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City for Conquest (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Music, Sport | 21 September 1940 (USA)
Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.

Directors:

Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco (uncredited)

Writers:

John Wexley (screen play), Aben Kandel (from the novel by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Danny Kenny
Ann Sheridan ... Peggy Nash
Frank Craven ... Old Timer
Donald Crisp ... Scotty MacPherson
Frank McHugh ... 'Mutt'
Arthur Kennedy ... Eddie Kenny
George Tobias ... 'Pinky'
Jerome Cowan ... 'Dutch'
Elia Kazan ... 'Googi'
Anthony Quinn ... Murray Burns
Lee Patrick ... Gladys
Blanche Yurka ... Mrs. Nash
George Lloyd ... 'Goldie'
Joyce Compton ... Lilly
Thurston Hall ... Max Leonard
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Storyline

Cagney is Danny Kenny, a truck driver who enters "the fight game" and Sheridan plays his girlfriend, Peggy. Danny realizes success in the ring and uses his income to pay for his brother Eddie's music composition career, while Peggy goes on to become a professional dancer. When Peggy turns down Danny's marriage proposal for her dancing career, Danny, who wanted to quit the fight game, continues on & is blinded by rosin dust purposely placed on the boxing gloves of his opponent during a fight. His former manager finances a newsstand for the now semi-blind Danny. The movie ends with brother Eddie becoming a successful composer and dedicates a symphony at Carnegie Hall to his brother who listens to the concert on the radio from his newsstand. Peggy, now down on her luck, but in the audience at Carnegie, rushes to Danny at his newsstand where they reunite. The movie is based on a novel of the same name. Written by Bacardi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story with all the fire and fury of its two great stars!

Genres:

Drama | Music | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ciudad de conquista See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner Library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

'Frank Craven''s role as the tramp who guides us through the story echoes his performance as the narrating Stage Manager in "Our Town", which he had just filmed prior to this picture. He also created the role on Broadway. See more »

Goofs

Obvious matte paintings of motionless spectators are used to simulate the back rows and upper tier of the boxing arena. See more »

Quotes

'Googi': [His dying words after being shot by a hoodlum he thought was unarmed] Ah gee, never figured on that at all.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In a part similar to his Stage Manager in "Our Town", Frank Craven appears as "Old Timer", the "host" of "City for Conquest" in a sort of Greek chorus style. As the producers of the film were of the opinion that the character's narration was unnecessary, and slowed the movie down, Craven's scenes were cut prior to the film's original release in 1940. Totaling five or so minutes of screen time, this cut material was not seen until it was restored in a 2006 DVD release. Older prints not containing this material run approximately 98 minutes; the restored print runs 104 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Corn Pickin'
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the Lower East Side dance
See more »

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User Reviews

typical Warner Brothers gem
1 December 2004 | by vironprideSee all my reviews

I had the very great pleasure this Thanksgiving week of seeing one of my sentimental favorites from the good old Late Show days (nights), City for Conquest. I had not seen it in more years than I should like to remember, but, as I watched, it all came back to me. James Cagney, who has always been a great favorite of mine, plays Danny Kenney (they always seemed to give James Cagney's characters names like "Danny" or "Tommy"), who takes up boxing to finance his younger brother's music career. Sizzling Ann Sheridan is Danny's girlfriend, who has ambitions of her own in the wider world. And indeed Ann Sheridan was a wonderful dancer, and her numbers with Anthony Quinn are erotic in only the way a great dance team can be. Anthony Quinn (man, he was HOT! He looked a lot like Rudolph Valentino) plays a slime ball who fills Peggy's ears with what she wants to hear. They can be a sensational dance team as "Maurice and Margalo" and conquer the world. Of course, she winds up breaking Danny's heart and Danny winds up blind. Soap opera stuff, to be sure, but it WORKS! I believe I once read that Warner Brothers hired a professional boxer to coach James Cagney in this role. Not that he needed much coaching, considering his Hell's Kitchen background. The coach was impressed with Cagney and asked him where he got those moves. "I'm a hoofer," Cagney replied. In any case, if you can avoid bawling your eyes out at the end of City for Conquest," you are stronger than I am! A must-see!


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