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 the WWI Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his lawyer. George becomes Eddie's partner and the rackets flourish until love and rivalry interfere. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film is full of classic songs from the 1920s, but the arrangements and vocal styles are those of 1939. No attempt is made to reproduce the actual sound of 1920s dance music. See more »
[Eddie, in his Army uniform, returns to his old place of employment - a garage - seeking to get his job back. He speaks to his former boss]
Hello, Mr. Fletcher.
[Surprised to see Eddie]
Why, when did you blow in?
Just now. Sure good to be back.
I'll bet it is. What are you gonna' do?
Oh, rest up a couple of days, see a few of the boys, and then I'm ready to go to work.
That's fine. Whaddya' gonna' do? Where ya' gonna' work?
Whaddya' mean, "Where am I gonna' work"? I was gonna' come back...
[...] See more »
Most of the famous gangster films were made in the early part of the decade, before the infamous Production Code took all the sex and violence out of the movies, and before they figured out how to make decent movies with sound. The landmark films of the genre like "Little Caesar" and "Public Enemy" are actually kind of poorly made, by modern standards.
Not so this entertaining film, it's full of life and energy and great fun to watch. James Cagney gives a wonderful performance as a dynamic and ambitious man who goes from a barely-eating taxi driver to a gang lord, and back again. Humphrey Bogart gives one of his best pre-Casablanca villain performances, and even generic leading lady Priscilla Land is fresh and likeable.
The only quibble I have with this film is it lacks the immediacy of the earlier "ripped from the headlines" films. It's made about days that had since gone by, and owes more to earlier films than the reality of the day (post-modernism in the thirties?). Still, it's great fun, do see it.
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