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 »
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 for arrests - that doesn't stop fresh Law School grad Eddie Buchanan from joining up, and he encourages his former roommate James "Brick" Davis (James Cagney) to do so as well. But Davis wants to be an honest lawyer, not a shyster, despite his ties to mobster boss McKay, and he's intent on doing so, until Buchanan is gunned down trying to arrest career criminal Danny Leggett. Davis soon joins the "G-Men" as they hunt down Leggett (soon-to-be Public Enemy Number One) and his cronies Collins and Durfee, who are engaged in a crime and murder spree from New York to the midwest. Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Two of the prominent action scenes in the film were based on real events. The rail station shootout in which gangsters free Danny Leggett,was based upon the famous "Kansas City Massacre" in which gunmen attacked FBI agents and local police as they were transporting federal prisoner Frank "Jelly" Nash on June 17th, 1933. In that incident one FBI agent--who was unarmed, as were all agents at that time--three policemen and Nash himself were killed. As shown in the film, this was the incident that increased the power of the FBI and turned into the agency it is currently. The other incident was the shootout at the lodge. That was based on a battle between FBI agents and a gang that included John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson on April 22, 1934. See more »
When Collins gets out of the car following his wife into the lunch room, the distance between the door and lamppost changes. See more »
A Must-See Movie Which Launched Edward Pawley's "Bad Guy" Image in Movies
This is a fast-paced movie which suited the fast-moving Jimmy Cagney and, thus, proved to be a big box office success. It was a watershed role for Cagney who had previously played the "tough guy" in various movies of the gangster genre. This movie finds him still playing a tough guy, but this time he is on the side of the law. Cagney is well-supported in his role with an excellent cast which includes Robert Armstrong playing Cagney's boss, Margaret Lindsay and Ann D'Vorak playing Cagney's love interests, Lloyd Nolan as an FBI agent, Barton McLean as one of the gangster mob which included "public enemy number one" (Danny Leggett) played capably by former broadway star, Edward Pawley (he was the original "Elmer Gantry" in the 1928 broadway play of the same name). According to Pawley, his role in G-Men was based upon the notorious real-life gangster, John Dillinger. This was Pawley's defining role as a "bad guy" in the movies, and it served him well in his future movies in which he primarily played the bad guy. He played "bad guy" roles not only in gangster films but also in horror, western, and comedy films as well. He once stated that he played so many "bad guy" roles during his 10-year stint in Hollywood that policemen often eyed him with suspicion whenever he walked down the street. They couldn't decide whether they had seen him in the movies on in the line-up! After deciding to leave Hollywood in 1942, he moved back to New York and replaced Edward G. Robinson in the role of "Steve Wilson" on radio's very popular Big Town drama series. He finally got to play the "good guy"!
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