new life. Instead, her fiancé is dead, and her only option to survive is to accept casino owner Edward G. Robinson's offer. She becomes his mistress and works in the casino to help drum up business. Joel McCrea is honest, kind, and a hard worker-everything Eddy G isn't-and it isn't long before Miriam falls in love with him. Will Eddy G let her go without a fight?

The film feels like a pre-code movie, since the entire setting is in an unsavory part of town. There are drunks, gamblers, prostitutes, and criminals. There's violence, sex, and murder, and it's a very exciting ride! Many movies that take place in the mid-1800s are Wild West films, but in this different setting, it's interesting to see the still-rowdy behavior.

The famous trivia to come out of this film is that it was one of David Niven's first movies. He plays a drunken sailor, but apparently you'll have to watch the movie a few times to catch him. I knew the trivia and still didn't spot him on the first go-around. If you like a little naughtiness in your classics, you won't mind watching this one over and over to try and see him!

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