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Mob boss Louie Ricarno is leaving “the game,” quitting the beer-running rackets and settling down in Florida to write his memoirs and live the good life with his new bride. Yet Ricarno’s past returns to spoil his happiness, plunging him back into an underworld of violence and payback. Top-billed Lew Ayres, just two months removed from his success in All Quiet on the Western Front, plays Ricarno in a machine-gunning Pre-Code saga directed by Archie Mayo (The Petrified Forest). Adding extra excitement is James Cagney in his second film, giving a live-wire portrayal as a trusted mob lieutenant who secretly romances the boss’ wife. Billed sixth but given much screen time in the film’s first hour, Cagney confidently serves notice of an actor on the rise. Barely six months later, he would lay claim to stardom in his fourth film, the seminal gangster classic The Public Enemy.

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WAA84965 Doorway To Hell DVD (1932/Lew Ayres) $17.99