A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Norman Reilly Raine (screen play), Warren Duff (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Cagney ... Frank Ross
George Raft ... 'Hood' Stacey
Jane Bryan ... Joyce
George Bancroft ... John Armstrong
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Fargo Red
Stanley Ridges ... Meuller
Alan Baxter ... Carlisle
Victor Jory ... Grayce
John Wray ... Pete Kassock
Edward Pawley ... Dale
Willard Robertson ... Lang
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Ross
Paul Hurst ... Garsky
Louis Jean Heydt ... Lassiter
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Limpy Julien
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Storyline

Although innocent, reporter Frank Ross is found guilty of murder and is sent to jail. While his friends at the newspaper try to find out who framed him, Frank gets hardened by prison life and his optimism turns into bitterness. He meets fellow-inmate Stacey and they decide to help each other. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S GOING OVER WITH A BANG! (Print Ad- New York Sun, ((New York, NY)) 21 July 1939) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 22, 1943, with George Raft reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

The conversation in the prison yard between Ross and Fargo Red, concerning dogs not having pores, is unrealistic. The slow-witted Red would surely have heard the word as "paws". As such he would not then have asked "How do they sweat?" See more »

Quotes

Convict Fargo Red: Into the hole he goes.
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Connections

Features Wings of the Navy (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Give Up the Ship
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played by the band in the theater before the showing of the movie
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User Reviews

 
Full of clichés, but still quite wonderful
9 January 2008 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a great prison film--with lots of unusual twists, a great story and stellar actors. While many of the usual 1930s prison film clichés are definitely present, the overall package is so enjoyable that many will forgive its excesses. I must point out, though, that many modern audiences might laugh a bit at the dialog, but fans of Warner films of the age have come to expect and love these type films.

The movie begins with crusading reporter, Jimmy Cagney, being set up for a crime to stop him from investigating crooked public officials. On this trumped up charge, he is given a hefty prison sentence and is sent to a tough prison. On the way, he meets habitual criminal, George Raft, and they strike up a very bizarre friendship.

At first, Cagney is sure his conviction will be overturned and he's practically a model prisoner. However, after years in jail and no breaks in sight, he agrees to help Raft with a breakout and Cagney's life behind bars gets significantly worse.

Where it all goes from there you'll just need to see for yourself. However, considering that two exceptional tough guy actors head the cast (Cagney and Raft), you know this will be an exciting film--which it certainly is. Now being a Warner product, you know that the prison lingo and action will be a bit hard to believe and you know that, given a chance, Cagney will chew the scenery (he definitely does overact a bit here and there). But considering how entertaining it all is, I can certainly forgive all this. A great film for fans of old time films.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Each Dawn I Die See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$735,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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