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 »
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Trucker Eddie Kennedy gets involved with the law when he has an car accident with Ann Reid and knocks the owner of a dairy out. He evades a penalty when he claims, that he had done it as an... See full summary »
Young boxer Jim Hunt, resting at a New Mexico "health ranch," meets and falls for Peggy Harmon, former nightclub table singer...who needs $600 more for her sickly son to stay in the place. ... See full summary »
Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... 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 <email@example.com>
In this film, which was made after one of the many "censorship" reforms, the gangsters are never seen using the common gangster weapon: the Thompson Sub-Machine Gun. In an effort to curb the violence in movies, the new "production codes" forbade the use of the weapon by gangsters on camera for fear that it would corrupt the youth of America (a fact explained in the Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) DVD documentary). This is especially evident during the lodge shootout. All of the cops and FBI agents have Tommy guns, 12-gauge pump shotguns and automatic pistols, while the gangsters only have revolvers and lever-action rifles. 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 »
Well, you look like you're not going to New York.
No, I'm not going to New York. I'm gonna keep on pounding the ABC's of crime into the gold-plated skulls of these babes in arms.
[leafing through some applications]
Law school graduate, law school graduate, law school graduate. Listen to this: Mr. James Davis, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa. Now, isn't that sweet! Phi Beta Kappa!
James 'Brick' Davis:
[appearing behind them]
What's yours... 'Flat Foot-a Copp-a'?
Who said that? Who are you?
James 'Brick' Davis:
[...] See more »
Lawyer Brick Davis (James Cagney) is a fresh-out-of-school law graduate with no clients. When his old friend Eddie Buchanan (Regis Toomey) stops in town, he approaches Davis to become a 'G Man' - a member of a newly formed federal force that uses brains combined with brawn to make the perfect law enforcement. Davis isn't interested, but when Buchanan is shot dead by a gang of organised thugs, he joins up instantly, and begins to distance himself with his criminal clients. Upon arrival at the FBI recruitment centre, he knocks heads with his newly-appointed mentor Jeff McCord (Robert Armstrong) who dislikes the amount of law graduates they are getting. When the gang that Davis left behind start to cause mayhem on a federal scale, Davis uses his knowledge and experience to bring the gang to justice.
With all the Pre-Code mayhem that was taking over the cinemas back in the 1930's, people began worrying about the flattering, anti-hero portrayals that the criminal underworld were getting. Films such as the 1932 version of Scarface, and The Public Enemy (also starring Cagney) both showed them in a flattering light, so G-Men wanted to make the law cool again. Cagney's Brick Davis is very much like the villains portrayed in these films - he's ambitious, tough, intelligent - but he's also moral. The criminals, however, are portrayed as pure scum, and (in a quite shocking scene) capable of killing women without thinking twice. More of an FBI propaganda film than a film noir or a crime film, but it's easily watchable. Yet apart from a couple of bloody good shootouts and the odd surprise, the film never really grips and it does lack the usual bite from Cagney.
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