Big City (1937 film)

Big City is a 1937 American drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Luise Rainer and Spencer Tracy. The film was also released as Skyscraper Wilderness.[2]

Big City
Big City 1937 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank Borzage
Produced byFrank Borzage
Norman Krasna
Written byNorman Krasna
Dore Schary
Hugo Butler
StarringLuise Rainer
Spencer Tracy
Music byWilliam Axt
CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg
Edited byFrederick Y. Smith
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • September 3, 1937 (1937-09-03)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,601,000[1]


Joe Benton (Spencer Tracy) and his wife Anna (Luise Rainer) are suspected of starting a taxi war. Although innocent, they are blamed for everything that has happened and the officials demand that Anna be deported from the United States. While trying to prove their innocence, the couple feels forced to hide.

The film also casts a number of popular sports figures including Jack Dempsey, James J. Jeffries, Jim Thorpe, and Frank Wykoff in minor comic roles.



Writing for Night and Day in 1937, Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, describing it as "just possible to sit through". Greene's primary complaint was about the acting which he found to be "heavily laid on" with "people in this film [being] too happy before disaster: no one is as happy as all that, no one so little prepared for what life is bound to do sooner or later". The only consolation for Greene was that of Borzage's direction which Greene described as "sentimental but competent".[3]

Box officeEdit

According to MGM records the film earned $906,000 in the US and Canada and $695,000 elsewhere resulting in a profit of $462,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ The Great Depression in America by William H. Young, Nancy K. Young. p. 560
  3. ^ Greene, Graham (14 October 1937). "Big City/Tales from the Vienna Woods/Children at School". Night and Day. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russell, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. Oxford University Press. p. 173. ISBN 0192812866.)

External linksEdit