James Cagney helped jump-start the gangster genre as The Public Enemy. Outcries against movies that glorified underworld criminals put Cagneyon the side of the law in "G" Men.


William Keighley


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





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


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


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 »


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


When Warner Brothers re-released 'G' MEN to theaters in 1948, a new opening scene was added to explain that the 1935 movie did not reflect the FBI of the late 1940s. David Brian plays an FBI official addressing a group of new agent-recruits (among them Douglas Kennedy), for whom the old movie will be a history lesson. TCM's print of 'G' MEN includes this scene. See more »


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


James 'Brick' Davis: You haven't had an attack of brilliance lately. Why don't you try guessing?
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 »


Referenced in What Just Happened (2008) See more »


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

User Reviews

Cagney as the good guy? Believe me, it works.
20 January 2010 | by Diego_rjcSee all my reviews

Recently, I've watched a lot of James Cagney's gangster movies. Usually, he plays the gangster. He is always the mafia leader. But in this one Cagney is a FBI agent. That's right. This time, James Cagney is fighting against the gangsters. At first, it sounded weird, but it works quite well.

The movie tells the story of Brick Davis, a lawyer related to the mafia that decides to join the FBI force, known as 'G-Men' after his friend, also a 'G-Men', is killed.

As usual, James Cagney gives a fine performance as Brick Davis, regardless his better works, like in 'White Heat' and 'Public Enemy'. The other members of the cast do a normal job, just like William Keighley's direction. A supporting member of the cast that did a great job was Barton MacLane, as the villain.

The movie sounds more like a propaganda to the FBI force, but this isn't a bad thing. For 1935's, the movie has great action scenes, with car chases, shooting, kidnapping, robbery, etc, and they are all very well filmed for its period. Even though I prefer the action sequences in 'Scarface', they are great here also.

In resume, another great gangster movie from the 1930's.

8 out of 10.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

4 May 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

G-Men See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed