Sunday, June 21, 2009

Movie Picks: Cagney (again)

Lady Killer is another great pre-Code film with Cagney. 1933 brought out another bad-boy-goes-good tale from Warner Brothers.

James Cagney plays a grifter named Dan Quigley who goes on the run with his gang and moll (Mae Clarke, she of the grapefruit scene in Public Enemy), only to find out one of them poisons her against him; when he gets pinched the gang runs off with his money so he can't make an easy bail.

He wallows in his sorrows a while once let out, and a movie director sees him, scruffy and dirty, as the perfect bit player for a prison break scene. With Dan Quigley's genius for manipulating a situation--and some genuine talent--he becomes a star.

The gang comes back, of course...and away we go! Another slam-bang finish, courtesy of the redhead from New York. This film is perfect old Hollywood entertainment. Go find a copy, make a barrel of buttered popcorn, and dig in.

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