Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.


Raoul Walsh


Jerry Wald (screen play), Richard Macaulay (screen play) | 2 more credits »
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Eddie Bartlett
Priscilla Lane ... Jean Sherman
Humphrey Bogart ... George Hally
Gladys George ... Panama Smith
Jeffrey Lynn ... Lloyd Hart
Frank McHugh ... Danny Green
Paul Kelly ... Nick Brown
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Sherman (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Edward Keane ... Henderson (as Ed Keane)
Joe Sawyer ... The Sergeant - Pete Jones
Joseph Crehan ... Michaels
George Meeker ... Masters
John Hamilton ... Judge
Robert Elliott ... First Detective
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Second Detective (as Eddie Chandler)


After the WWI Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his lawyer. George becomes Eddie's partner and the rackets flourish until love and rivalry interfere. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE SCREEN'S MOST COLORFUL a story of America's most dazzling era...the torrid...wild...lust...ROARING TWENTIES!!! (print ad - Lubbock Evening Journal - Palace Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - Dec. 4, 1939) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Based on the life of bootlegger Larry Fay. Unlike James Cagney's Eddie Bartlett, however, Fay was 6'3", long-jawed, and gangly. Also, Fay died on New Year's Day of 1932. Dwindling finances had forced him to cut costs at his New York nightclub, the El Fay. After Fay told the doorman at the club that his pay was going to be reduced, the doorman pulled a revolver and shot him four times. Fay collapsed backward onto a sofa and died. The character of Panama Smith was partially based on nightclub hostess Texas Guinan, who was Larry Fay's partner in the El-Fay. See more »


On November 11, 1918, while Eddie, George, and Lloyd are shooting at the enemy, George says, "Prohibition law goes in next year." How would anyone know that then? By November 11, 1918, only 14 of the 36 states needed had ratified the 18th amendment. The 36th state, Nebraska, ratified it on January 16, 1919, giving the US one more year before prohibition went into effect on January 17, 1920. Granted, New York state was partially "dry" by 1918. See more »


[last lines]
Panama Smith: He's dead.
Cop: Well, who is this guy?
Panama Smith: This is Eddie Bartlett.
Cop: Well, how're you hooked up with him?
Panama Smith: I could never figure it out.
Cop: What was his business?
Panama Smith: He used to be a big shot.
See more »


Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Toutes les histoires (1989) See more »


If I Could Be with You
(1926) (uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson
Played on the radio when Eddie confronts George
Also played at the club when Panama breaks the news to Eddie
See more »

User Reviews

Interesting Foursome
14 November 2005 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Two of the most famous actors of their day - James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart - are featured here, along with two very interesting women (Priscilla Lane and Gladys George). That foursome would be fun to join anywhere.

Lane is the wholesome pretty girl and George is the tough female bar owner. The latter may not look as good but she delivers the best film noir lines in the movie near the end.

In addition, Jefferey Lynn is good as the clean-cut, nice-guy attorney and Frank McHugh draws laughs as Cagney's buddy (as in real life). Paul Kelly is convincing as a hood.

With this cast, you know you are going to get a well-acted movie. It moves at a good pace, too, with few lulls. The gangster language of the period was fun to hear.

The first time I saw this film I was disappointed. Maybe I expected too much. On the second viewing, I throughly enjoyed it. Having a great DVD transfer on the second viewing didn't hurt, either. It's a nice sharp picture.

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Release Date:

28 October 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The World Moves On See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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