Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »
It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »
Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »
Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
When Dan's former gang approaches the car offering a tour of movie stars homes, they walk through the shadow of the boom microphone - which can initially be seen on the street at their feet, then it rolls up all four as they walk to the side of the car. See more »
You can't get out of this country without paying your income tax.
Hmm, that income tax. I wish I had a piece of that racket.
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For anyone who enjoys James Cagney, this is a must-see. Yes, it's early in his career, but it's vintage Cagney: cocky, quick-tempered but humorous and likable as always. I am excited to see it finally coming out on DVD in March of 2008.
Instead of being a gangster throughout the story, he starts off that way in New York, runs off to Los Angeles and then goes straight after being hired as a Hollywood extra in a movie. He becomes a star but then his old gang catches up with him and he has to deal with them.
Along the way, three of the supporting actors combine with Cagney to make this a very fast- moving 74-minute film. They are Mae Clark, as the female villain "Myra Gale," Margaret Lindsay at the good woman "Lois Underwood," and Douglass Dumbrille as "Spade," the former leader of the New York gang. All are very convincing in their roles under the able work of director Roy Del Ruth.
You can tell this was a pre-code film just looking at Lindsay's ample cleavage, something that would have been covered up a bit more if the film had been made the following year. Other than that, and a few minor innuendos, the film is pretty clean, morally speaking.
One thing you certainly wouldn't see in today's films was the scene showing Cagney grabbing Clark by the hair and dragging her across the room, then booting her out in the hallway! (This is the same actress who received the famous grapefruit-in-the-face from Cagney in "Public Enemy.")
Anyway, yes the film is dated in much of the dialog and attitudes but it's so entertaining, so much fun to watch that it would still appeal to a good-sized audience today, too.
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