Most helpful critical review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fox tries for a 'San Francisco' of its own
on 1 November 2008
After years of being only available in a cut 94-minute version, Fox released both that and the original uncut 110-minute roadshow version on their Region 1 NTSC DVD, but sadly they've only seen fit to include the shorter version on their UK Region 2 DVD.
It has to be said that in its uncut version, In Old Chicago plays like an even more obvious ripoff of San Francisco, merely substituting Tyrone Power, Don Ameche, Alice Faye and the Chicago fire for Clark Gable, Spencer Tracey, Jeanette MacDonald and the San Francisco earthquake and adding more twee Oirish antics than are healthy. The musical numbers are a step down too, particularly Faye's rendition of Carry Me Back to Old Virginny complete with `massa' lyrics, and the finale isn't as grand on screen as it is in your memory: the scenes of the crowds of refugees on the banks tend to be far more effective than the backlot chaos. Still, any film that features Rondo Hatton can't be all bad, but it's easy to see why Zanuck ordered the film trimmed. However, it's worth picking up the US NTSC disc to give you the chance to make up your own mind as to which is the better version.