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City for Conquest (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Sport | 21 September 1940 (USA)
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.


, (uncredited)


(screen play), (from the novel by)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scotty MacPherson
Eddie Kenny
Blanche Yurka ...
Mrs. Nash
Max Leonard


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 Bacardi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story with all the fire and fury of its two great stars!


Drama | Music | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciudad de conquista  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner Library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jean Negulesco took over direction of the film for a short period when Anatole Litvak suffered an eye injury. See more »


Obvious matte paintings of motionless spectators are used to simulate the back rows and upper tier of the boxing arena. See more »


Danny Kenny: [Started, after getting bussd on the cheek from Eddie] Say, what am I... a French general getting a message or somethin'?
See more »


Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »


The Words Are in My Heart
(1934) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
First number played during the waltz contest montage
See more »

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User Reviews

City for Conquest-Captures Mood of N.Y. ****
13 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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