|Producer:||Darryl F. Zanuck|
|Producer:||20th Century Pictures|
|Internet Movie Database entry 0023838|
The Bowery is a 1933 historical film about the Lower East Side of Manhattan at the turn of the century. The movie was directed by Raoul Walsh and featured Wallace Beery as saloon owner Chuck Connors, George Raft as Steve Brodie, the first man to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and live, Jackie Cooper as a pugnacious child, Fay Wray (in the same year as King Kong) as the leading lady, and Pert Kelton (the first "Alice Kramden" on Jackie Gleason's The Honeymooners) as a bawdy dance hall singer. The film is not exactly a festival of political correctness, but it is an absorbing presentation of the views and behaviors common at the time. Modern viewers should know that the movie opens with a close-up of a saloon window featuring a sign saying "Nigger Joe's" in large letters (the name of an actual Bowery bar from the period). At one point, Cooper's character throws a rock through a Chinatown window, knocking over a kerosene lamp and causing a lethal fire that spreads through the block. When Beery's character berates him for carelessly killing so many innocent Chinese people, Cooper's character responds, "They was just Chinks," whereupon Beery immediately softens, saying "Awww..." while affectionately mussing the boy's hair.