The Devil's Party (June 2, 1938)
Released on June 2, 1938: Five childhod friends risk being torn apart by murder, deception, deceit and lies.
Directed by Ray McCarey
Written by Roy Chanslor, Borden Chase, Charles Grayson and A. Dorian Otvos.
The Actors: Victor McLaglen (Marty Malone), William Gargan (Mike O'Mara), Paul Kelly (Jerry Donovan), Beatrice Roberts (Helen McCoy), Frank Jenks (Sam), John Gallaudet (Joe O'Mara), Samuel S. Hinds (Judge Harrison), Joe Downing (Frank Diamond), Arthur Hoyt (Webster), Scotty Beckett (Mike O'Mara as a child), Stanley Blystone (policeman with the doorman), Tommy Bupp (Jerry Donovan as a child), Neal Burns (emergency squad member), Howard Christie (emergency squad member), Drew Demorest (cab driver), George DeNormand (Diamond's henchman), Mike Donovan (policeman at headquarters), Bill Elliott (James Brewster), Allen Fox (emergency squad member), Otto Fries (detective), Jack Gardner (cab driver), Edward Gargan (Sergeant Enders), Eddie Hall (pedestrian in front of Cigarette Club), Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian (workman), Robert Homans (cop at the Circle House), Hugh Huntley (Louis), Dickie Jones (Joe O'Mara as a child), Harvey Karels (Adagio team member), Jack Kenney (detective), Carl Knowles (cab driver), Mike Lally (Diamond's henchman), Larry McGrath (cop), Charles McMurphy (police captain), Charles Murphy (Brown), Spec O'Donnell (young kid), David Oliver (Hank Andrews), Lee Phelps (cop at warehouse), Juanita Quigley (Helen McCoy as a child), Fred Rapport (emergency squad man), Mickey Rentschler (Marty Malone as a child), Jolane Reynolds (Adagio team member), Addison Richards (Inspector Bresnahan), Jack Roper (double), Dick Rush (plain clothes policeman), Tiny Sandford (doorman), Ralph Sanford (policeman at warehouse), David Sharpe (double), Charles Sherlock (detective), Charles Sullivan (Diamond's henchman), William Tannen (master of ceremonies), Charles Teske (Adagio team member), Jerry Tucker (child), Minerva Urecal (Maria, Jerry's housekeeper), Beryl Wallace (hat check girl), Norman Willis (Ed, Diamond henchman), Arthur Yeoman (workman).
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One of my greatest regrets is that I have no childhood friends that are still as close to me as they were in childhood. Papa was a preacher, and we moved three times over my years at home. This was of course before e-mail, social media and such, so when we left one town to move to another, my friends became memories of the past and nothing more. As an adult I was very fortunate in that I never had a job that lasted an entire career, moving from business to business and town to town either because I was bored with the job or the economy put the business into the toilet and forced me to move on. I just saw a t-shirt in the Eastwood Mall this morning on a store mannequin that said, "Bad Choices make Great Stories," and I immediately felt a kinship with the statement. I didn't have so many bad choices, but mostly just a great number of choices and changes over the years that gave me a really wide view of life over a large spectrum of jobs and acquaintances. I've been blessed to work with and be friends with both wealthy people with nothing but blue skies and good days and with struggling people that did not know if they would have a job or enough money for food in the next week. And I have found good sincere friends at both ends of the economic rainbow, along with a bunch of stinkers mixed in. But I have not been blessed with childhood friends like the five people in this movie.
Four young boys in the tough Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York are best friends that would do anything for each other. Little Helen McCoy also forces her way into their 'club' as the fifth member. One day a prank gone wrong ends in a warehouse fire and young Marty is caught by the police. He refuses to tell the cops who the other kids were, and spends time in jail for the crime. We move a few years into the future and Marty is out of jail and runs a nightclub and gambling joint. The two O'Mara brothers have become police officers, and Jerry Donovan has become a neighborhood priest working with young people of Hell's Kitchen. Helen McCoy has grown up to be a torch singer in Marty's nightclub. All five friends still gather once a year to party and recall their wild childhood days. And even though they have chosen very different career paths, they are still best friends that would do anything in the world for any of the others. That is, until murder threatens to split them apart. We get a fascinating look at how people think and act as they begin to doubt their best friends, and we will discover whether that bond of friendship will be torn apart or somehow held together after murder, deception, deceit and lies have had their way. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter drizzled on it and enjoy a classic crime adventure story involving five best friends.
Beatrice Roberts and Norman Willis
Beatrice Roberts and William Gargan
Beatrice Roberts singing in the nightclub
Frank Jenks and Joe Downing argue with Victor McLaglen
Joe Downing and Frank Jenks
Joe Downing and Victor McLaglen
Joe Downing as Frank Diamond in The Devil's Party
Paul Kelly as Father Jerry Donovan in The Devil's Party
Victor McLaglen and Beatrice Roberts
Victor McLaglen and Paul Kelly in The Devil's Party
Victor McLaglen asks Beatrice Roberts to marry him
William Gargan and John Gallaudet
William Gargan and Paul Kelly
William Gargan in The Devil's Party