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Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 19 August 1939 (USA)
1:43 | Trailer
A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.


William Keighley


Norman Reilly Raine (screen play), Warren Duff (screen play) | 1 more credit »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Frank Ross
George Raft ... 'Hood' Stacey
Jane Bryan ... Joyce
George Bancroft ... John Armstrong
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Fargo Red
Stanley Ridges ... Meuller
Alan Baxter ... Carlisle
Victor Jory ... Grayce
John Wray ... Pete Kassock
Edward Pawley ... Dale
Willard Robertson ... Lang
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Ross
Paul Hurst ... Garsky
Louis Jean Heydt ... Lassiter
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Limpy Julien


Although innocent, reporter Frank Ross is found guilty of murder and is sent to jail. While his friends at the newspaper try to find out who framed him, Frank gets hardened by prison life and his optimism turns into bitterness. He meets fellow-inmate Stacey and they decide to help each other. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Slugging their way to adventure !


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Although it was already commonplace to say, "You dirty rat!" when impersonating Jimmy Cagney at this time, Cagney himself, never said it. He did say, "You dirty, yellow-bellied rat!" in Taxi (1931). Perhaps it was an inside joke, but several characters say, "You dirty rat(s)!" throughout this film, including a guard saying it to Cagney. See more »


The conversation in the prison yard between Ross and Fargo Red, concerning dogs not having pores, is unrealistic. The slow-witted Red would surely have heard the word as "paws". As such he would not then have asked "How do they sweat?" See more »


'Hood' Stacey: Imagine Stacey workin' for the cops? That's a hot one.
See more »


Remade as I Was Framed (1942) See more »


Wings Over the Navy
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played during the showing of and taken from the film Wings of the Navy (1939)
See more »

User Reviews

Memorable Prison Drama.
4 November 2013 | by AaronCapenBannerSee all my reviews

William Keighley directed this memorable prison drama that stars Jimmy Cagney as newspaper investigative reporter Frank Ross, who was looking into political corruption and racketeering when he is knocked out, then framed for manslaughter after they make it look like he was a drunk driver. Frank at first handles this injustice with his head held high, but despite his paper's determination to prove his innocence, he grows increasingly bitter and despondent as time passes, and he is subjected to isolation. He does befriend gangster Stacy(played by George Raft) whom he helps escape to prove him innocent, but that help comes at a high price... Well-acted and compelling film may not be entirely realistic, but viewer will likely overlook that because of the storytelling skill on display here, and features one of Cagney's best performances.

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Release Date:

19 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Each Dawn I Die See more »


Box Office


$735,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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