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Great Guy
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Great Guy (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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Great Guy -- The adventures of an investigator (Cagney) for the Bureau of Weights and Measures.


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James Edward Grant (story)
Henry McCarty (screenplay) ...
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Release Date:
December 1936 (USA) See more »
The adventures of an investigator (Cagney) for the Bureau of Weights and Measures. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
The Great Cagney shines in this Poverty Row gem See more (27 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

James Cagney ... Johnny Cave

Mae Clarke ... Janet Henry
James Burke ... Pat Haley
Edward Brophy ... Pete Reilly
Henry Kolker ... Abel Canning
Bernadene Hayes ... Hazel
Edward McNamara ... Capt. Hanlon
Robert Gleckler ... Marty Cavanaugh
Joe Sawyer ... Burton
Edward Gargan ... Al
Matty Fain ... Tim
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Ogilvie
Wallis Clark ... Joel Green
Douglas Wood ... Mayor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gertrude Astor ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Bobby Barber ... Grocery Clerk (uncredited)
Sammy Blum ... Party Chef (uncredited)
Lynton Brent ... Reporter (uncredited)
Jack Byron ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Meat Clerk (uncredited)
Hugh Chapman ... Boy (uncredited)
Walter D. Clarke Jr. ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Deputy (uncredited)
Patrick Cunning ... Party Guest (uncredited)

John Dilson ... City Editor (uncredited)

Lester Dorr ... Canning's Chauffeur (uncredited)
Jim Farley ... Police Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
James Ford ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Dwight Frye ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Bud Geary ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Gertrude Green ... Nurse (uncredited)
Carlton Griffin ... Deputy (uncredited)

Mildred Harris ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Ben Hendricks Jr. ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Al Herman ... Deputy Marks (uncredited)
Arthur Hoyt ... Furniture Salesman (uncredited)
Bert Kalmar Jr. ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jane Keckley ... Cafeteria Customer (uncredited)
Ethelreda Leopold ... Burton's Girlfriend (uncredited)

Robert Lowery ... Mr. Parker (uncredited)
Murdock MacQuarrie ... Mr. Marvin - Canning's Client (uncredited)
Wally Maher ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Bruce Mitchell ... Policeman at Accident (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Party Guest (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Meat Clerk #2 (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Detective (uncredited)

Dennis O'Keefe ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Kate Price ... Woman at Accident (uncredited)
Henry Roquemore ... Mr. Grady - Store Manager (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Sugar Clerk (uncredited)
Dick Scott ... Deputy (uncredited)
Lee Shumway ... Mike - Policeman (uncredited)

Vera Steadman ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Joe - Orphanage Receiving Clerk (uncredited)

Directed by
John G. Blystone 
Writing credits
James Edward Grant (story "The Johnnie Cave Stories")

Henry McCarty (screenplay) &
Henry Johnson (screenplay)

Harry Ruskin (additional dialogue)

Produced by
Douglas MacLean .... producer (as Douglas Maclean)
Original Music by
Marlin Skiles (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Jack MacKenzie 
Film Editing by
Russell F. Schoengarth  (as Russell Schoengarth)
Art Direction by
Ben Carré 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Beal 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Sherwood .... assistant director
Art Department
Victor A. Gangelin .... set dresser (as Victor Gangelin)
Sound Department
Hal Bumbaugh .... sound technician (as Harold Bumbaugh)
Music Department
Marlin Skiles .... musical director
Other crew
Edward L. Alperson .... presenter
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
75 min | Canada:66 min (Ontario)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)
Canada:PG (Ontario) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (2001) | USA:Approved (certificate #2929)

Did You Know?

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright (Grand National Pictures declared bankruptcy in 1939) resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film.See more »
Johnny 'Red' Cave:I'll see you in jail, bread-snatcher!See more »


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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
The Great Cagney shines in this Poverty Row gem, 18 November 2004
Author: Gary Wang from United States

Early in the movie, Cagney's Johnny Cave character tells his gumshoes in the Office of Weights and Measures that in the previous year, unscrupulous shop owners had cheated the American consumer out of more money than the aggregate National War Debt! Then he goes out and tickets a particularly greasy green grocer for short-selling him a bag of sugar that is four ounces off (oh, the horrors!!) and one skinny chicken that his butcher's scale has rather generously proclaimed to be six lbs., after which the fur--or in this case feathers--flies. Er, fly. When a racketeer in politician's clothing attempts to derail an investigation into the paltry poultry purveyor's practices, our hero becomes a lone wolf waging the war of the weights on behalf of housewives across America. After all, four cents here and a quarter there add up and before we know it we have anarchy! Word of his intransigence soon reaches both the Mayor and the Governor's offices, and Cagney becomes a marked man. If it sounds silly, it's not--the dishonest retailing practices are only a plot tool (or as Hitchcock would say, the McGuffin) and while unfamiliar, it works every bit as well here as any Treasury Agent or G-man anthology in which the fight is taken to shady crooks who are operating outside the interests of the country's common good. The production standards are decidedly Grade-B, but it is Cagney who makes this movie the delight that it is: this was his first film away from Warner Brothers after seeking release in court from his unreasonable contract, and he seems to be at ease and enjoying himself tremendously--the performance turned in here is intelligent and crackles with his unique energy and surefire charisma. Mae Clarke's presence lends a definite Warner's feel to the overall production. The supporting players turn in solid performances and the story moves along smartly after a rocky introduction that seems to begin three or four reels into the story--but sit back and enjoy it for the Cagney showcase and engaging Depression-era time capsule that it is.

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