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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cagney's very best; old-movie fans will love this
James Cagney stars in this brisk crime melodrama from 1935, directed with verve by William Keighley. When hoodlums dispose of Cagney's pal, Cagney becomes a government agent and goes after the mob. Fans of old movies may lose count of all the familiar faces: Lloyd Nolan, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong, Barton MacLane, Noel Madison, Harold Huber, Addison Richards, and so...
Published on June 14, 2001 by Scott MacGillivray

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cagney Plays A "Good Guy"!!!
G-MEN(1935)---James Cagney, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong, Barton MacLane, Lloyd Nolan, Margaret Lindsay, Regis Toomey
Cagney "switches sides" in this movie. Instead of playing the gangster, he is a "G-Man", out to bring the baddies to justice. Cagney plays Brick Davis who was "raised" and put through law school by a mob boss although he has never been a part of any...
Published on November 8, 2009 by Lionel Bourg


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cagney's very best; old-movie fans will love this, June 14, 2001
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This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
James Cagney stars in this brisk crime melodrama from 1935, directed with verve by William Keighley. When hoodlums dispose of Cagney's pal, Cagney becomes a government agent and goes after the mob. Fans of old movies may lose count of all the familiar faces: Lloyd Nolan, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong, Barton MacLane, Noel Madison, Harold Huber, Addison Richards, and so many more fine character players. The film has unfortunately dated more than some Cagney pictures (the nightclub floor show and the crimefighting technology of 1935 have since become quaint), but for simple cops-and-robbers action with mugs, molls, gunplay, guttersnipe slang, and getaway cars, not to mention a sterling performance by Cagney, "G-Men" is hard to beat. The print is excellent, and so is the video transfer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT AGAINST-TYPE CAGNEY FLICK., January 28, 2003
This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is a turnabout film for Cagney, one where he changed his film image, from ruthless gangster to fearless FBI man. Harrigan is a bigshot gangster who genrously puts Cagney through law school. When Toomey, Cagney's pal, becomes an FBI man and is gunned down without a snowman's chance in hell, Cagney joins the force to seek revenge...In the force of mounting criticism of the tendency of making heros out of gansters in their melodramas, Warners pulled a clever switcheroo: by showing the same crimes but by a different angle - that of the law enforcer. After a fairly slow start, the action picks up - and never falters. Strangely enough - because he was cast against-type - begininning with this film, Cagney's career soared into a second wind: each of the films he made within a year's period grossed over 1 millon dollars at the box-office. Obviously, the public liked Cagney. I know I do. As Jean Morgan, Ann Dvorak is excellent, as usual. She was special in an off-beat kind of way. The working title of the film was THE FARRELL CASE: written by Gregory Rogers - the pseudonym of Darryl F. Zanuck (!).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cagney the crime fighter, tougher than ever!, April 19, 2005
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Dave (Tennessee United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
James Cagney stars as Brick Davis, a young lawyer who can't get his practice off the ground. He was practically raised by a wealthy racketeer, Mr. McKay (William Harrigan), who also put Davis through law school. Realizing that his legal career is going nowhere, Davis joins the FBI and begins a tough training period under the harsh instructor Jeff McCord (Robert Armstrong), who doesn't like him.

When Davis' best friend Eddie Buchanan (Regis Toomey) is murdered by gangsters, he vows to avenge his death. Meanwhile, Davis falls in love with Jeff McCord's sister Kay (Margaret Lindsay) and questions his former girlfriend Jean (Ann Dvorak, whom you might remember from 1932's classic "Scarface") to try and find out the names of the gangsters who killed his friend. Jean is married to a man with mob connections, and because she's still in love with Davis she gets the names that he needs. All that remains next is for Davis to visit the gangsters and get his revenge!

Shot in just six weeks on a budget of $450,000, "G-Men" was a huge box office success, opening to rave critical reviews and standing-room only crowds. Some of the reviews stated that it was Cagney's best film since "The Public Enemy", which had made him a major star. Though Cagney played a crime fighter, he retained the same toughness that had served him well in gangster roles. "G-Men" was directed by William Keighley, one of Warner's top directors of the 1930's, and one of Cagney's favorite co-workers. In 1949, "G-Men" was reissued to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the FBI, and a newly shot prologue was added, in which the film was called the "grand-daddy" of all FBI movies. When viewed today, one can hardly disagree.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Cagney other side, July 16, 2000
By 
clarence r. chagnon (burlington, vt. United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
James Cagney ( Public Enemy) shows his versatility in this film. This is a classic gangster film of the '30's with Cagney on the side of the law. Barton Mclain is classic as the baddy with Robert Armstrong and Lloyd Nolan as the top notch agents. Margeret Lindsay as the love interest and Ann Dorvak as the not so bad "moll" round out the cast of characters and make for an entertaining portrayal of the early F.B.I. Of course, a lot of the cliche's, along with the Psuedo- history is part of it, but that only enhances the film. For film buffs such as myself, this is one excellent film and well worth the effort.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars G-men reveiw, November 5, 1999
This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is one of the verry best films I've ever seen. Cagney displays a superb acting job, that is a perfect match for a incredible screenplay.This is indeed one of James Cagney's best jobs ever for sure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cagney On The Right Side Of The Law, April 2, 2002
This review is from: G-Men [VHS] (VHS Tape)
James Cagney stars as a struggling lawyer who joins the FBI when his friend, an FBI agent, is killed while on duty. Cagney's law studies were financed by a man with mob ties, but he turns his back on that to avenge the death. He gets off on the wrong foot with his superior, Robert Armstrong, and Armstrong's sister Margaret Lindsay, but he quickly proves his courage and ability. The cocky character played by Cagney is nothing new for him, although it's good to see him on the side of the law this time around. The rest of the cast does well, with Ann Dvorak particularly fine as the wife of one of the gangsters, a former girlfriend of Cagney's. When the action gets going, the film really picks up. The Armstrong character isn't well written (or acted, for that matter), but other than that one drawback, the film is easy to watch and a real throw back to the Thirties way of presenting crime in movies - especially the great shoot-outs.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another entertaining Warner's film from the production line, August 10, 2006
This review is from: G Men (DVD)
"G Men" made in 1935 was a clever response by Warner Brothers to the new Hays Code finally enforced in 1934 and which applied strict censorship on the Hollywood product. The challenge was to maintain the excitement of the gangster genre at the same time as honouring the new code which, among other things, insisted that the gangster not be glamourised.

The solution was to switch the magnetic Jimmy Cagney to the other side of the law and make the gangsters headed by the less than magnetic Barton Maclane much less attractive. The film has a slight documentary feel as Cagney enlists as a G Man when he is unable to make a living as a lawyer. The first section of the film follows his training and it is fairly tedious. Cagney is put through his paces by Robert Armstrong in the cliched role which Pat O'Brien usually played, Cagney's sparring superior officer. Having honoured the Code by expounding the work of the law protectors, Cagney is assigned to a case and the film switches to the gangsters and finally takes off. There are re-enactments of recorded gangland murders and the shootout in a cabin in the mountains has all the violence and excitement of the earlier pre-code films.

Ann Dvorak plays a good hearted night club performer who has a yen for Cagney but marries vicious Barton McLane. She is superb as always and performs a rather untidy but enthusiastic song and dance early in the film. Margaret Lindsay plays the leading lady to Cagney in her usual colourless way. Lloyd Nolan plays Cagney's pal who is murdered in the course of duty. The film was a box office sensation in 1935, endorsed enthusiastically by the FBI and the Hays Office for informing the public about the prevention of crime. Cagney also was delighted to be playing on the right side for once.

The DVD print is excellent and captures the excellent lighting which gets darker as the film's plot does. It is also packed with good extras. There is an informative documentary about the enforcement of the Production Code. The commentary, best when speaking of how the film satisfied the censors and worst when telling us what we can see clearly on the screen or the motivation of the characters, is hampered by the nasal drawl of the commentator's voice - unfortunate! There is an hilarious short film with the young Bob Hope which is a rare gem and the Looney Tune cartoon included has that great combination of music and drawings which is so entertaining. Also there is a short film, one of a series on golf, with Cagney appearing without makeup. He looks completely different, freckle faced and tow headed. Finally, a blooper reel is included from Warners films of 1935 with some politcally incorrect cue cards and a preview of "Devil Dogs of the Air", a Pat O'Brien/Cagney teaming in cliched roles which were repeated a number of times throughout the decade.

Whether as part of the Warner's Tough Guys set or on its own, the DVD is great value.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Only six states. We've got them cornered!", June 22, 2008
This review is from: G Men (DVD)
When the production code came around, movies got cleaned up, and that included gangster movies. In consequence, gangsters could not be glorified, so James Cagney went from hoodlum to the side of the law in G-Men. This is the story of the beginning of the FBI. Cagney plays Brick Davis, a former lawyer who turns to police work after his friend (Lloyd Nolan) is murdered in the line of duty. Brick grew up in the slums and was given his break by a gangster so he knows how the underworld works. That makes him a great cop. It is up to him to round up the top ten most wanted men in America and with the help of menotor Jeff McCord (Robert Armstrong), he can do it.

An entertaining movie, G-Men is nothing too significant. It seems more like a Warners programmer than anything with plenty of stock actors. Ann Dvorak appears as a gangster's wife, Margaret Lindsay as Cagney's love interest, and Barton MacLane as the most elusive gangster Collins.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars G-Men, June 20, 2007
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This review is from: G Men (DVD)
After solidifying his reputation as Hollywood's number-one bad guy, Cagney played a straight-edge lawman in this gangland drama, a huge hit for Warners and great publicity for J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling department, which had only recently granted officers the right to bear arms (a big plot point in the film). Cagney is mesmerizing as Brick, prudent and principled but also tough as nails and willing to throw his weight around. His two love interests, a bar-girl-gone-wrong (Ann Dvorak) and hospital nurse (Margaret Lindsay), land him in a tangle and also help amplify the theme of divided loyalties. Cagney is at his riveting, entertaining best in "G Men."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historic Cagney Vehicle, June 14, 2009
This review is from: G Men (DVD)
James Cagney blazes the screen in this contrived yet entertaining crime thriller from the Warner Bros. assembly line. "G Men" finds the movie tough guy joining the FBI to avenge a friend's cold-blooded murder, with plenty of chases and shootouts along the way. Cagney's charismatic energy and William Keighley's crisp direction overcome a predictable script. Good support from Robert Armstrong, Lloyd Nolan and the underrated Ann Dvorak. No masterpiece, but historically important for its Production Code shift from iconic gangsters to crime-fighting heroes.
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G Men
G Men by William Keighley (DVD - 2006)
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