The Law of Contact

Johnny Come Lateley (September 3, 1943)

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James Cagney is Johnny Come Lately
 

Released on September 3, 1943: James Cagney is a tramp turned newspaper reporter who fights a corrupt town boss with his fists, his gun, his wit and the help of an old lady and her decrepit newspaper.

Produced by William Cagney

Directed by William K. Howard

The Actors: James Cagney (Tom Richards), Grace George (Vinnie McLeod), Marjorie Main (Gashouse Mary McGovern, owner of the El Dorado saloon), Marjorie Lord (Jane), Hattie McDaniel (Aida the maid), Edward McNamara (W.M, Doughterty), William Henry (Pete Doughterty), Robert Barrat (Bill Swain), George Cleveland (Willie Ferguson), Margaret Hamilton (Myrtle Ferguson), Norman Willis (Dudley Hirsh), Lucien Littlefield (Blaker), Edwin Stanley (Winterbottom), Irving Bacon (Chief of Police), Tom Dugan (first cop), Charles Irwin (second cop), John Sheehan (third cop), Clarence Muse (butler), John 'Skins' Miller (first tramp), Arthur Hunnicutt (second tramp), Victor Kilian (tramp in box car), William 'Wee Willie' Davis (Jake the bouncer), Alec Craig (court bailiff), Joseph Crehan (Judge Flynn), Frank Darien (vagrant), Henry Hall (old timer), William Newell (vagrant)

 
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Who Says You Can't Fight City Hall?

James Cagney became famous for his movie roles as the toughest bad guy in town, with machine guns blasting, but when he put his own money on the line to make a movie, he showed the world a very different man. His brother William was his agent, and producer of several films that James Cagney wanted to bring to the world without any interference from the big studios, and this is one of his finest, filmed a few years before one of my favorites, his 1948 story The Time of Your Life, a story that you might need to watch a couple of times to catch some of the hidden nuggets that reveal his philosophy of life. In this earlier story he is a tramp reading the Pickwick Papers in a small town who gets arrested for vagrancy and is headed for the town chain-gang . . . but this is James Cagney . . . one of the toughest men on the big screen . . . he will not be bullied by anyone. Grace George was 64 years old when she played the part of newspaper owner Vinnie McLeod in this adventure. She was a Broadway actress all her life, with one other motion picture appearance as a young lady in the 1915 silent film 'Tainted Money.' In this story she is running the newspaper that her dead husband started many years ago, and the paper is slowly bringing her to bankruptcy, losing money every day it goes to print. She helps vagrant Tom Richards (Jimmy Cagney) stay out of jail by offering him a job at her newspaper, and Cagney is forced to accept her offer or join the chain gang. When he discovers that the corrupt town boss is trying to put Vinnie out of business he offers to guide the newspaper in a fight against the corrupt town boss with the classic James Cagney fearless fighting with his fists and his gun, but also with his wit and his humor. We see a side of the actor that the movie studios would never allow him to display in his big crime dramas, and it is a very cool thing to see. The bad guys are fighting him with everything that they have, but nobody can beat James Cagney for long . . . Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

James Cagney and Edward McNamara
James Cagney and Edward McNamara
James Cagney fights William Henry
James Cagney fights William Henry
Alec Craig and Grace George
Alec Craig and Grace George
Clarence Muse and Edward McNamara
Clarence Muse and Edward McNamara
Edward McNamara
Edward McNamara
Edward McNamara and Edwin Stanley
Edward McNamara and Edwin Stanley
Edward McNamara and Grace George
Edward McNamara and Grace George
Edward McNamara and Norman Willis
Edward McNamara and Norman Willis
Edward McNamara
Edward McNamara
Edwin Stanley
Edwin Stanley
George Cleveland
George Cleveland
George Cleveland, James Cagney and Grace George
George Cleveland, James Cagney and Grace George
George Cleveland and James Cagney
George Cleveland and James Cagney
George Cleveland
George Cleveland
Grace George
Grace George
Grace George watches James Cagney as he faces the judge
Grace George watches James Cagney as he faces the judge
Grace George and James Cagney
Grace George and James Cagney
Grace George and Norman Willis
Grace George and Norman Willis
Hattie McDaniel in 1943
Hattie McDaniel in 1943
Hattie McDaniel and Grace George
Hattie McDaniel and Grace George
Hattie McDaniel and James Cagney at breakfast
Hattie McDaniel and James Cagney at breakfast
Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel
Hattie McDaniel and James Cagney in the kitchen
Hattie McDaniel and James Cagney in the kitchen
Irving Bacon
Irving Bacon
Irving Bacon and Marjorie Main
Irving Bacon and Marjorie Main
James Cagney and Edward McNamara meet
James Cagney and Edward McNamara meet
James Cagney, Grace George and Hattie McDaniel
James Cagney, Grace George and Hattie McDaniel
James Cagney and Marjorie Main
James Cagney and Marjorie Main
James Cagney and Marjorie Main in her saloon
James Cagney and Marjorie Main in her saloon
James Cagney and Robert Barrat
James Cagney and Robert Barrat
James Cagney reading the Pickwick Papers
James Cagney reading the Pickwick Papers
James Cagney in court
James Cagney in court
James Cagney in 1943
James Cagney in 1943
James Cagney in the mirror
James Cagney in the mirror
James Cagney meets Grace George
James Cagney meets Grace George
James Cagney meets Margaret Hamilton
James Cagney meets Margaret Hamilton
James Cagney next to the chalk drawing he created
James Cagney next to the chalk drawing he created
Joseph Crehan
Joseph Crehan
Joseph Crehan as Judge Flynn
Joseph Crehan as Judge Flynn
Lucien Littlefield and Grace George
Lucien Littlefield and Grace George
Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton
Margaret Hamilton and Grace George
Margaret Hamilton and Grace George
Marjorie Lord
Marjorie Lord
Marjorie Lord, Hattie McDaniel and Grace George
Marjorie Lord, Hattie McDaniel and Grace George
Marjorie Lord and James Cagney
Marjorie Lord and James Cagney
Marjorie Lord, James Cagney and Grace George
Marjorie Lord, James Cagney and Grace George
Marjorie Lord, Margaret Hamilton and Grace George
Marjorie Lord, Margaret Hamilton and Grace George
Marjorie Lord
Marjorie Lord
Marjorie Main
Marjorie Main
Marjorie Main and James Cagney
Marjorie Main and James Cagney
Marjorie Main as Gashouse Mary
Marjorie Main as Gashouse Mary
Marjorie Main meets James Cagney
Marjorie Main meets James Cagney
The Plattsville Shield and Banner
The Plattsville Shield and Banner
Norman Willis
Norman Willis
Robert Barrat
Robert Barrat
Robert Barrat in 1943
Robert Barrat in 1943
Robert Barrat drinks coffee with ketchup in it
Robert Barrat drinks coffee with ketchup in it
Victor Kilian
Victor Kilian
William Henry and Edward McNamara
William Henry and Edward McNamara
William Henry and Edward McNamara
William Henry and Edward McNamara
William Henry and Marjorie Lord
William Henry and Marjorie Lord
Willliam Henry
Willliam Henry
William 'Wee Willie' Davis
William 'Wee Willie' Davis