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G-Men
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Genre:Action
Year:1935
Rating:NR
Cast:William Keighley, James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Lloyd Nolan

G Men planted Warner Bros' "bad boy" James Cagney firmly on the side of the law, where he remained until a full-scale return to villainy in White Heat. Cagney plays a young lawyer whose education has been financed by soft-hearted racketeer William Harrigan. When Cagney's best pal, detective Regis Toomey, is killed in a gangland shooting, Jimmy decides to become a G-Man. Though scrupulously honest, Cagney is looked upon with suspicion by his fellow agents because of his association with the crooked Harrigan. He proves he's a "good guy" when his former girl friend Ann Dvorak, now the wife of mobster Barton MacLane, tips him off to a "Little Bohemia"-style gangster hideaway. Dvorak later sacrifices her own life to help Cagney rescue his new girl, nurse Margaret Lindsay, from the vengeful MacLane. Based on Gregory Miller's book Public Enemy No. 1, G Men was reissued in 1949, with an added prologue featuring David Brian as a FBI trainer who advises his students not to laugh at the old-fashioned costumes and slang in the 1935 film; seen today, it is Brian's superfluous opening comments that seem hopelessly dated, while the film itself is as exciting and entertaining as ever. Hal Erickson

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