Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.
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Edward G. Robinson,
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Cagney is Danny Kenny, a truck driver who enters "the fight game" and Sheridan plays his girlfriend, Peggy. Danny realizes success in the ring and uses his income to pay for his brother Eddie's music composition career, while Peggy goes on to become a professional dancer. When Peggy turns down Danny's marriage proposal for her dancing career, Danny, who wanted to quit the fight game, continues on & is blinded by rosin dust purposely placed on the boxing gloves of his opponent during a fight. His former manager finances a newsstand for the now semi-blind Danny. The movie ends with brother Eddie becoming a successful composer and dedicates a symphony at Carnegie Hall to his brother who listens to the concert on the radio from his newsstand. Peggy, now down on her luck, but in the audience at Carnegie, rushes to Danny at his newsstand where they reunite. The movie is based on a novel of the same name. Written by
'Frank Craven''s role as the tramp who guides us through the story is a parody of his performance as the Stage Manager in "Our Town", which he had just filmed prior to this picture. He also created the role on Broadway. See more »
Obvious matte paintings of motionless spectators are used to simulate the back rows and upper tier of the boxing arena. See more »
[Started, after getting bussd on the cheek from Eddie]
Say, what am I... a French general getting a message or somethin'?
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James Cagney's brilliant performance is the highlight of this film about a boxer (Cagney) who risks it all for the love of his girl (Ann Sheridan) and his brother (Arthur Kennedy). It's rather amazing at how great Cagney can be in so many different type of roles. Yes, he mainly played wise guys but whenever he broke this mode he just shows what a great actor he was and that's certainly true with his performance here, which has to rank as one of the greatest of his career. The transformations his character goes through is certainly a juicy role for an actor and Cagney nails all of the different moods without any problems. When the boxer starts to lose his site is when Cagney really shines and his performance here is brilliantly done. I'm not sure what they did to Cagney's eyes but whatever they did looked terrific. I didn't care too much for Sheridan as I thought she brought the film down and a better actress would have suited the film better. The supporting cast is excellent and features nice performances by Kennedy, Frank Craven, Donald Crisp, Frank McHugh and George Tobias. Anthony Quinn is terrific in his role as Cagney's rival and future director Elia Kazan also shocked me with how great he was. The big boxing scene was brilliantly filmed and looked extremely well bringing in all sorts of intense action. The ending is pretty hokey but otherwise this is a highly impressive little film.
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