In one scene Dorothy (Madge Evans) actually said "You dirty rat" making it only time the phrase was ever spoken in any Cagney film yet contrary to many Cagney impersonators Cagney himself never said it.
The Mayor of Hell (1933) 1080p YIFY Movie
The Mayor of Hell (1933) 1080p
The Mayor of Hell is a movie starring James Cagney, Madge Evans, and Arthur Byron. Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the state reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous...
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The Synopsis for The Mayor of Hell (1933) 1080p
Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the state reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed deputy commissioner as a political favor, arrives - complete with hip flask and blonde. Gargan falls for activist nurse Dorothy and, inspired by her, takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles. But Thompson, to conceal his years of graft, needs a quick way to discredit Gargan.
The Director and Players for The Mayor of Hell (1933) 1080p
The Reviews for The Mayor of Hell (1933) 1080p
She said it!Reviewed bydweilermg-1Vote: 10/10
James Cagney, racketeer and political ward heeler, get to become a Deputy Commissioner of Corrections and visits a boys reform school. The catch is that Cagney is not in it for the graft, he genuinely wants to make a difference in the lives of the kids there because he comes from a background like their's.
The villain of the piece is Dudley Digges who is a grafting chiseler and a sanctimonious hypocrite to boot. One of the subtexts of the plot of The Mayor of Hell is that these kids are mostly immigrants and those that judge them and are in positions of power are those who are here a few generations. Note in the mess hall scene as Digges offers a prayer of thanks for the food they are about to receive, Digges is eating well, but the kids are getting quality you wouldn't feed to your pet.
Cagney has his own troubles back in the city with some of his henchmen and he has to take it on the lam. That puts Digges back in charge and setting up the film for it's climax.
The Mayor of Hell was a typical product from the working class studio. And because it was pre-Code it gets pretty gruesome at times. A later version of this, Crime School, with Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Kids, was a more sanitized remake.
Although Cagney is fine in the lead role as is Madge Evans the school nurse, the acting honors go to Dudley Digges. Hard to believe that the same man could portray the drunken, but kindly, one legged ship's surgeon in Mutiny on the Bounty. But Digges is a fine player and a joy to watch in every film he's in.
This film is not shown too often because of the racial and ethnic stereotypes it portrays. A whole lot of minorities would be offended today. Still it's a fine film.
Interestingly enough a few years ago the film Sleepers came out and it touched on some of the same issues. I guess films about reform schools don't change in any time.
Don't let the overly sensationalized title put you off of this one, which is about a gang of young toughs all sentenced to a reform school, where they suffer mistreatment until James Cagney improbably shows up to run the show. Cagney befriends the nurse (Madge Evans), but clashes with the strict warden (Dudley Digges), who does not approve of their ideas to give the kids more freedom and the chance to govern themselves. Cagney has further trouble in that he's a gangster himself, trying to keep his 'racket' under control while he spends time at the school.
Cagney has such charisma and his presence carries the movie, but there are also fine performances from Frankie Darro (the leader of the kids), Digges, and Arthur Byron (a thoughtful judge), among others (and including all those child actors). It's fun to hear all the 'tough talk' and slang from the 30's, and the scenes early on with the kids are enjoyable. The film's message, to paraphrase Cagney's character, is that you have to take a firm hand with kids or they'll walk all over you, but on the other hand, they're just kids, and behave better when shown a little love and respect. The action gets a little melodramatic as the film progresses, and the simplistic and somewhat horrifying ending isn't great, but all in all it's an entertaining film.