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'G' Men (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 4 May 1935 (USA)
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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:

Hollywood's Most Famous Bad Man Joins the "G-MEN" and Halts the March of Crime!


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

Two of the prominent action scenes in the film were based on real events. The rail station shootout in which gangsters free Danny Leggett,was based upon the famous "Kansas City Massacre" in which gunmen attacked FBI agents and local police as they were transporting federal prisoner Frank "Jelly" Nash on June 17th, 1933. In that incident one FBI agent--who was unarmed, as were all agents at that time--three policemen and Nash himself were killed. As shown in the film, this was the incident that increased the power of the FBI and turned into the agency it is currently. The other incident was the shootout at the lodge. That was based on a battle between FBI agents and a gang that included John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson on April 22, 1934. See more »

Goofs

Visible reflected in the glass window in the garage with the hostage. 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 J. Edgar (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Into Your Dance
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Danced by the dance troupe at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Puff Piece for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
28 May 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

When Machine Gun Kelly gave up, uttering that famous line, "Don't Shoot G-Men", he gave the Federal Bureau of Investigation members a moniker that has survived down to this day. He also entitled an upcoming film being made at Warner Brothers about the FBI.

Though the FBI had been in existence since 1908, founded during the Theodore Roosevelt administration, it's structure and mystique never took shape until Calvin Coolidge's Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone appointed a young civil servant named J. Edgar Hoover as it's new head.

The place was known as dumping ground for political hacks up to that time and Hoover put an end to it. He brought in the laboratories and fingerprint data base. Folks who had law and accounting degrees saw the FBI as a good career now. Crime was now national and a national organization was needed to fight it.

Probably if J. Edgar Hoover had put in his retirement at the end of World War II his historic reputation would be a lot higher today. The negative stuff about him only comes during the McCarthy Era and beyond until his death in 1972. And only after that.

If Hoover was nothing else, he was media conscious. One of filmdom's most notorious gangster actors went on the side of law and order for G-Men. James Cagney is a young lawyer who's not doing so good in private practice, wasting the education that an oldtime gangster helped finance. After his friend FBI agent Regis Toomey is killed, Cagney joins the FBI. His knowledge of the underworld is put to some good use though he has a lengthy time winning acceptance from his superior, Robert Armstrong.

Lloyd Nolan makes his debut as an FBI agent here also. Later on during the Forties, Nolan played THE ideal conception of what J. Edgar Hoover had in mind for an agent in The House on 92nd Street and The Street With No Name.

A couple of incidents fresh in the mind of the public were recreated for G-Men, the famous Kansas City Massacre and a shootout at a rural motel that involved Baby Face Nelson who escaped as chief hood Barton MacLane does here. No doubt these scenes lent a certain documentary authenticity to the film.

G-Men dates very badly, the FBI is still respected, but not revered as it once was. But Cagney and the cast do a fine job and G-Men is a relic of bygone years.


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