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"Public Enemy"


otterhere
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Blown away by this one which, again, I didn't really intend to watch (though it was going to be Little Cesear; am having some trouble with my schedule this month!!!); what an ending!!! Never a James Cagney fan (previously saw him only singing and dancing in YD Dandy), but count me in now. Goes to show: give TCM a chance...

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I caught a bit of it Monday night. What a good movie, and Cagney is terrific. I loved the scene in which he let his brother hit him while the brother was packing to go into the army. Also, I liked the guy who played Paddy Ryan, holding forth on what a great opportunity Prohibition was going to be while he shoveled potato chips into his mouth. The funeral of the slain youth was also well done. The women are talking about what a nice boy he was, the men are in another room talking about what a jerk he was, and Cagney and friend are struggling with their guilty secret.

 

Seventy-five years later, and the movie is still powerful.

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That last scene will stay with me a loooooooong time; chilling!!!

 

Also interesting to see a VERY young Joan Blondell (I remember her only from her TV role as a rather rotund, middle-aged madam???) and Jean Harlow acting... Uh, well... Not very well, actually!!! I do have a whole new view of Cagney now.

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I fell in love with Joan Blondell a little over forty years ago. WGN, in the early sixties, showed WB films all night Friday and Saturday. Drinking Pepsi, eating fried chicken and watching Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, and Ann Sheridan---- Heaven !

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Interesting--I can see why it made the Premiere list, though ... very haunting ending indeed.

 

Great film! I liked Robert Osborne's comentary on how this film marked a turning point in Cagney's career. The early footage showed Cagney was powerful and commanding while co-star Edward Woods was not, so director William Wellman switched Cagney to the lead and Woods to the sidekick role.

 

Maybe not one of Jean Harlow's better performances. She definitely improved later.

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  • 3 months later...

Great film! I love Cagney anyway, but this was a great performance.

 

And I agree about the ending. One of the most disturbing endings in classic film, IMO.

 

Well...that and another Cagney film - WHITE HEAT.

 

Not endings you easily forget.

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Yes. True enough. The ending to that is pretty gritty as well. As is the ending to 13 Rue Madeleine.

 

And what about that one where he dies on the steps in the snow? Isn't that The Roaring 20's?

 

Cagney has alot of good endings! :)

 

In fact, he may have more of those harrowingly gritty endings than any other actor that I can think of...

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