Watching Roaring Twenties is like watching the birth of gangster movies. Of course it's bigger than that but seeing James Cagney shout shut up flashes images of Tony Soprano helplessly in one's head.
A portrait of the prohibition era, Roaring Twenties is a sweeping tale which sees Eddie Bartlett fall victim to the vices of the rapid era. Within the film, the modern viewer can see the evolution of cinematic language. There is a scene where Priscilla Lane sings in a speakeasy. Intercut are shots of Eddie and Nick Brown allowing for tension to rise; an early example of effective editing.
The film is a wonderful portrait of not only Hollywood's golden era but also a time of hedonism and madness, ending tragically on god's front door.