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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

Initially, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and U.S. Attorney General Homer S. Cummings disapproved of the film. Their primary reason was that it portrayed an FBI agent as insubordinate (Davis being a smart ass to McCord) and acting on his own (Davis leaving the hospital to find Collins). However, when the movie became a success, Hoover and Cummings realized that the film could be used to promote the image of the FBI and they changed their minds and began openly endorsing it. See more »

Goofs

James Cagney punches Robert Armstrong in the chin, but when he gets up, he has a black eye. See more »

Quotes

Hugh Farrell: No? We'll see.
Danny Leggett: Yeah. We'll see.
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 Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (1983) 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

 
Pretty Good Early Cagney Vehicle
2 June 2009 | by dglinkSee all my reviews

Only four years after his iconic portrayal of Tom Powers in "The Public Enemy," James Cagney switched alliances and played Brick Davis, a G Man or Federal Agent. Educated through the generosity of a racketeer, who eventually goes straight, Cagney is an unsuccessful lawyer. However, an old friend, who is a Federal agent, suggests that Cagney apply for a job with the FBI. When the friend is gunned down in the line of duty, Cagney decides to use his inside knowledge of the mob and pursue a career as a G-Man.

Although not as colorful as his gangster performances such as Rocky Sullivan or Cody Jarrett, Cagney nevertheless is always fun to watch, and he is as tough on the side of the law as he is on the wrong side. However, the fine cast of Warner Brothers stock character actors also shines, especially Barton MacLane, who makes Cagney's chief nemesis, Collins, particularly despicable. Lloyd Nolan, in his first film role, and Robert Armstrong as Cagney's fellow G-Men pale in comparison to the more interesting gang of thugs. Like Nolan and Armstrong, Margaret Lindsay is one of the good guys and provides somewhat bland love interest for Cagney. Meanwhile, Ann Dvorak as Lindsay's rival from the past hangs out with the gangsters and has some good moments, particularly a clumsy musical number near the film's opening.

Although William Keighley's direction is not particularly imaginative, heated gun battles, car chases, fistfights, and flashes of screaming newspaper headlines will keep viewers engrossed. While not among the greatest, "G Men" is a fine example of 1930's gangster films that is executed in a solid and entertaining, if unexceptional, style.


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