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 police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.
From the trial of the survivors, we flash back to amoral crook Ralph Cotter's violent prison break, assisted by Holiday Carleton, sister of another prisoner...who doesn't make it. Soon Ralph manipulates the grieving Holiday into his arms, and two crooked cops follow her into his pocket. Ralph's total lack of scruple brings him great success in a series of robberies. But his easy conquest of gullible heiress Margaret Dobson proves more dangerous to him than any crime...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While this is not a great Cagney flick and it has a few silly plot elements, it is a surprisingly good film. This film immediately followed Cagney's best film (WHITE HEAT) and is a slight letdown because of this.
Mostly I like the movie because the plot, for a Noir film, takes so many odd and difficult to predict turns--it certainly is NOT like most of the other gangster films you've seen. Cagney isn't quite the total nut case he was in WHITE HEAT, but plays a Narcissistic Antisocial criminal. He has zero regard for others and is naturally drawn to the criminal life. BUT, because of his intense narcissism (i.e., self love), he cannot imagine his complex schemes and double-dealing NOT succeeding. He certainly BELIEVES in himself! At first, this makes him a very successful hood (which feeds his ego) and so he takes another risk (feeding his ego) and another and another until he ultimately destroys himself due to his arrogance.
So, I like the plot and interesting character study. The negative I noticed in the film is that some of the supporting cast really didn't seem like very good actors (particularly his blonde girlfriend). Maybe that's because Cagney IS the entire show.
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