James Cagney' Movie Information:


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About the film
1930 Sinner's Holiday


Sinners' Holiday is a 1930 crime drama film starring Grant Withers, Evalyn Knapp, James Cagney (in his film debut), and Lucille La Verne. It is based on the play Penny Arcade by Marie Baumer. Both Cagney and Joan Blondell reprised their Broadway roles. A mother runs a penny arcade at Coney Island with her family, but one of her sons gets involved in bootlegging.

1930 The Doorway To Hell

The Doorway to Hell is a 1930 Pre-Code crime film directed by Archie Mayo and starring Lew Ayres and James Cagney in his second film role. The film's title was typical of the sensationalistic titles of many Pre-Code films. It was marketed with the tagline, "The picture Gangland defied Hollywood to make!" Ayres plays a young Chicago man who attempts to go straight, but is continually pulled into the gangster lifestyle. A recent review by Allmovie that was reprinted in The New York Times noted that the picture was an "an innovative film and featured a lot of elements that would become standards in the gangster genre including tommy guns carried in violin cases, terrible shoot-outs, and lots of rum-running rivalry."
1930 Blonde Crazy

Blonde Crazy is a 1931 film by Roy Del Ruth, starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern, Ray Milland, and Guy Kibbee famous for Cagney's line, "That dirty, double-crossin' rat!"

1931 Smart Money

Smart Money is a 1931 film starring Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, the only time Robinson and Cagney made a movie together, despite being the two leading gangster actors at Warner Brothers studios all through the 1930s. Smart Money was shot after Robinson's signature film Little Caesar had been released and while Cagney's breakthrough film The Public Enemy was also being filmed. The Public Enemy had not been released and so Smart Money is the only film in which Cagney played the kind of supporting role usually done by Humphrey Bogart later in the '30s.

1931 The Millionaire


The Millionaire is a 1931 comedy film starring George Arliss in the title role. The film is a remake of the 1922 film called The Ruling Passion, which also starred Arliss. The film was based on the short story "Idle Hands" by Earl Derr Biggers. In one of his earliest film roles, James Cagney had a brief, but key appearance. This is a funny movie.

1931 The Public Enemy

The Public Enemy is a 1931 American Pre-Code crime film starring James Cagney and directed by William A. Wellman. The film relates the story of a young man's rise in the criminal underworld in prohibition-era urban America. The supporting players include Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell, Beryl Mercer, Donald Cook, and Mae Clarke. The film, which was based on the novel Beer and Blood by John Bright, launched Cagney to stardom.

Many of the characters in the film were based on actual people, although some currently available copies are from the censored and cut 1949 reissue (from the Hays Code era) in which the character of real-life gangster Bugs Moran was removed. However, some controversial items, like a scene in which Tom Powers (Cagney) hits his girlfriend in the face with a grapefruit, were left in that release.

The Public Enemy was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" in 1998.

1931 Other Men's Women

Other Men's Women is a 1931 American film directed by William A. Wellman and written by Maude Fulton. The film is about Bill (Grant Withers), a railroad engineer, who falls in love with Lily (Mary Astor), the wife of his co-worker Jack (Regis Toomey). When the two men fight over Lily, Jack is blinded. He dies in a violent storm saving Bill's life. Joan Blondell plays a diner waitress and James Cagney makes his third film appearance in a small role as an engineer. The New York Times described the film as "an unimportant little drama of the railroad yards", but Variety called it "a good program picture." Astor called it "a piece of cheese" in her autobiography, but praised Blondell and Cagney. The film was first released under the title The Steel Highway, and, in 2010, was available on DVD.
Don't let the picture to the left fool you. Although the movie was made before censorship was introduced, there is nothing your kids couldn't see, especially by today's standards

1932 Winner Takes All

Winner Take All is a 1932 film starring James Cagney, who had electrified the industry the previous year with his performances in The Public Enemy and Smart Money, as a boxer. The movie also featured a single scene of George Raft conducting a band that had been lifted from Queen of the Nightclubs, an earlier film; Cagney and Raft wouldn't make a full-fledged film together until Each Dawn I Die seven years later. Winner Take All was directed by Roy Del Ruth.

1932 The Crowd Roars

The Crowd Roars is a 1932 film directed by Howard Hawks starring James Cagney and featuring Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Eric Linden, Guy Kibbee, and Frank McHugh.

The driver in the film's auto racing sequences was Harry Hartz, a successful board track and Indianapolis 500 race professional.

1932 Taxi!

Taxi! is a 1932 film starring James Cagney and Loretta Young. The movie was directed by Roy Del Ruth.

The film is of note largely for two famous Cagney dialogues, one of which features Cagney conducting a conversation with a passenger in Yiddish, while the other introduced Cagney's trademark sneer line, "You dirty rat, I'm going to get rid of you, just like you gave it to my brother."

Also, in a lengthy and memorable sequence, an unbilled George Raft and his partner win a ballroom dance contest against Cagney and Young, after which Cagney punches Raft and knocks him down.

 

1933 Lady Killer

Lady Killer is a 1933 film starring James Cagney, Mae Clarke, and Margaret Lindsay, based on the story "The Finger Man" by Rosalind Keating Shaffer.

1933 Footlight Parade

Footlight Parade is a 1933 American musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The movie was written by Manuel Seff and James Seymour from a story by Robert Lord and Peter Milne. It was directed by Lloyd Bacon.

The spectacular Busby Berkeley musical numbers, written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics) and Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics), include "By a Waterfall", "Honeymoon Hotel", and "Shanghai Lil".

In 1992, Footlight Parade was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

1933 The Mayor of Hell

The Mayor of Hell (1933) is a Warner Brothers film starring James Cagney. The film was remade in 1938 as Crime School with Humphrey Bogart taking over James Cagney's role and Hell's Kitchen with Ronald Reagan.

1933 Picture Snatcher

Picture Snatcher is a 1933 Pre-Code drama film starring James Cagney as a gangster who decides to quit to pursue his dream.

1933 Hard To Handle


Hard to Handle
(1933) is a comedy film starring James Cagney as a breezily clowning con artist who organizes a Depression-era dance marathon. His character remarks at one point, "The mass is a cow. It must be milked". The movie was produced at Warner Bros. and directed by Mervyn LeRoy.


1934 The St. Louis Kid

Film Debut. Released 11-10-1934 Running time: 70-77 minutes. Supporting Role: Patricia Ellis. No other information available.
1934 Here Comes The Navy

Here Comes the Navy is a 1934 American romantic comedy film starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien and Gloria Stuart. It was written by Earl Baldwin and Ben Markson, and was directed by Lloyd Bacon.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Of historical interest is that a portion of the filming took place aboard the battleship Arizona, which was sunk by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Further, portions of the film also include shots of the dirigible Macon, a year before the accident that destroyed the dirigible with the loss of two crew.

1934 He was Her Man
The reinforcement of the production code in July of 1934 took some of the wind out of James Cagney, at least for a little while. Yes, it is the same old Jimmy we meet en route to Monterey in He Was Her Man, but this time he pays for his crimes. Also along for the ride is old co-star Joan Blondell, who gives up her streetwalking to marry Victor Jory even though she still loves Jimmy. Audiences actually liked the non-apologetic Blondell of yore better, but nothing was the same again in Hollywood after July of 1934, at least not for the next couple of decades.

1934 Jimmy The Gent

Jimmy the Gent is a 1934 American comedy-drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney and Bette Davis. The screenplay by Bertram Millhauser was based on The Heir Chaser by Ray Nazarro and Laird Doyle.

Prior to its release, the film was titled Blondes and Bonds and then Heir Chaser. It was the first pairing of Cagney and Davis, who would reunite for The Bride Came C.O.D. seven years later.

1935 A Midsummer Night's Dream

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a 1935 film directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle, produced by Henry Blanke and Hal Wallis, and adapted by Charles Kenyon and Mary C. McCall Jr. from the play by William Shakespeare.

1935 The Irish in Us

This fast-paced Warner Bros. comedy stars James Cagney and Pat O'Brien as brothers who fight over the same girl. Mrs. O'Hara (Mary Gordon) is the loving mother of three sons: fireman Mike (Frank McHugh), policeman Pat (O'Brien), and the promoter Danny (Cagney). Mike wants to marry Lucille Jackson (Olivia deHaviland), the daughter of his boss, Captain Jackson (John Farrell MacDonald). However, Lucille falls for Danny, causing a fued between the two brothers at the Fireman's Ball. Danny believes he can make a fortune when he meets up with boxer Carbarn Hammerschlag (Allen Jenkins), who starts fighting whenever he hears a bell. On the night of his big fight against champion boxer Joe Delancey (Harvey Parry), Carbarn gets a toothache and Mike gives him some gin. He ends up getting drunk in the locker room and Danny has to fight Delancey in his place. With the help of his brothers, Danny wins the fight and the girl.

1935 G-Men

G Men is a 1935 Warner Bros. crime film starring James Cagney and Ann Dvorak. It also marked Lloyd Nolan's film debut. According to Variety Magazine, it was one of the top-grossing films of 1935.

G Men was made as part of a deliberate attempt to counteract what many conservative political and business leaders claimed was a disturbing trend of glorifying criminals in the early 1930s gangster film genre. Although the gangster films were typically presented as moral indictments of organized crime where the criminal protagonist inevitably died, they nevertheless depicted a life of freedom, power and luxury enjoyed by gangsters in the midst of a real-life economic crisis. Foremost of these films were Little Caesar, the original Scarface, and perhaps the most memorable, The Public Enemy, which catapulted Cagney to stardom. Also notable about these films was that law enforcement was typically portrayed as either impotent in the face of crime, or, as with Public Enemy, akin to a derelict and largely absentee father shirking his duty. Based on this interpretation, G Men supplanted the criminal protagonist with the heroic federal police officer.

Most prints of this film include a brief scene added at the beginning for the 1949 re-release.

1935 Devil Dogs of the Air

Devil Dogs of the Air (a.k.a. Flying Marines) is a 1935 Warner Bros. propaganda film, directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, reprising their earlier roles as buddies after making their debut as a "buddy team" in Here Comes the Navy. Devil Dogs of the Air was the second of nine features that Pat O'Brien and James Cagney made together. The film's storyline was adapted from a novel by John Monk Saunders.

1935 Frisco Kid

Frisco Kid is a 1935 film starring James Cagney and directed by Lloyd Bacon.

1936 Great Guy


Great Guy (1936) is a crime film starring James Cagney and Mae Clarke. An honest inspector for the New York Department of Weights and Measures takes on corrupt merchants and politicians.

1936 Ceiling Zero

Ceiling Zero is a 1936 adventure/drama film directed by Howard Hawks. It stars James Cagney as daredevil womanizing pilot "Dizzy" Davis and Pat O'Brien as Jake Lee, his war veteran buddy and the operations manager of an airline company. Based on a stage play of the same name, the film blends drama with some light comedy. The title, as defined at the beginning of the picture, is an insider term referring to those moments when the sky is so thick with fog that navigating an airplane is nearly impossible.

1937 Something To Sing About

Something to Sing About, (1937), re-released in 1947 as Battling Hoofer, is the second and final film James Cagney made for Grand National Pictures – the first being Great Guy – before mending relations with and returning to Warner Bros. It is one of the few films besides Footlight Parade and Yankee Doodle Dandy to showcase Cagney's singing and dancing talents. It was directed by Victor Schertzinger, who also wrote the music and lyrics of the original songs, as well as the story that Austin Parker's screenplay is based on. Cagney's co-stars are Evelyn Daw and William Frawley, and the film features performances by Gene Lockhart and Mona Barrie.

The film, which is a satire on the movie industry's foibles, flopped in theaters, causing the just recently started "Poverty Row" independent Grand National, which had gone significantly overbudget making the film, to close its doors in 1940.

When, at 80 years of age, Cagney was asked which of his films – outside of Yankee Doodle Dandy – that he'd like to see again, this was the film he chose. Since the copyright on the film was not renewed in 1964, the film is now in the public domain.

1938 Angels with Dirty Faces

Angels with Dirty Faces is a 1938 American gangster film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, the Dead End Kids and Humphrey Bogart, along with Ann Sheridan and George Bancroft. The film was written by Rowland Brown, John Wexley and Warren Duff with uncredited assistance from Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur.

1938 Boy Meets Girl

“An extraordinarily hilarious comedy,” as Brooks Atkinson observed, the play was not only a telling spoof of Hollywood in general, but a particularly adroit send‐up of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, the real life counterparts of Law and Carlyle. Producer‐director George Abbott kept the “madcap fooling at high speed,” filling the stage with a variety of Hollywood moguls, yes‐men, players, midgets, and blaring trumpeters.



1939 The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties is a 1939 crime thriller starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart and Gladys George. The movie was directed by Raoul Walsh, and written by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay and Robert Rossen based on the story "The World Moves On" by Mark Hellinger. The Roaring Twenties was the last film that Cagney and Bogart made together.

The Roaring Twenties is based on "The World Moves On," a short story by Mark Hellinger, a columnist who had been hired by Jack Warner to write screenplays. The movie is hailed as a classic in the gangster movie genre,and considered a "homage" to the classic gangster movie of the early 1930s.

1939 Each Dawn I Die

Each Dawn I Die is a 1939 gangster film featuring James Cagney and George Raft in their only movie together as leads, although Raft had made an unbilled appearance in a 1932 Cagney vehicle called Taxi! in which he won a dance contest against Cagney, after which he and Cagney brawl. Raft also very briefly "appeared" in Cagney's boxing drama Winner Take All (1932), in a flashback sequence culled from Raft's 1929 film debut Queen of the Night Clubs. The plotline of Each Dawn I Die involves a crusading reporter (Cagney) who is unjustly thrown in jail and befriends a famous gangster (Raft). George Bancroft portrays the warden. The movie was a box-office smash and remains a favorite among aficionados of Warner Bros. gangster movies. The film was based on the novel of the same name by Jerome Odlum.

1939 The Oklahoma Kid

The Oklahoma Kid is a 1939 western film starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. The movie was directed for Warner Bros. by Lloyd Bacon. Cagney plays an adventurous gunslinger in a broad-brimmed cowboy hat while Bogart portrays his black-clad and viciously villainous nemesis. The film is often remembered for Cagney's character rubbing the thumb and forefinger of his hand together and exulting, "Feel that air!"

1940 City For Conquest

City for Conquest is a 1940 drama starring James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, and Arthur Kennedy. It is based on the novel of the same name by Aben Kandel.


1940 Torrid Zone

Torrid Zone is a 1940 adventure film starring James Cagney, Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien.


Torrid Zone star James Cagney once described the film as "The Front Page among the bananas." Indeed, the screenplay diligently follows the Front Page plot device of a tough boss (Pat O'Brien) pulling every underhanded trick in the book to keep his top man (Cagney) from quitting. This time the setting is a Central American plantation owned by O'Brien, which supervisor Cagney would dearly love to leave behind. Complicating the plot is a nightclub singer (Anne Sheridan) over whom O'Brien and Tracy do battle; a bored married woman (Helen Vinson) with eyes for Cagney; and a gang of Latino bandits, led by George Tobias (providing comic relief). What Torrid Zone lacked in originality it made up for in sheer energy.

1940 The Fighting 69th.

The Fighting 69th (1940) is an American war film starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and George Brent. The plot is based upon the actual exploits of New York City's 69th Infantry Regiment during the First World War. The regiment was first given that nickname by opposing General Robert E. Lee during the American Civil War.

The plot centers on misfit Jerry Plunkett, played by Cagney, and his inability to fit into the unit due to a mixture of bravado and cowardice. O'Brien plays Father Francis P. Duffy, a military chaplain who attempts to reform Plunkett. "Wild Bill" Donovan, played by Brent, is the first battalion commander, who ultimately orders Plunkett to be court-martialed. One of the characters portrayed in this film is Sgt Joyce Kilmer, the poet. Alan Hale, Sr. plays Sgt. Wynn, who loses both his brothers due to Cagney's blunders.

While Jerry Plunkett was a fictional character, Father Duffy, Major Donovan, Lt. Ames, and Sgt. Joyce Kilmer were all real people who served in the regiment and many of the activities depicted (Camp Mills, the Mud March, dugout collapse at Rouge Bouquet, crossing the Ourcq River, Victory Parade, etc.) actually happened.

1941 The Bride Cane COD

The Bride Came C.O.D. is a 1941 Warner Bros. screwball romantic comedy starring James Cagney as a pilot and Bette Davis as a runaway heiress. Although the film was publicized as the first movie pairing of Warner Bros.' two biggest stars, they had actually made Jimmy the Gent together in 1934.

The movie was written by Kenneth Earl, M. M. Musselman, and twins Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein, and directed by William Keighley.

1941 The Strawberry Blonde

The Strawberry Blonde is a 1941 Warner Bros. feature film starring James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland. It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941 for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. The film features songs such as "Bill Bailey", "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louie," and "The Band Played On".

1942 Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan the actor / singer / dancer / playwright / songwriter / producer / theatre owner / director / choreographer known as "The Man Who Owns Broadway", starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston and Richard Whorf, and featuring Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp and Jeanne Cagney.

The movie was written by Robert Buckner and Edmund Joseph, and directed by Michael Curtiz. According to the special edition DVD, significant and uncredited improvements were made to the script by the famous "script doctors" twin brothers Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein.

1942 Captains of the Clouds

Captains of the Clouds is a 1942 Warner Bros. war film in Technicolor, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney. It was produced by William Cagney (James Cagney's brother), with Hal B. Wallis as executive producer. The screenplay was written by Arthur T. Horman, Richard Macaulay and Norman Reilly Raine, based on a story by Horman and Roland Gillett. The cinematography was by Wilfred M. Cline, Sol Polito and Winton C. Hoch and was notable in that it was the first feature length Hollywood production filmed entirely in Canada.

The film stars James Cagney and Dennis Morgan as Canadian pilots who do their part in the Second World War, and features Brenda Marshall, Alan Hale, Sr., George Tobias, Reginald Gardiner and Reginald Denny in supporting roles. The title of the film came from a phrase used by Billy Bishop, the First World War fighter ace, who played himself in the film. The same words are also echoed in the narration of The Lion Has Wings documentary (1939).

In 1942, Canada had been at war with the Axis Powers for over two years, while the United States had only just entered in December, 1941. A film on the ongoing Canadian involvement made sense for the American war effort.

1943 Johnny Come Lately



Johnny Come Lately is a 1943 film starring James Cagney, Grace George and Edward McNamara. It was the first film Produced by Cagney Productions in March 1943 .

For his first independently-produced starring effort, James Cagney chose the sentimental drama Johnny Come Lately. Cagney plays itinerant newspaperman Tom Richards, who wanders into a small corruption-ridden town. Striking up a friendship with elderly Vinnie McLeod (Grace George in her only movie appearance), the editor of the local newspaper, Tom tries to help Vinnie exposed the community's crooked politicians. He is thwarted in his efforts until Gashouse Mary (Marjorie Main), a wealthy dowager with a shady past, exposes the machinations behind a phony Orphan's Fund. At the insistence of star Cagney, the cast of Johnny Come Lately was filled with familiar character actors (Hattie McDaniel, Edward McNamara, George Cleveland, Margaret Hamilton, Lucien Littlefield) who are herein offered a lot more screen time than was customary. Based on the Louis Bromfield novel McLeod's Folly, Johnny Come Lately was produced by Cagney's brother William; the film garnered an Oscar nomination for Leigh Harline's nostalgic musical score.

 

1943 You, John Jones!

You, John Jones! (1943) is a short film directed by Mervyn LeRoy, written by Carey Wilson and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and starring James Cagney, Ann Sothern, and Margaret O'Brien. The film credits the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry for its production.

The film begins with a father and worker (Cagney) working at an armaments factory, until he finally gets off and goes home. When he is at home, he is interrupted from listening to his daughters recitation of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address to go out for the Civil Defense on an air-raid patrol. When he is out at his post he feels a little silly being there, as no air raids have hit America, though they have hit America's allies.

He then goes off into a dream sequence, narrated by God, about the various areas in which air raids and other violence has been brought on civilians, by air and other means. Each vignette ends with a small child dead or wounded and the narrator asking him, what if it was "your baby, John Jones, your baby" the dream sequence ends with an air attack, after which Jones finally awakes. He returns to his house and his daughter finishes the recitation of the Gettysburg Address "...so that government by the people, for the people, and of the people shall not perish from this Earth."

1945 Blood on the Sun

Blood on the Sun (1945) is a film starring James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney. The film is based on the history behind the Tanaka Memorial document.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction for a Black & White (Wiard Ihnen, A. Roland Fields) film in 1945. A computer-colorized version of the film was created in 1993.

1947 13 Rue Madeline

13 Rue Madeleine is a 1947 World War II spy film starring James Cagney, Annabella and Richard Conte. The title refers to the Le Havre address where a Gestapo headquarters is located.

1948 The Time of Your Life

The Time of Your Life is a 1948 film starring James Cagney adapted from the 1939 William Saroyan play of the same title. The movie was adapted by Nathaniel Curtis, directed by H. C. Potter, and featured William Bendix as Nick, Wayne Morris as Tom, Broderick Crawford as Krupp, and Ward Bond as McCarthy. A Cagney Production, The Time of Your Life was produced by Cagney's brother William and co-starred their sister Jeanne as Kitty Duval.

The film was shot using Saroyan's original ending where Kit shot and killed Blick offstage. The audience heard the shots and saw Kit walk in relating the event as one of his stories "I shot a man once. In San Francisco. Shot him two times...Fellow named Blick or Glick or something. Couldn't stand the way he talked to ladies". As the preview audiences reacted unfavourably, Cagney asked Saroyan to write a more acceptable ending but Saroyan priced his work out of Cagney's reach. A new action packed climax was written and filmed with Cagney beating the daylights out of Blick and Nick throwing him out onto the street.


1949 White Heat

White Heat is a 1949 film noir starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien and featuring Margaret Wycherly, and Steve Cochran. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts screenplay based on a story by Virginia Kellogg, it is considered one of the classic gangster films and was added to the National Film Registry in 2003. It was the inspiration for the song White Heat by recording artist Madonna, included as a tribute to James Cagney on her 1986 album True Blue.

1950 The West Point Story

The West Point Story (also known as Fine and Dandy) is a 1950 musical comedy film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Doris Day.

The film received two award nominations in 1951. Ray Heindorf was nominated for a Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and John Monks Jr., Charles Hoffman and Irving Wallace were nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Musical.

1950 Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950) is a film noir starring James Cagney, directed by Gordon Douglas and based on the novel by Horace McCoy. The film was banned in Ohio as "a sordid, sadistic presentation of brutality and an extreme presentation of crime with explicit steps in commission."

Supporting Cagney are Luther Adler as a crooked lawyer, Ward Bond and Barton MacLane as two crooked cops, and Cagney's brother William (who produced the film) as Ralph Cotter's brother.

1951 Starlift

Starlift is an American musical film released by Warner Brothers in 1951, starring Janice Rule, Dick Wesson, Ron Hagerthy and Ruth Roman. The film was directed by Roy Del Ruth and written by Karl Lamb and John D. Klorer. Made during the beginning of the Korean War, it centers on an Air Force flyer's wish to meet a movie star, and her fellow stars' efforts to perform for injured men at the air force base.

It features many of Warner Brothers top stars, including Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, James Cagney, Gene Nelson, Jane Wyman, Virginia Mayo and Phil Harris, in cameo appearances as themselves.

1951 Come Fill The Cup

Come Fill the Cup is a 1951 film starring James Cagney and Gig Young. Cagney plays an alcoholic newspaperman. Cagney has the memorable line, "Don't you see? I am home," which he says in response to the query, "Why don't you go home?": once near the beginning when he's drinking; once at the end when he's just working hard.

1952 What Price Glory

What Price Glory is a 1952 World War I film based on a 1924 play by Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings, though it used virtually none of Anderson's dialogue. Originally intended as a musical, it was filmed as a straight comedy, directed by John Ford and released by 20th Century Fox on 22 August 1952 in the U.S. It starred James Cagney and Dan Dailey as US Marines in World War I.

1953 A Lion Is In The Streets

A Lion Is in the Streets is a 1953 drama film starring James Cagney as a southern politician loosely based on Huey Long. The movie was directed by Raoul Walsh. The screenplay was based on a 1945 book by Adria Locke Langley.

1955 Mr. Roberts

Mister Roberts is a 1955 CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, and starring Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts. Based on the 1946 novel and 1948 Broadway play, the film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Sound, Recording Oscars; Jack Lemmon received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

During the production of the film, Jack Lemmon started a long-time friendship with Cagney which lasted until Cagney's death in 1986. It was also James Cagney's last movie for Warner Brothers, the studio that had propelled him to stardom 25 years before and the studio to which he had spent the majority of his career under contract.

The film was the basis of a 1965 television series of the same name, and was remade for television in 1984 as a live telecast.

1955 The Seven Little Foys

The Seven Little Foys is a 1955 film starring Bob Hope as Eddie Foy. James Cagney reprises his role as George M. Cohan for an energetic tabletop dance showdown sequence. In addition to the famous film, the story of Eddie Foy, Sr. and the Seven Little Foys also inspired a TV version in 1964 and a stage musical version, which premiered in 2007.

The second eldest Foy, Charley, narrates periodically throughout the film.

1955 Love Me or Leave Me

Love Me or Leave Me is a 1955 biographical film which tells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star. It stars Doris Day as Etting, James Cagney as gangster Martin "Moe the Gimp" Snyder, her first husband and manager, and Cameron Mitchell as pianist/ arranger Myrl Alderman, her second husband. It was written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart. It was directed by Charles Vidor.

Cagney suggested to producer Joe Pasternak that Doris Day be cast in the Etting role. The role had been sought by Ava Gardner, but Cagney persuaded MGM to cast Doris Day, who was excited to play opposite Cagney.

ove Me or Leave Me won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (James Cagney), Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture, Best Music, Song (for Nicholas Brodzsky and Sammy Cahn for "I'll Never Stop Loving You"), Best Sound, Recording and Best Writing, Screenplay.

Variety called the film "a rich canvas of the Roaring '20s, with gutsy and excellent performances."

Most of the songs in the movie were 1930s hits that Etting had recorded originally. Two new songs, however, were written specifically for the film: "Never Look Back", by Chilton Price, and, "I'll Never Stop Loving You", by Nicholas Brodzsky and Sammy Cahn.

1955 Run For Cover

Run for Cover is a 1955 western film directed by Nicholas Ray. It stars James Cagney and Viveca Lindfors.
1956 These Wilder Years

The MGM melodrama These Wilder Years marked the first onscreen pairing of Hollywood stars James Cagney and Barbara Stanwyck.

These Wilder Years is a fairly typical 1950s tearjerker, a Douglas Sirk film without Sirk's strangely appealing directorial hand to guide it. Director Roy Rowland's approach is workmanlike and reasonably effective, but it cannot transform the material the way that Sirk could when at his best. Frank Fenton's screenplay is manipulative to the extreme, and strangely cold -- perhaps because its "heart" is so clearly made of plastic. The dialogue is tired and boring; there are hardly any scenes in which the big moments aren't telegraphed well in advance, and there are precious few twists to keep the material interesting. What Wilder does have, fortunately, is a pair of sterling performances from the wonderful James Cagney and the glorious Barbara Stanwyck. While both actors display the strength and stubbornness that are their hallmarks, they also both get to display their vulnerability; Cagney, in particular, is touching and appealing without ever losing his edge. He even makes the most maudlin of the scenes work, and there's an undeniable chemistry between the two stars that carries the film through any number of rough patches. With anyone else, Wilder would be a bore; with these two, it's got just enough star power to keep the viewer's hands away from the remote.



1956 Tribute To A Bad Man

Tribute to a Bad Man is a 1956 western film starring James Cagney about a rancher whose harsh enforcement of frontier justice alienates the woman he loves. It was directed by Robert Wise and based on the short story "Hanging's for the Lucky" by Jack Schaefer.

1957 Man of A Thousand Faces

Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) is a film detailing the life of silent movie actor Lon Chaney, in which the title role is played by James Cagney.

Directed by Joseph Pevney, the film's cast included Dorothy Malone, Jane Greer and Jim Backus. Chaney's grown son was played by Roger Smith, later the star of television's 77 Sunset Strip, and studio chief Irving Thalberg was portrayed by Robert Evans, who soon left acting and eventually became head of Paramount Pictures.

Creative license was used in writing the screenplay, and many incidents were sanitized and fictionalized, including the following:

Creighton Tull Chaney was not born in a hospital as is depicted in the film. He was born at his father's home in Oklahoma city.

Lon Chaney, Sr. had stated in interviews at the time that he did not want Creighton (later Lon Chaney, Jr.) to be an actor as is clearly depicted in the film's conclusion. Creighton Chaney had been married for two years, and was on his way to becoming a plumber when his father died. When financial problems became overwhelming for Creighton, he started to accept film work and was billed under his birth name. It was only in the mid 1930's that he allowed himself (at the insistence of film producers) to be billed as "Lon Chaney, Jr.", an action he often said he felt ashamed of. In later life Chaney, Jr. stated that he was proud of the name "Lon Chaney", but not of the name "Lon Chaney, Jr."

In the film, Lon is depicted as being at home, and surrounded by family and friends when he passes on. In reality, Chaney died in his hospital room after suffering a hemorrhage.

The depiction of Chaney's makeup for The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame differs significantly from Chaney's original make up for these films. Cagney's face appears partially immobile behind an elaborate full latex mask and other make up. Lon Chaney, Sr. actually took great pride in his ability to distort his appearance using only a minimum of makeup, which still allowed for a great deal of facial expression. For instance, Chaney utilized thin wires in his nose and around his eyes, false teeth and dark paint around his eyes and nostrils, plus other methods.

Bud Westmore's recreations of these original make ups are clearly partial masks which vaguely resemble the originals. Cagney's face in some scenes is fairly immobile, such as the scene where he speaks to Creighton while wearing his Hunchback of Notre Dame make up, and when he speaks to the actress at the conclusion of the unmasking scene in The Phantom of the Opera.

1959 Shake Hands with the Devil

Shake Hands with the Devil was a 1959 film directed by the English director Michael Anderson.

It is set in 1921 Dublin, where the Irish Republican Army battles the "Black and Tans," the British special forces trained to suppress the IRA with harsh measures.

The film stars James Cagney as Sean Lenihan and Don Murray as Kerry O'Shea. Also featured are Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns, Sybil Thorndike, Michael Redgrave and a young Richard Harris.

1959 Never Steal Anything Small

Never Steal Anything Small (1959) is a musical comedy film starring James Cagney, Shirley Jones, Roger Smith, Cara Williams, Nehemiah Persoff, Royal Dano, and Horace McMahon. The film was based on The Devil's Hornpipe by Maxwell Anderson and released by Universal Pictures.

Filmed in color, this minor musical was directed by Charles Lederer. Cagney plays a good-hearted labor leader and gets to sing and dance a little. This was Cagney's final musical film. Jones does a lively musical number, too, spoofing television commercials. One of the highlights is a duet between Cagney and Williams. The film has a running time of 94 minutes and has been released on home video, as well as featured on American Movie Classics.

1960 The Gallant Hours

The Gallant Hours is a 1960 American biopic docu-drama about Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey and his efforts in fighting against Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and the forces of Imperial Japan in the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II.

The black & white film was directed by Robert Montgomery, who also did uncredited narration, and stars James Cagney as Halsey. Featured in the cast are Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello, Vaughn Taylor, Richard Jaeckel and Les Tremayne. The screenplay is by Frank D. Gilroy and Beirne Lay, Jr. and the unusual a cappella choral score was composed and conducted by Roger Wagner, although the theme song was written by Ward Costello.

The film was produced by Montgomery and Cagney, the only film made by their joint production company, and released by United Artists on June 22, 1960.

Unusual for a war film, The Gallant Hours has no battle scenes; all the fighting takes place off-screen, and there is an emphasis throughout the film on logistics and strategy rather than tactics and combat. Fundamentally, the film becomes a battle of wills and wits between the dogged Halsey and his brilliant Japanese counterpart, Admiral Yamamoto (James T. Goto). For dramatic effect, the mission to kill Yamamoto is made contemporaneous with the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; in fact it took place five months later, in April 1943.

Also somewhat unorthodox is that scenes depicting Japanese staff officers were performed in Japanese, with only summary translations provided by the narrator, which are remarkably even-handed in their characterization for an American feature film of this period.

The film's coda is a quote from Admiral Halsey:"There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."

1961 One, Two, Three

One, Two, Three is a (1961) American comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by him and I.A.L. Diamond, based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play Egy, kettö, három by Ferenc Molnár. The comedy features James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis, Leon Askin, Howard St. John, and others. It would be Cagney's last film appearance until Ragtime, 20 years later.

The film is primarily set in West Berlin during the Cold War, but before the construction of the Berlin Wall, and politics is predominant in the setup. Diamond and Wilder's social satire and sharp humor skewers targets on all sides of the divide — capitalists and communists, Americans, Germans, and Russians, men and women alike exhibit their own weaknesses and quirky foibles. As in Avanti! (1972), the humor of the film is partly based on the contrast between people from different cultures.

1981 Ragtime

Ragtime is a 1981 American film based on the historical novel Ragtime (1975) by E. L. Doctorow. The action takes place in and around New York City, New Rochelle, and Atlantic City in the first decade of the 1900s, and includes fictionalized references to actual people and events of the time. The film was directed by Miloš Forman. The music was the first full feature score composed by Randy Newman. This was the final feature film for both James Cagney and Pat O'Brien; Cagney was ailing during the shoot.

Although ambiguous about the year of action within the storyline, architect and socialite Stanford White was actually shot in 1906 and the trial(s) of Harry K. Thaw for the murder took place in 1907 and again in 1908. Thaw's wife, Evelyn Nesbit had a previous intimate relationship with White while she was a teenager. The film was nominated for Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but lost to On Golden Pond.


TELEVISION

1984 Terrible Joe Moran
(Was retitled: One Blow Too Many)

The story was originally intended as a vehicle for Katharine Hepburn, with the main character a retired tennis champion. When she declined the project, it was rewritten for James Cagney, with the lead character changed to a retired boxer.


Due to the aftereffects of a stroke, James Cagney was unable to properly articulate his dialog during shooting. In the finished film, his voice is actually dubbed by impressionist Rich Little.