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AlcoholScience, Policy and Public Health$
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Peter Boyle, Paolo Boffetta, Albert B. Lowenfels, Harry Burns, Otis Brawley, Witold Zatonski, and Jürgen Rehm

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199655786

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.001.0001

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Cultural aspects: alcohol use in film

Cultural aspects: alcohol use in film

Chapter:
(p.34) Chapter 5 Cultural aspects: alcohol use in film
Source:
Alcohol
Author(s):

Judy Cornes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199655786.003.0005

This chapter discusses representations of alcohol use in film. It focuses on three Prohibition gangster films: Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931), and The Roaring Twenties (1939). Little Caesar was one of the earliest of the Prohibition-era gangster films with audible dialogue. It starred Edward G. Robinson who played Caesar Enrico Bandello, a social climber, mob boss, and efficient killer. In The Public Enemy, James Cagney displayed this tremendous energy; first, as a young man involved in petty crime with childhood friend Matt Doyle; then, with the advent of Prohibition, as a distributer of illegally produced beer, beating up owners who refuse to buy his brand. The Roaring Twenties also starred James Cagney; he played the sympathetic character of Eddie Bartlett, who is trapped in circumstances beyond his control.

Keywords:   alcohol consumption, alcohol abuse, representations, motion pictures, Prohibition, gangster films, Little Caesar, the public enemy, the roaring twenties

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