Saturday, October 31, 2009

City for Conquest (1940)

I recently just watched the 1940 James Cagney movie City for Conquest, and it was dramatically entertaining. James Cagney was absolutely fantastic as Danny Kenny, a truck driver-turned-professional boxer who turns blind after a bout with a boxer with rosin on his gloves. His performance turned the film from clich├ęd to exciting. To put it simply, he made the film worth watching.

The film also features young actor Elia Kazan, the future director of On the Waterfront (1954) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1954). If it weren't for Elia Kazan, this movie might have been totally obscure. Anthony Quinn was also in this film but I didn't like him; I thought he wasn't a famous actor but I guess I was wrong. Ann Sheridan was also good but she was kind of a crybaby in this movie. No offense, but I thought the film all together was corny—and Ann Sheridan's constant crying drove it right to the edge of corniness. And the kid actors who were supposed to be playing the main characters as children were too much from California to be talking with New York accents. That's my complaint!

Of course, I felt sorry for James Cagney after he became blind (and I especially felt sorry for him when he was getting hit mercilessly in his last fight but did not feel sorry for him when he got a depressing letter from Sheridan about her prolonged tour) but the rest of the characters I did not care about when their dreams didn't come true—even though I had sympathy for Ann Sheridan's future plans.









I didn't really watch the big orchestra number with the orchestra conducted by James Cagney's character's brother because it was a little bit too saccharine. And I didn't really cry at the very ending scene, which is supposed to be a tearjerker, where Ann Sheridan visits James Cagney at the newspaper stand where he now works. Elia Kazan admired James Cagney on set of this film since Cagney was his own pragmatic self and left the set promptly at his own time, no matter if a scene wasn't finished yet. I would recommend this film for James Cagney fans who like watching him in melodramatic films. Again, you folks may comment on this film with your opinions about it, but I'm not forcing you to.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Labels

1890s (1) 1930s Hollywood (5) 1931 (2) 1932 (2) 1933 (3) 1934 (4) 1935 (3) 1936 (2) 1937 (1) 1938 (2) 1939 (3) 1940 (3) 1941 (2) 1949 (1) 1950s (1) 1960s (1) Academy Award winners (1) action (3) adapted from play (1) adventure (8) alcoholism (1) Allen Jenkins (4) ambulance chasers (1) an affair to remember (1) Angels with Dirty Faces (1) Ann Sheridan (3) Asians in Films (1) aviation films (3) B-Movies (2) baby boomers (1) bad set designs (1) been a long time (1) behind-the-scenes movies (2) Berlin (1) Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary (1) Bette Davis (2) Billy Wilder (1) biopics (3) Blonde Crazy (1) blue-collar workers (1) bootlegging (1) box office hits (1) boxing (1) Busby Berkeley (1) Cagney makes weird noises (1) Cagney's ugly haircut (1) California (1) Canada (1) car-racing (1) casablanca (1) Ceiling Zero (1) Character Actors (13) Chicago (1) child stars (2) City for Conquest (1) Cold War (1) comedy (9) Communism (1) Communist hippies (1) corruption (1) costume designers (1) country boy Cagney (1) country life (1) crime (11) crimebeats (1) dairy farmers (1) daylight saving time (1) Death Valley (1) Dennis Morgan (2) dentistry (1) desert town (1) Dick Powell (2) dishonesty (1) doctor zhivago (1) dramas (21) drinking (1) Edmund O'Brien (1) Elia Kazan (1) epics (1) famous grapefruit scene (1) fantasy (1) fast-paced comedies (1) FBI (1) femme fatales (1) film noir (2) film scores by Max Steiner (1) Frank McHugh (9) future Fred Mertz (2) G-Men (1) gangster (8) George Brent (1) George C. Scott (1) George Raft (1) Germany (1) Gloria Stuart (1) Great Guy (1) Guns in the Movies (12) hair-pulling scene (1) He Was Her Man (1) headbutting (2) Henry Fonda (1) Here Comes the Navy (1) Hollywood parody (3) hotels (1) Howard Hawks (2) Humphrey Bogart (3) Indie films (2) Ireland (1) Irene Manning (1) Irish (1) Irish families (1) Irish fighting units (1) Irish heritage (3) Irish-themed (2) iron man 2 (1) J. Edgar Hoover (1) Jack Lemmon (1) James Cagney (40) James Cagney films (1) Jean Harlow (1) Jeanne Cagney (1) Jeffrey Lynn (2) Jimmy the Gent (1) Joan Blondell (6) Joan Leslie (1) Joe E. Brown (1) John Ford (1) Lady Killer (1) Las Vegas (1) Latino (1) legendary actors (1) leprechaun (1) Lloyd Bacon (3) loose women (2) Loretta Young (1) Los Angeles (2) madmen (1) Mae Clarke (2) makeup artists (1) Makeup effects (1) Mervyn LeRoy (1) Michael Curtiz (4) Mickey Rooney (1) Midwestern crime sweep (1) military dramas (1) milk war (1) Mister Roberts (1) municipal workers (1) musical comedies of the Great Depression (1) musicals (5) mystery (1) Nevada (1) New York melodramas (1) newspaper films (1) Oedipal Complex (1) Olivia de Havilland (3) on the lam (1) on-screen couples (1) only you (1) Pat O'Brien (7) patriotism (2) police (1) Political Films (6) Poverty Row (1) Pre-Code films (9) Pre-Code Films (1) Priscilla Lane (1) prison movies (2) Prohibition Era (1) psychopaths (1) racism (1) racketeers (1) Ralph Bellamy (2) Raoul Walsh (3) Ray Milland (1) Red Buttons (1) reformed criminals (1) Rita Hayworth (1) Robert Armstrong (1) robert downey jr. (4) roman holiday (1) romance (11) romantic comedies (10) Rosemary Lane (1) Ruby Keeler (2) Sambre Dance (1) Screenwriters (2) screwball comedies (1) service pictures (1) Shakespeare (1) Shakespeare film adaptations (1) shamrocks (1) sherlock holmes (2) small towns (1) social dramas (2) Something to Sing About (1) sports films (1) St. Louis (1) St. Patrick's Day (1) tabloid newspaper reporters (1) Technicolor (2) The Bride Came C.O.D. (1) the crowd roars (1) the Dead End Kids (1) The Fighting 69th (1) the irish in us (2) the mayor of hell (1) The Oklahoma Kid (1) The Public Enemy (1) The Roaring Twenties (1) The Simpsons (1) The St. Louis Kid (1) The Strawberry Blonde (1) Torrid Zone (1) trivia (1) turkeys (1) turn-of-the-century NYC (1) versatility (1) Virginia Mayo (2) Walter Huston (1) war effort (1) war films (3) Warner Brothers (11) wearing of the green (1) westerns (2) White Heat (1) William Dieterle (1) William Powell (1) William Wellman (1) winner take all (1) World War I films (1) World War II films (1) wrestling films (1)

Search This Blog

E! Online (US) - Movie News