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 ... See full summary »
Jake MacIllaney will do just about anything to win the presidential election of longshoreman union Local 26. When he encounters young upright attorney Dan Cabot and Cabot's attractive wife,... See full summary »
Two lazy screenwriters need a story for the studio's cowboy star. A studio waitress turns out to be pregnant. This gives them the idea for a movie about a cowboy and a baby. The waitress's ... See full summary »
In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper's... See full summary »
William Saroyan's Pulitzer Prize-winning play revolves around the denizens of a San Francisco bar in 1939. Lonely, lovelorn, weary or cynical, the characters drift in and out of the bar and... See full summary »
Famous motor-racing champion Joe Greer returns to his hometown to compete in a local race. He discovers his younger brother has aspirations to become a racing champion and during the race ... See full summary »
John Jones' daughter is rehearsing the Gettysburg Address in preparation for a school elocution when he is called away by an air raid alarm. He sits alone in the evening and contemplates ... See full summary »
Joe spends a lot of his time at Nick's Pacific Street Saloon. Tom, who credits Joe with once saving his life, stops by regularly to run errands for Joe. Today, Tom notices a woman named Kitty when she comes into Nick's, and he quickly falls in love with her. Meanwhile, a distraught young man repeatedly calls his girlfriend, begging her to marry him. Nick himself muses on all the various persons who come into his bar, some to ask for work and others just to pass the time. Written by
Saroyan's infinate joy in the observance of humanity shines throught the film
Some find this film "schmaltzy" and simple. Saroyan fans will find it aptly relects the beauty found in the human condition. The way Joe relates to the various characters, causing them to easily open the hearts and souls seems contrived today and perhaps seemed that way even in the late 40's, but I suspect Saroyan was not particularly interested in "realism". Like all of his work, this movie is a study of the hopes, dreams, and loves of the "little guy" and his struggle to maintain them against the harsh light of human reality.
Cagney positvely glows throughout the performance and Bendix has never been better cast. Paul Draper as the tap-danciing comedian is absolutley brilliant in an extremley quirky roll. ( Interestlingly someone commented that they were suprised that this movie wasn't blacklisted, Draper ( according tot he IMDB bio) was "was an international star in the 1930's and 1940's" who's "career effectively succumbed to the anti- Communist hysteria that existed in the U.S. after World War II, when he was blacklisted out of the entertainment industry as a Communist sympathizer." It says a lot about James Cagney that this is the first film his production company choose to produce. If you can set aside your cynicism and view these characters in a slightly metaphorical light, Saraoyan's writing will leave your heart with a soft warm glow, and the joy of watching character actors working in a simple setting with no action and lots of dialogue may lead you to suspect that the entire cast was having The Time of Their Lives.
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