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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
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.
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