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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 »


A crashing automobile knocks over a street lamp just before it runs into a building. The lamp falls away from the camera so that its bottom is exposed. Clearly the lamp is a prop with no electrical wiring. See more »


James 'Brick' Davis: I'm leaving tomorrow morning. That puts me on the other side of the fence than you, Mac.
'Mac' McKay, aka Joseph Lynch: That's where you ought to be.
James 'Brick' Davis: Yes, but they're out to get you. You and everybody else in your racket. And if they assign me to go after you, I've got to use everything I know about you.
'Mac' McKay, aka Joseph Lynch: You've got to play ball with them, Brick. Go to it.
See more »


You Bother Me an Awful Lot
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Performed by Ann Dvorak and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

A Must-See Movie Which Launched Edward Pawley's "Bad Guy" Image in Movies
19 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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