The Law of Contact

Other Men's Women (January 17, 1931)

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Other Men's Women
 

Released on January 17, 1931: A railroad fireman falls in love with his engineer buddy's wife, and it threatens to break up their friendship.

Directed by William A. Wellman

The Actors: Grant Withers (Bill White), Mary Astor (Lily Culper), Regis Toomey (Jack Culper), James Cagney (Ed Bailey), Fred Kohler (Haley), J. Farrell MacDonald (Peg-Leg), Joan Blondell (Marie), Lillian Worth (waitress), Walter Long ('Roundhouse' Bixby), Pat Harmon (railroad worker at lunch counter), Pat Hartigan (railroad yardmaster Kennedy), Lee Moran (railroad worker at lunch counter), Kewpie Morgan (railroad worker), Bob Perry (railroad worker), Lucille Ward (Bill's landlady Miss Astor)

 

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Have a Little Chew on Me

Up until 1964 motion pictures in the United States could be copyrighted for 28 years if the movie was registered with the copyright office during the year of its release. The copyright could be extended to what eventually became 95 years if the producer (person or studio) re-registered the movie at the copyright office during the 28th year after the first release. Both MGM and Warner Brothers were very good at tracking those years and renewing their films, and as a result only a few movies from those companies have entered public domain. For some reason this Warner Brothers movie was never re-registered during the 28th year, to our good fortune. In fact, a search of copyright records for the year of release does not show any original entry for this movie under either of the two names that it had. The movie was first released to a very limited audience as ‘The Steel Highway’ because it is the story of two railroad men and their women. It must not have done well because the name was changed to the sexier and suggestive title ‘Other Men’s Women.’

The story features four well-known actors and one novice actor just beginning what would become a star-studded legendary career. Grant Withers and Mary Astor were often leading characters and were very famous during this period, but never gained ‘legendary’ status for most classic movie fans. Regis Toomey is a very familiar face and voice from his more than 50 years of movie and television appearances, but seldom as a leading man. Blonde diner waitress Marie was played by Joan Blondell, who would later star in situation comedy television shows. . . . But the actor that would soon eclipse them all is the amazing James Cagney. He had acted in two movies before this one, but not as a leading man, and in his third acting job he has a very small but necessary part.

One of the most famous 'last words' script lines from a movie belong to Jimmy Cagney from his gangster character who said, ‘Made it, Ma, Top of the World’ . . . . But in this movie we have the opportunity of watching James Cagney in his final movie as an ‘unknown’ actor. His first appearance on screen in this story is of James Cagney standing tall on top of a railroad car as the train careens down the tracks, and I got an instant 'I'm on top of the World' feeling. After the January release of this story, he would get top billing in an April movie called ‘The Public Enemy’ and skyrocket to fame. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Mary Astor and Grant Withers
Mary Astor and Grant Withers
Mary Astor and Regis Toomey
Mary Astor and Regis Toomey
Regis Toomey walking in the rain
Regis Toomey walking in the rain
Fred Kohler and Regis Toomey
Fred Kohler and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers and James Cagney
Grant Withers and James Cagney
Grant Withers and Joan Blondell
Grant Withers and Joan Blondell
Francis Pierlot
Grant Withers and Joan Blondell
Grant Withers and Joan Blondell
Grant Withers and Joan Blondell
Grant Withers and Lillian Worth
Grant Withers and Lillian Worth
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Grant Withers and Mary Astor
Grant Withers and Mary Astor
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers kisses Joan Blondell
Grant Withers kisses Joan Blondell
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
Grant Withers
J. Farrell MacDonald
J. Farrell MacDonald
J. Farrell MacDonald and Grant Withers
J. Farrell MacDonald and Grant Withers
J. Farrell MacDonald, Regis Toomey and James Cagney
J. Farrell MacDonald, Regis Toomey and James Cagney
J. Farrell MacDonald and Regis Toomey
J. Farrell MacDonald and Regis Toomey
J. Farrell MacDonald
J. Farrell MacDonald
James Cagney
James Cagney
James Cagney and Walter Long
James Cagney and Walter Long
James Cagney on top of the triain
James Cagney on top of the triain
James Cagney
James Cagney
Joan Blondell
Joan Blondell
Lillian Worth and James Cagney
Lillian Worth and James Cagney
Lillian Worth dancing with James Cagney
Lillian Worth dancing with James Cagney
Lucille Ward, Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Lucille Ward, Grant Withers and Regis Toomey
Lucille Ward and Grant Withers
Lucille Ward and Grant Withers
Lucille Ward and Regis Toomey
Lucille Ward and Regis Toomey
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Mary Astor and Grant Withers
Mary Astor and Grant Withers
Pat Hartigan and Grant Withers
Pat Hartigan and Grant Withers
Mary Astor
Mary Astor
Pat Hartigan and Grant Withers
Pat Hartigan and Grant Withers
Regis Toomey
Regis Toomey
Regis Toomey, J. Farrell MacDonald and Grant Withers
Regis Toomey, J. Farrell MacDonald and Grant Withers