In Old Chicago

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In Old Chicago (1937) is an American drama film directed by Henry King. The screenplay by Sonya Levien and Lamar Trotti was based on the Niven Busch story, "We the O'Learys." The film is a fictionalized account about the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and stars Alice Brady as Mrs. O'Leary, the owner of the cow which started the fire, and Tyrone Power and Don Ameche as her sons. It also starred Alice Faye and Andy Devine. At the time of its release, it was one of the most expensive movies ever made.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Alice Brady won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She was the first person to win the Supporting Oscar after being nominated in the prior year.



During pre-production, MGM had announced that Jean Harlow, who was under contract to that studio, would be loaned to 20th Century Fox to star in the role Belle Fawcett. However due to Harlow's untimely death, the part went to Alice Faye.[1]


Historical inaccuracies

Despite crediting the Chicago Historical Society for assistance with historical research, much of the film is fictionalized.

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