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City Streets (1931)

aka City Streets

"Love and courage pitted against a ruthless hate!"

Directed By: 
Details: 83 mins · English


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Small The Kid
Small Nan Cooley
Small Big Fellow Maskal
Small McCoy (as William Boyd)
Small Agnes
Small Pop Cooley
Small Blackie
No_movie_poster Pansy
No_movie_poster Police inspector
No_movie_poster Esther March


Small Dashiell Hammett Story
No_movie_poster Lee Garmes Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Rouben Mamoulian Director
No_movie_poster Oliver H.P. Garrett Screenplay
No_movie_poster Max Marcin Adaptation
No_movie_poster E. Lloyd Sheldon Producer
Small Dashiell Hammett Story Contributor
No_movie_poster William Shea Editing


"Love and courage pitted against a ruthless hate!"


Nan Cooley (Sylvia Sidney), the daughter of racketeer Pop Cooley (Guy Kibbee), is in love with The Kid (Gary Cooper), a shooting gallery showman. Cooley tries to urge him to join the gang, in order to earn enough money to support her in the lifestyle she is accustomed to, but The Kid refuses. Soon her father kills bootlegging chief Blackie (Stanley Fields), at the urging of Big Fella Maskal (Paul Lukas), because Blackie was against Maskal's involvement with Blackie's gun moll Aggie (Wynne Gibson).

After Pop shoots Blackie, he passes the gun to his stepdaughter Nan (Sylvia Sidney), thus implicating her in the murder. She naïvely takes the rap for her father, believing the mob will arrange for her acquittal, and is sent to prison. Pop Cooley then tries to convince The Kid to join the gang in order to free Nan, and he does so out of love for her. However, Nan's attitude had changed when she was railroaded to prison. When The Kid visits Nan in prison in a fur coat, she becomes terrified of his involvement with Pop's gang after witnessing a fellow inmate's mobster boyfriend being gunned down outside the prison gate the day the girl was to go home to him.

When Nan is released, having served her term, she wants nothing more to do with the mob. She tries to persuade The Kid to quit the gang, but he refuses. Things go downhill from there. She finds that her father is unrepentant and involved with a loose, gold-digging woman named Pansy (Betty Sinclair). Maskal soon takes a strong liking to Nan and throws her a homecoming party, forcing her to dance with him all evening. When The Kid finally asserts his claim over Nan, Maskal threatens him, then later sends his thugs to kill him, but The Kid successfully disarms them, then goes after Maskal.

Terrified her lover will be killed, Nan goes to Maskal to warn him and offers herself to him in exchange for The Kid's life. Aggie, now Maskal's mistress, shoots him with Nan's gun after he leaves her for Nan, and Nan is accused of murder. The Kid then names himself mob chief and escapes with Nan in a car with three of Maskal's men, who aim to kill him. Thus events culminate in The Kid and Nan being taken "for a ride" by rival thugs. By racing a train and maintaining high speeds, The Kid keeps himself alive until Nan pulls a gun on the men and disarms them. Dropping the thugs off with "no hard feelings," The Kid tells them he has quit the beer business, and he and Nan drive off.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1931-04-18 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1932-06-24 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1931-11-06 : Austria

Theatrical : 1932-01-18 : Portugal

Television : 1975-05-26 : Finland