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'G' Men (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 May 1935 (USA)
2:08 | Trailer

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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 »



(story), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Hugh Farrell
'Mac' McKay
Edward Pawley ...
Danny Leggett
Fingerprint Expert
Eddie Buchanan
Bruce J. Gregory
Gangsters' Messenger with Warning


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 <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Hollywood's Most Famous Bad Man Joins the "G-MEN" and Halts the March of Crime!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 May 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

G'Men  »

Box Office


$450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


An opening scene was added in 1948, 13 years after the film was made, depicting new FBI recruits about to view this film. Douglas Kennedy, who played "Detective Kennedy" in the Humphrey Bogart classic Dark Passage (1947), plays one of the recruits. See more »


Collins' wife passes in front of Brick twice as she comes in to be questioned. See more »


James 'Brick' Davis: Then that's the way you want me to play it?
'Mac' McKay, aka Joseph Lynch: That's the only way to play it.
See more »


Referenced in Albino Alligator (1996) See more »


I'm Goin' Shoppin' with You
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played when Brick is talking to Mac in Mac's office
See more »

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User Reviews

This time its Cagney AGAINST the Underworld
24 December 2004 | by (Flushing, NY) – See all my reviews

James "Brick" Davis gives up his law practice to join the Department of Justice (FBI) following the murder of Buchanan, department agent and Brick's former college roommate. Once arriving in Washington for training, Brick is given a hard time by McCord, the officer in charge, but McCord thinks Brick has the makings of a great agent, even though McCord uncovers the fact that Brick's education was paid for by McKay, a racketeer, who now wants to get out of the rackets. Leggett, who was one of the people McKay sold his interests to, is now Public Enemy number one, following a mob shootout with the G-Men. The agency gets Congress to pass laws that allow the FBI to cross state lines, carry ammunition, make kidnapping and bank robbery federal crimes, and others to strengthen the agency. Leggett is captured and the FBI next goes after Collins, who is hiding out at McKay's hotel in Wisconsin. A shootout ensues, McKay and several of Collins' gang is killed, but the head gangster gets away. Can Brick and McCord apprehend Collins, before he kills his wife (a former flame of Brick and the person who gave away Collins' location to the police) and also kills McCord's sister, Kay (who Brick is sweet on)? Good film from Warner Bros. trying to sanitize Cagney's character from his earlier gangster pictures. Keighley's direction makes good use of all the shootouts which spare little and do paint a decent picture of the FBI's problems during its infancy. Cagney still manages to play the tough guy very well, even though this time he's on the side of law and order. Dvorak is sympathetic as Jean. Lindsay is OK, but she is not given much time to establish much character and when she does, she becomes the stereotypical love interest for Cagney. Much of the last half-hour of the film does seem rushed as compared to the first hour. Rating, 7.

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