12 January 2006 | sol-kay
Cavalcade of Schmaltz
(There are Spoilers) Strange movie featuring two double Acadamy Award winner, for best actor & actress, as it's top stars.
New York cabbie John Benton, Spencer Tracy,is having such a wild and crazy time with his Russian born wife Anna, Luise Rainer, that at first you don't realize that the movie "Big City" is actually a crime drama not a light screwball 1930's type comedy.Later we see that there's a taxi war going on between the independent cab drivers, which Joe is a member of, and the Comet Taxi company that turns deadly. Anna's brother Paul, Victor Varccni, goes to work for Comet and at a birthday party she gives his friend Buddy, John Arledge,a raincoat to leave at the Comet Taxi garage for him. Not knowing that Beecher, William Demarest, who's the head of security for Comet is planing to start a war between the two rival taxi groups, the independent and Comet in order to justify his job, by having the garage blown up that evening. What happens is that after Buddy leaves the package with the raincoat Paul shows up to pick up his cab and the bomb goes off and Paul's killed by the night watchman, Paul Fix, who's also working for the sleazy Beecher. With Buddy now in hot water for leaving the package, that is mistakenly described as a bomb, Anna is the prime suspect in her brothers murder and the independent cab drivers, like her husband Joe, are seen as accomplices in the crime since they were at odds, or at war, with the Comet Taxi Company.
At Paul's funeral Anna, who's there in black grieving for him, is on the verge of getting arrested and deported back to Russia, or the Soviet Union, for "her part" in Paul's murder and the bombing of the taxi garage. The independent cabbies outraged at this injustce keep the police and immigration agents at bay as Anna is slipped out of the church and into hiding.
In what seems like a shell, or Three Card Monte, game Joe and his cabbie friends keep the police and immigration agents away from Anna as almost all the independent, some 40 of them, divers are held as accessories to her escaping from the arms of the law. As all this is going on Anna, who's very pregnant, now sick and tired off all the trouble she's caused by being on the lamb decides to give herself up for a crime, the bombing of the Comet garage and the murder of her brother Paul, that she had nothing to do with. later Buddy, Anna and Paul's friend, decides to take out insurance by leaving a letter to the District Attorney, implicating Beecher for the bombing if Beecher tries to have him knocked off in order to keep his mouth shut for good.
Joe together with fellow cabbie Mike, Eddie Quillian,getting the letter implicating Beecher and his hoods for Paul's death rushes to a boxing event that the mayor, Charley Grapewin, is attending to get him to stop the ship from leaving New York Harbor, for the Soviet Union, with Anna on it.
Wild ending with the mayor and a couple of car load of professional boxers including Jack Dempsey James J. Jeffres Man Mountain Dean, and even Olympic legend Jim Thorpe, wading into a battle with the Comet Taxi drivers. The drivers together with Beecher and his hoods, came to the docks to have it out with Joe & Co. as the mayor and his DA and top aids watch and enjoy the action with the cops, called to put an end to all this ruckus, stuck in heavy midtown traffic. In the middle of all this action poor Anna is in an ambulance giving birth, surprise it's a boy, and the baby is later christened with every boy's name ,from A to Z, in the book to make sure that no one's left out.