WWI veteran Eddie Bartlett cannot find employment after his homecoming and soon has to realize that he is a “forgotten man”. Will he be able to keep his integrity as a human during his struggle for survival?
James Cagney, one of Hollywood’s greatest “tough guys”, gets support by the legendary Humphrey Bogart (who was selected by the AFI in 1999 for being US cinema’s greatest male star) at the beginning of his career.
Also starring Priscilla Lane, Gladys George and Jeffrey Lynn, the film is directed by veteran director Raoul Walsh – former assistant, editor and actor of D.W. Griffith for his controversial masterpiece “The Birth of a Nation” (1915).
Cagney about actors: “Without you, they have an empty screen. So, when you get on there, just do what you think is right and stick with it.”
Warner Bros. produced a number of other significant gangster films during the Thirties that have distinct themselves from the usual escapist entertainment of that period: Little Cesar (starring Edward G. Robinson, 1930), The Public Enemy (with James Cagney, 1931), Scarface (with Paul Muni, 1932), I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (with Paul Muni, 1932), The Petrified Forest (with Humphrey Bogart, 1936) and Angels With Dirty Faces (with Cagney and Bogart, 1938) which is considered to be the last of the series. Ten years later, James Cagney returned one more time to the portrayal of a gangster for Warner Bros. and director Raoul Walsh in the classic film noir “White Heat” (1949).