Racketeer Tony Gazotti is thankful that lawyer Jackson Durant helps him beat a murder rap, but Durant just does it for the thrill of it and refuses payment. Durant's defense of mobsters ... See full summary »
W.S. Van Dyke
Gunner and Bucker are pals who work as riveters. Whenever Bucker gets the urge to marry, which is often, Gunner will hit on his girl to see if she is true or not. So far, Gunner has not ... See full summary »
McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" ... See full summary »
The family consists of Pat, the cop, Mike the fireman, Danny the boxing promoter and Ma. Pat wants Danny to get a real job, because most of his fighters end up in Polookaville and Pat wants... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland
When a movie theater usher is fired, he takes up with criminals and finds himself quite adept at various illegal activities. Eventually though, the police catch up with him, and he runs to hide out in Los Angeles. There he stumbles into the movie business and soon rises to stardom. He has gone straight, but his newfound success arouses the interest of his old criminal associates, who are not above blackmail... Written by
Ken Yousten <email@example.com>
After James Cagney, dressed as a native American, dismounts a mechanical horse, he finds it painful to sit down in Lois' dressing room. When she enters and asks him what he's made up for, Cagney, who was fluent in Yiddish, responds "Big Chief Es Tut Mir Veh im Tuchas," which delicately translated means "Big Chief It Hurts My Rear End." See more »
After the robbery of the robbery of the wealthy woman's home the paper says a maid was struck and seriously injured; and later in Cagney's office they're still talking about a maid who screams. Later when the guy who actually hit comes back scared; he's says the butler died. See more »
Cagney in many guises, and a fun, layered up romp from poker to the movies
Lady Killer (1933)
I love these multi-part stories, where one set of scenes shifts to a whole new set, and then they eventually intertwine. And I also love movies that show the inside of Hollywood, with actual recreations of movie sets and movie shoots.
Lady Killer has both, and James Cagney, too. It's fast, furious, funny, and shot with a bright, glinting intelligence. Not quite a gangster film, it does have crime and some crooked thugs. And not quite a comedy, it pulls out quite a few laughs, mostly because Cagney is a card. There are two fabulous first ladies (and they naturally must view for our man), Mae Clark and Margaret Lindsay, and a slew of second men who hold up their characters with caricature.
In all, there is no Warner message here, except maybe the virtue can sometimes prevail. It's just a lot of great scenes, witty dialog, and a play of good guys against bad guys. Look for some stunning rain scenes in California (yeah, I know), and for a huge range of interior and exterior set ups, fairly elaborate for Warner Bros. budgets.
For Cagney fans, it's a riot to see him take on, briefly, a series of roles as Indian chief, Italian lover, and prisoner on work detail. The latter, of course, is close to the real roles that made him famous, and his role here is actually a little lighter than that, a bad guy who is all wisecracks and cheerfulness. Look for some insider jokes, like the poster (and mention) of the Edward G. Robinson film, and the movie ushers wearing hats all with the Warner Brothers logo on it.
Great stuff. I loved it even as I knew it wasn't quite a masterpiece. Oh, and the new (2010) Warner DVD is sparkling, a first rate print!
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