IMDb > City for Conquest (1940)
City for Conquest
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City for Conquest (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   1,361 votes »
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Writers:
John Wexley (screen play)
Aben Kandel (from the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for City for Conquest on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 September 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A story with all the fire and fury of its two great stars!
Plot:
Cagney is Danny Kenny, a truck driver who enters "the fight game" and Sheridan plays his girlfriend... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
New York Symphony See more (32 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Danny Kenny

Ann Sheridan ... Peggy Nash
Frank Craven ... Old Timer

Donald Crisp ... Scotty MacPherson
Frank McHugh ... 'Mutt'

Arthur Kennedy ... Eddie Kenny

George Tobias ... 'Pinky'
Jerome Cowan ... 'Dutch'

Elia Kazan ... 'Googi'

Anthony Quinn ... Murray Burns
Lee Patrick ... Gladys
Blanche Yurka ... Mrs. Nash
George Lloyd ... 'Goldie'

Joyce Compton ... Lilly
Thurston Hall ... Max Leonard
Ben Welden ... Cobb
John Arledge ... Salesman
Edward Keane ... Gaul (as Ed Keane)
Selmer Jackson ... Doctor
Joseph Crehan ... Doctor
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Alper ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Harris Berger ... Ticket Taker (uncredited)

Ward Bond ... First Policeman (uncredited)
Wade Boteler ... New York Policeman (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Championship Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Dudley Dickerson ... Doorman (uncredited)
John Dilson ... Mr. Cahn - Man Buying Newspaper (uncredited)
James Dime ... Gym Rat (uncredited)
Warren Douglas ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Jay Eaton ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Frank Faylen ... Band Conductor and Emcee (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Dance Floor Guard (uncredited)
Edward Gargan ... Joe - Foreman (uncredited)
David Gorcey ... Ticket Taker (uncredited)

Joe Gray ... Cannonball Wales (uncredited)
Harrison Greene ... Dance Judge (uncredited)
Kit Guard ... Mickey Miller (uncredited)
Margaret Hayes ... Sally - Irene's Friend (uncredited)
Sam Hayes ... Sam Hayes - Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian ... Gym Trainer (uncredited)
Arthur Housman ... Radio Listener (uncredited)
George Humbert ... Organ Grinder's Shill (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Referee in Wales Fight (uncredited)
Danny Jackson ... Boy (uncredited)
Thomas E. Jackson ... Pep - Sportswriter (uncredited)
Payne B. Johnson ... Boy (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Al's Pal (uncredited)
Victor Kilian ... Sign Painter (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Fight Ringsider / Party Guest (uncredited)

Charles Lane ... Al - Dance Team Manager (uncredited)
Ethelreda Leopold ... Irene - Dressing Room Blonde (uncredited)
Carl M. Leviness ... Champion Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Tonbstone Painter (uncredited)
William Marshall ... Man in Peggy's Dressing Room (uncredited)
Pat McKee ... Danny's Trainer (uncredited)
Sidney Miller ... Band Conductor and Emcee (uncredited)
Bert Moorhouse ... Nightclub Patron (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Man Next to MacPherson at Fight (uncredited)
William Newell ... Max's Lyricist (uncredited)
William H. O'Brien ... Waiter (uncredited)
George O'Hanlon ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Garry Owen ... Reporter (uncredited)
Paul Panzer ... Dance Contest Observer (uncredited)
Sally Payne ... Singer (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Wales' Handler (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Ring Announcer (uncredited)
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Sailor - Sparring Partner (uncredited)
Bernice Pilot ... Della - Peggy's Maid (uncredited)
Alexander Pollard ... Waiter (uncredited)
John Sheehan ... Man Yelling at Ringside (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Dance Judge (uncredited)
Buster Slaven ... Sidney - Pupil (uncredited)

Bob Steele ... Kid Callahan (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Dance Floor Guard #2 (uncredited)
Elliott Sullivan ... Photographer (uncredited)
Frank Sully ... Radio Listener (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Championship Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Billy Wayne ... Happy - Googi's Henchman (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Cab Driver by Fire (uncredited)
Leo White ... Dance Contest Observer (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Charles C. Wilson ... Bill - Man Behind MacPherson at Fight (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Man on Fire Escape (uncredited)
Robert Winkler ... Mush (uncredited)

Directed by
Anatole Litvak 
Jean Negulesco (fill-in director) (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
John Wexley (screen play)

Aben Kandel (from the novel by)

Produced by
William Cagney .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
Anatole Litvak .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
James Wong Howe (director of photography)
Sol Polito (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William Holmes (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Costume Design by
Howard Shoup (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Jack L. Warner .... in charge of production
Frank Mattison .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Chuck Hansen .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sherry Shourds .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Everett Alton Brown .... sound (as E.A. Brown)
 
Special Effects by
Byron Haskin .... special effects
Rex Wimpy .... special effects
 
Stunts
Quentin Breese .... stunt double (uncredited)
Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements
Ray Heindorf .... orchestral arrangements
Ray Heindorf .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
M.K. Jerome .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Irving Rapper .... dialogue director
Robert Vreeland .... dance director
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (present) (as Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture) (An Anatole Litvak Production)
Distributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min | West Germany:95 min | USA:98 min (Turner Library print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A modern source lists Howard C. Hickman, Edward Pawley and Lucia Carroll as cast members, but they were not seen in the movie.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Obvious matte paintings of motionless spectators are used to simulate the back rows and upper tier of the boxing arena.See more »
Quotes:
'Googi':[His dying words after being shot by a hoodlum he thought was unarmed] Ah gee, never figured on that at all.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Lullaby of BroadwaySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
New York Symphony, 7 June 2002
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

CITY FOR CONQUEST (Warner Brothers, 1940), directed by Anatole Litvak, starring James Cagney and Ann Sheridan, is another one of many movies produced during the 1930s and 40s to represent New York City life with a realistic approach, and one of the best of its kind. Not as famous as Cagney and Sheridan's previous effort, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938), which also featured the same street setting and tenement apartment backdrops, CITY FOR CONQUEST, which begins in 1934 in a city of seven million people, does have its strong points (the forceful acting, particularly by Cagney, with Sheridan coming a close second) and bad points (occasional heavy handiness in melodramatics), but it still makes a fine story highlighted by a well staged, but brutal prizefight sequence, and a memorable Max Steiner score.

Focusing on the ambitions of three people from the Lower East Side, Cagney stars as the self-sacrificing Danny Kenny, a truck driver who becomes a prizefighter, only to become nearly blinded in a stadium ring when double-dealing gangsters place resin powder in the gloves of his opponent; Sheridan as Peggy Nash, an over anxious girl who wants to become a professional ballroom dancer, only to become partnered with the wrong kind of guy named Murray Burns (played by the menacing Anthony Quinn); and Arthur Kennedy (in his movie debut), featured as Cagney's younger brother, Eddie, working as a piano teacher who strives on becoming a symphony composer. After the ups and downs of the three central characters are presented, the outcome results in a powerful conclusion.

The supporting cast includes Donald Crisp as Scotty, Danny's fighting manager; Frank McHugh as Mutt; George Tobias as Pinky; Jerome Cowan as Dutch; and Blanche Yurka seen briefly as Sheridan's tenement mother, Mrs. Nash. Then there is future movie director, Elia Kazan, making his movie debut as Googi. His performance is small but excellent. As mentioned before, Arthur Kennedy, another good but underrated actor, also makes his debut. Interestingly Kennedy closely resembles Cagney well enough to actually be his brother, but his Eddie character comes close to being a George Gershwin-type, especially when conducting his symphony at Carnegie Hall in the latter part of the story. Another performer who should not go unnoticed is Lee Patrick, usually cast in sophisticated character roles, and best remembered as Effie, Sam Spade's secretary in the 1941 version to THE MALTESE FALCON, playing Gladys, a floozy but good-natured chorus girl who offers the down-and-out Sheridan accommodations at her place.

One cannot help noticing character actor and playwright Frank Craven as "Old Timer" being featured THIRD in the opening and closing cast credits. He appears in only ONE brief scene in the opening segment where he happens to be walking down Delancey Street. He notices a young teen stealing two pieces of bread, catches the boy only to say, "If you must steal bread in New York (slight pause), don't get caught!" Afterwards he gives the boy one piece and takes one for himself. Old Timer is never seen or heard from again. Craven's character name of "Old Timer" isn't even heard or called out during those few minutes. What does Craven's cameo, which ranks third in the cast, have to do with the plot? After doing some research, I have come to learn that the print in circulation, both on video cassette and television presentations, is from a 1948 theatrical reissue, which excised all but one of Craven's scenes. Anyone who has ever seen his performance in OUR TOWN (United Artists, 1940), where he plays a philosopher appearing throughout the story delivering messages to his audience, will be interested to know that Craven has done the same in the original version of CITY FOR CONQUEST, which could have been a revamped production re-titled OUR CITY. In CITY FOR CONQUEST, Craven occasionally intrudes or narrates in numerous scenes to tell the camera eye about the central characters. It would be interesting to see the outlook of this restored version someday. (That someday finally took place on the night of November 12, 2007, on TCM, getting to see Frank Craven address the story to the viewers, to see the main characters of Danny, Peggy and Googi as children, Ward Bond as a cop, and other scenes not before seen since its original theatrical release).

Aside from its melodramatic storyline, CITY FOR CONQUEST features a handful of instrumental melodies, many from previous 1930s musicals, including "Lullaby of Broadway," "The Continental," "Corn Pickin'" "Garden of the Moon," "I'm Just Wild About Harry," "The Shadow Waltz," "The Words Are in My Heart," "42nd Street," "Where Were You When the Moon Came Out?" "Powder My Back for Me" and the six minute finale, "Symphony of a Great City." Many of these tunes are part of the ballroom dancing as performed by Sheridan and Quinn.

CITY FOR CONQUEST is an interesting look on New York lifestyle of long ago, which makes this worth viewing whenever aired on Turner Classic Movies. (***1/2)

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