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Spectacular Hollywood

Does Hollywood gangster film production in the 1930s support Warshow’s contention that the gangster is a “tragic hero”?

    In 1948 Robert Warshow wrote that the gangster in Hollywood film was a tragic hero. By this he meant the gangster we see on screen would achieve their success, because they are under obligation to succeed, but would inevitably meet their death because the means of achieving their goals were all unlawful and aggressive – the audience would share their journey to success only to see it tragically unfold.

    The Dream Palace Theatre Chain revolution in Chicago.

      The Roosevelt Theatre was one of many theatres in Chicago, Illinois, owned and operated by Barney Balaban and Sam Katz during the Dream Palace Theatre chain revolution. Others included the Central Park, the Riviera and the Chicago Theatre. These theatres were dressed up spectacularly to provide a greater experience on top of just going to the theatre and whilst they only accounted for a quarter of total theatre seats, they generated sixty five percent of Chicago’s film rentals (Allen, & Gomery, 1985, p. 198).