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 »
A business tycoon decides to wed a Middle Eastern princess whose customs dictate the pair must live apart for several months before marrying; even more complications settle in when the tycoon's ex-fiancée is assigned to chaperone the pair.
"The Fighting 69th" is a First World War regiment of mostly New York-Irish soldiers. Amongst a cocky crew, perhaps the cockiest is Jerry Plunkett, a scrappy fellow who looks out only for himself. The officers and non-coms of the regiment do their best to instill discipline in Plunkett, and the chaplain, Father Duffy, tries to make Plunkett see the greater good, all to no avail. Behind the lines or in the trenches, Plunkett acts selfishly and cowardly, eventually costing the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. A final act of cowardice leads to terrible consequences, but Plunkett sees in them a chance to redeem himself...if only he can.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
On the one hand, it's James Cagney's street tough in olive drab. He even gets the death sentence but, for propaganda purposes, he's allowed a "hero's death" instead of a coward's.
Which brings me to my main point ("on the other hand"): with World War II raging overseas and the lurking possibility of the U.S. getting caught up in it, Hollywood produced a bumper crop of neo-patriotic propaganda pics in 1939-1940. The enemies differed from pic to pic but the message in all of them was "1) WE are all on the AMERICAN (or, at least, the Anglo-Saxon) side, & 2) the AMERICAN (Anglo-Saxon) side is the side of GOOD."
For example: Another Cagney pic, "Captains of the Clouds," Spencer Tracy in "Northwest Frontier," Cary Grant in "Gunga Din" or Henry Fonda in "Drums Along the Mohawk." Many of them were portrayed as "Boys' Tales of Adventure" but, given the context of the times, the subtext in all of them are unmistakeable ... ... yet, 60 years later, they're still fun.
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