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Bat Morgan is nearly shanghaied on his way to the gold fields of California. Instead he kills Shanghai Duck and becomes a hero in San Francisco's Barbary Coast. He winds up the rich owner of a saloon and gambling hall and is nearly lynched for a murder he didn't commit. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
The Barbary Coast in San Francisco is the setting in this story of Bat Morgan (James Cagney), the man who would become the countries first racketeer. This is a decent little film but there's not enough energy to keep things moving as well as it should. Cagney, with a funky little haircut, is in good form but this is certainly not one of his greatest roles. The supporting cast is in good form and includes Margaret Lindsay, Ricardo Cortez, Donald Woods and George E. Stone. Cortez steals the show as the top guy in town but Stone adds some very good comic relief as Cagney's buddy. The highlight of the film is a terrific fight sequence between Cagney and a large man with a hook for a hand. The final twenty minutes deal with the city getting tired of the thugs and deciding to take the law into its own hands. We get another mob scene where they want to hang the bad men and this here is where the film should have taken off but things stay pretty bland and never get too exciting.
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