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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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
Terrific 1940 film where the great James Cagney does it again in giving a memorable performance. This time it's as a fighter who goes into boxing so that his brother, Arthur Kennedy, can fulfill a musical career as well as an escape for girl friend, Ann Sheridan, ditching him for a dancing career with Anthony Quinn, a real cad if there ever were.
The film has a tremendous supporting cast and all do a fine job in showing what movie making should be.
Future director, Elia Kazan, is in fine form as a mobster, a product of a rough childhood environment. In seeing Kazan here, I wonder what his acting career would have been like had he not chosen to go behind the camera.
The aspect of N.Y. life is wonderfully shown by the upper class of musical life, life on the lower east side as well as the boxing center of sports. How they interact in this film is so well memorably accomplished.
As a boxing magnate, I thought that the usual erudite Donald Crisp would be miscast. How wrong I was. He evoked much sympathy in trying to protect his fighter-Cagney.
A truly memorable film. This is a heck of a movie classic.
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