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'G' Men (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 May 1935 (USA)
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2:09 | Trailer
It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Seton I. Miller (story), Seton I. Miller (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... 'Brick' Davis
Margaret Lindsay ... Kay McCord
Ann Dvorak ... Jean Morgan
Robert Armstrong ... Jeff McCord
Barton MacLane ... Collins
Lloyd Nolan ... Hugh Farrell
William Harrigan ... 'Mac' McKay
Russell Hopton ... Gerard
Edward Pawley ... Danny Leggett
Noel Madison ... Durfee
Monte Blue ... Fingerprint Expert
Regis Toomey ... Eddie Buchanan
Addison Richards ... Bruce J. Gregory
Harold Huber ... Venke
Raymond Hatton ... Gangsters' Messenger with Warning
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Storyline

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval for arrests - that doesn't stop fresh Law School grad Eddie Buchanan from joining up, and he encourages his former roommate James "Brick" Davis (James Cagney) to do so as well. But Davis wants to be an honest lawyer, not a shyster, despite his ties to mobster boss McKay, and he's intent on doing so, until Buchanan is gunned down trying to arrest career criminal Danny Leggett. Davis soon joins the "G-Men" as they hunt down Leggett (soon-to-be Public Enemy Number One) and his cronies Collins and Durfee, who are engaged in a crime and murder spree from New York to the midwest. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First Story of the Federal Agesnts! Shot-by-Shot Dramatization of Gangland's Waterloo! (Print Ad- Daily Times, ((Rochester, Penna.)) 22 May 1935) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

G-Men See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, personally approved the script for this movie. He even assigned FBI agents to monitor its production and ensure that it was accurate in every detail. When it grossed over $1,000,000 (an astronomical sum for a film in 1935), he was extremely pleased. There were two famous federal law enforcement agencies in the early part of the 20th century. They were the "G-Men" of the FBI, who worked for the Justice Department, and the "T-Men" who worked for the Treasury Department. Hoover was intensely interested in his "G-Men" winning the publicity and popularity rivalry. This movie certainly helped! See more »

Goofs

When Collins gets out of the car following his wife into the lunch room, the distance between the door and lamppost changes. See more »

Quotes

Jeff McCord: Hello.
Hugh Farrell: Well, you look like you're not going to New York.
Jeff McCord: No, I'm not going to New York. I'm gonna keep on pounding the ABC's of crime into the gold-plated skulls of these babes in arms.
[leafing through some applications]
Jeff McCord: Law school graduate, law school graduate, law school graduate. Listen to this: Mr. James Davis, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa. Now, isn't that sweet! Phi Beta Kappa!
James 'Brick' Davis: [appearing behind them] What's yours... 'Flat Foot-a Copp-a'?
Jeff McCord: Who said that? Who are you?
James 'Brick' Davis: ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

For the movie's 1949 re-release, a new scene was shot and stuck on at the beginning of the movie. That scene is still in the pic every time it's shown on TV, it's on the home video release, etc. In this added-14-years-later pre- credits sequence, David Brian plays The Chief and Douglas Kennedy (I) plays An Agent. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What Just Happened (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

You Bother Me an Awful Lot
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Lyrics by Irving Kahal
Performed by Ann Dvorak and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Margaret Livingston, I Presume!
9 September 2006 | by bsmith5552See all my reviews

"G-Men" is one of the best of Warner Brothers gangster films. It casts James Cagney, known at that time for his gangster roles, on the right side of the law for a change.

Lawyer "Brick" Davis (Cagney) is a well educated lawyer with no clients. He is visited one day by an old friend Eddie Buchanan (Regis Toomey) who encourages Brick to join the Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation (soon to be named the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

When Eddie is murdered by gangster Collins (Barton MacLane), Brick decides to apply to the Department of Justice. It should be noted that in the FBI's early days they could only engage lawyers and accountants and were not permitted to carry firearms. Brick is assigned to tough laconic Jeff McCord (Robert Armstrong) who is of the opinion that Brick will never make an effective agent.

McCord and Bureau Director Bruce Gregory (Addison Richards) both believe that to be effective, the bureau needs to have national jurisdiction, be allowed to carry weapons and hire law enforcers and not lawyers.

As it turns out Brick was rescued from the street by gangster Mac McKay (William Harrigan) who took him in and provided him with his education. Brick soon demonstrates his capabilities and quickly gains the confidence of his superiors. Along the way he meets McCord's sister Kay (Margaret Lindsay) and the two fall in love. Bad girl Jean Morgan (Ann Dvorak) also has this thing for Brick.

When Collins' gang disappears, Jean is brought in for questioning and we learn that she has married Collins after Mac closed his night club. She gives Brick the lead he needs and the Bureau takes action. Collins escapes the Bureau's attack on his gang and.....................

Director William Keighley gives us one of the classic gangster movies. It changes the focus on the hero from a gangster to a law enforcement officer, but at the same time offers one of the best shoot outs of the genre.

Cagney loses nothing in his switch from the wrong to the right side of the law. He remains his usual cocky fast talking self. Armstrong in a role that usually was played by Pat O'Brien, is effective as McCord. Of the female leads, Dvorak has the best role. Lindsay is merely around as Cagney's good girl love interest. MacLane, Warners resident gangster, turns in his usual good performance as the brutish Collins.

Others in the cast include Lloyd Nolan in an early role as Brick's fellow agent, and Edward Pawley, Noel Madison, Harold Huber and Raymond Hatton as assorted gangsters.

In 1949, the film was re-released to help mark the FBI's 25th anniversary. A prologue featuring David Brian showing the film to a group of new recruits was added.

A word about the DVD commentary by film historian Richard Jewell. For someone who should know better, he makes two glaring errors regarding the cast. He identifies David Brian as Brian David and Margaret Lindsay as Margaret Livingston. I wouldn't have been surprised to have heard him call Cagney, James Pygmy or MacLane, Barton Fink. A little more thorough research Mr. Jewell.


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