(Review originally written at 31 October 2009)

I would foremost classify this movie as an heist movie. It's obviously one that would go on and inspire many later movies and film-makers in the movie. Many elements in this movie are still being used in similar type of movies, even this present day.

It's not the usual Cagney gangster flick, it's one with perhaps some more story and character building behind it. Unlike previous movies in its genre it's not really one made purely for entertainment. This can mostly been seen back in the movie its main character, who is a borderline mental patient, with a more than big admiration for his mother. This character is of course being played by James Cagney, who throughout his career has played many gangster type of roles but perhaps none of them were as complicated and psychotic as Cody Jarrett. The movie some real great, effective and memorable sequence in it, which all have to do with Cagney's fabulous and powerful acting performance of the movie.

The movie its story has a real Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino vibe to it, in which an undercover cop infiltrates in the criminal network led by the Cagney character and teams up with him for his next criminal plan, after having escaped from prison together, with a bunch of other henchman. It's a story that fits in fine within its genre and it of course gets greatly told with the help of the actors and director Raoul Walsh.

This was not the first time director Walsh and actor Cagney teamed up together. They made four movies together, of which this one was their third.

A great early heist movie, that marked the end of the real film-noir gangster movie and marked the era of the new, more modern type of gangster movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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