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Lady Killer (1933)

Passed | | Comedy, Crime | 9 December 1933 (USA)
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A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Ben Markson (screen play), Lillie Hayward (screen play) (as Lilie Hayward) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Dan Quigley
Mae Clarke ... Myra Gale
Margaret Lindsay ... Lois Underwood
Leslie Fenton ... Duke
Douglass Dumbrille ... Spade Maddock (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Russell Hopton ... Smiley
Raymond Hatton ... Pete
Henry O'Neill ... Ramick
Robert Elliott ... Brannigan
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Wilbur Marley
Willard Robertson ... Detective Conroy
William B. Davidson ... Director Williams (as William Davidson)
Douglas Cosgrove Douglas Cosgrove ... Detective Jones
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Storyline

When a movie theater usher is fired, he takes up with criminals and finds himself quite adept at various illegal activities. Eventually though, the police catch up with him, and he runs to hide out in Los Angeles. There he stumbles into the movie business and soon rises to stardom. He has gone straight, but his newfound success arouses the interest of his old criminal associates, who are not above blackmail... Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Is Hollywood howling ! at this inside story of The Screen Idol Who Threw -?- -?- -?- Out Of His -?- -?- -?- On Her -?- ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

9 December 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Finger Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the scene where Dan Quigley hauls Myra Gale across the apartment floor by her hair, and throws her out the door, James Cagney taught his co-star Mae Clarke an old stage trick. When Cagney grabbed hold of Clarke's hair (holding her by the top of her head), Clarke reached up and grabbed Cagney's wrist with both hands. This put her weight on Cagney's wrist, instead of on her hair. Clarke then held on to Cagney's wrist, screaming as he dragged her across the room. See more »

Goofs

After the robbery of the robbery of the wealthy woman's home the paper says a maid was struck and seriously injured; and later in Cagney's office they're still talking about a maid who screams. Later when the guy who actually hit comes back scared; he's says the butler died. See more »

Quotes

Dan Quigley: [to Lois Underwood] Well... you're certainly changing my idea of what movie stars were like. I always thought they were sort of, well, you know, high hat.
See more »

Connections

References The Public Enemy (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Heavenly
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Meyer
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Played when Myra invites Dan into her apartment.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cagney in many guises, and a fun, layered up romp from poker to the movies
8 July 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Lady Killer (1933)

I love these multi-part stories, where one set of scenes shifts to a whole new set, and then they eventually intertwine. And I also love movies that show the inside of Hollywood, with actual recreations of movie sets and movie shoots.

Lady Killer has both, and James Cagney, too. It's fast, furious, funny, and shot with a bright, glinting intelligence. Not quite a gangster film, it does have crime and some crooked thugs. And not quite a comedy, it pulls out quite a few laughs, mostly because Cagney is a card. There are two fabulous first ladies (and they naturally must view for our man), Mae Clark and Margaret Lindsay, and a slew of second men who hold up their characters with caricature.

In all, there is no Warner message here, except maybe the virtue can sometimes prevail. It's just a lot of great scenes, witty dialog, and a play of good guys against bad guys. Look for some stunning rain scenes in California (yeah, I know), and for a huge range of interior and exterior set ups, fairly elaborate for Warner Bros. budgets.

For Cagney fans, it's a riot to see him take on, briefly, a series of roles as Indian chief, Italian lover, and prisoner on work detail. The latter, of course, is close to the real roles that made him famous, and his role here is actually a little lighter than that, a bad guy who is all wisecracks and cheerfulness. Look for some insider jokes, like the poster (and mention) of the Edward G. Robinson film, and the movie ushers wearing hats all with the Warner Brothers logo on it.

Great stuff. I loved it even as I knew it wasn't quite a masterpiece. Oh, and the new (2010) Warner DVD is sparkling, a first rate print!


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