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Great Guy (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | December 1936 (USA)
The adventures of an investigator (Cagney) for the Bureau of Weights and Measures.



(story "The Johnnie Cave Stories"), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Janet Henry
James Burke ...
Pat Haley
Pete Reilly
Abel Canning
Edward McNamara ...
Capt. Hanlon
Robert Gleckler ...
Marty Cavanaugh
Edward Gargan ...
Matty Fain ...
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. Ogilvie
Wallis Clark ...
Joel Green
Douglas Wood ...


It's the New York Department of Weights and Measures vs. a systematic effort to cheat the public by giving them less product than they pay for...organized by crooked city alderman Marty Cavanaugh, who put the last chief deputy inspector in the hospital. The new man, pugnacious Johnny Cave, steps on the toes of influential merchants and gets increasing pressure, both political and strong-arm, to desist. Will the luck (if not the pluck) of the Irish pull him through? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

December 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gran tipo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was James Cagney's first film in more than 11 months because of litigation following the termination of his contract at Warner Bros. See more »


Johnny 'Red' Cave: I'll see you in jail, bread-snatcher!
See more »

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User Reviews

Small but important movie
30 March 2002 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

What does this movie have in common with The Godfather, the Wild West or even Superman? Well, it comes right down to truth and justice - whether they really are the American Way or whether corruption and violence have gnawed to the core of democratic society and made it rotten. Second only to sex, institutionalized corruption has been just about the biggest issue for Hollywood right through its history. And rightly so as, the battle to resist it is seemingly never finished.

That's a big build up for a small movie. Great Guy is just a simple story about one man who tries to make a difference and who takes a lot of personal risks in doing so. And let's face it, the Bureau of Weights and Measures is hardly the most glamorous place for a story. But James Cagney's character Johnny Cave uses his brains, his fists and a lot of Attitude to try setting things straight and I for one am grateful to him and others like him.

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