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Great Guy [VHS]

3.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, James Burke, Edward Brophy, Henry Kolker
  • Directors: John G. Blystone
  • Writers: Harry Ruskin, Henry Johnson, Henry McCarty, James Edward Grant
  • Producers: Douglas MacLean
  • Format: Black & White, EP, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Madacy Records
  • VHS Release Date: September 19, 1997
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630393434X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,886 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS tape. 70 minutes, 1936, b&w. James Cagney, paired with Mae Clarke, in this Depression era drama.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven Hellerstedt on September 19, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Jimmy Cagney didn't always play fast-talking, two-fisted bad guys in the 1930s. In THE GREAT GUY Cagney plays a fast-talking, two-fisted good guy who, due to a suspicious accident to the Boss, finds himself temporarily in charge of the Bureau of Weight and Measures for what appears to be New York City. Although the Boss warns him to `keep your head on your shoulders and your fists in your pocket' (love the dialogue in this one) Cagney is too much the crusader to heed such reasonable advice. When not running down short-shifting green grocers and heavy-thumbed butchers Cagney sets his sights on a juicy, and dangerous, nest of corrupt politicos.

Cagney is engaged to pretty young Mae Clarke, who rather conveniently is secretary to a city leader, a benign philanthropist by day and, Cagney hunches, a graft raking extortionist by night. The easily digested plot hinges on how Clarke responds to Cagney's accusations against her employer. Although Cagney doesn't push a grapefruit in Clarke's face this time around, they do engage in a series of pre-nuptial lovers' spats that add a nice bit of texture to an otherwise pleasantly unambitious movie. THE GREAT GUY is the type of movie that invites us to ask, while practically insisting we not worry about, such things as - Will Cagney compromise his integrity, by easing up on the grafting philanthropist, to save his relationship with the winsome Clarke? Will Clarke ever realize what a truly great guy this pugnacious, temporary manager of the Bureau of Weights and Measures really is?

There's something winning about a movie that entertains without breaking much of a sweat. Even Cagney, who could be a live wire when working with important Grade-A material, is relatively subdued. The good cast and bouncy action - especially Cagney - trim THE GREAT GUY with enough interesting bits of business to make palatable - downright tasty, as a matter of fact - a plot that is overly familiar and predictable.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
No matter what anyone says, I do not think that there is a clear copy of this movie out there. They ALL look like they were copied off some
old video tape or from an old analog television. The movie is good, but don't expect a clear picture. Certainly wasted on a HD television or
projection device. I tried the viewer recommended dvd from Miracle Pictures and it is just the same as the other versions out there.
Enjoy Cagney, just don't expect a clear or restored image. Audio was o.k.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This is truly an American Classic. Although low budget, this short but entertaining classic, stars James Cagney who defends the American consumer as temporary head of the Department of Weights and Measures. Not a totally brilliant work of art, but certainly a necessary piece, of American film history, deserving a place in every film collectors library and worthy of restoration.
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Format: DVD
(Please note that the DVD edition I am reviewing is the bare-bones Laserlight release that features the film and precious little else.)
GREAT GUY is a fun film. It's not especially complicated or insightful; it won't give you a new perception into the depths of the human experience. But for a film that barely lasts for over an hour, it's an entertaining chunk of action that's well worth viewing.
Since the running time of this film is only an hour and six minutes (the back of the DVD package incorrectly lists this as 75 minutes) one won't be surprised to find that this isn't a terribly demanding movie. But it's certainly engaging, and it's quite enjoyable to watch James Cagney as an official in the Office of Weights and Measures going around thumping people who don't perform up to their required specifications. The jokes all work and the action sequences are executed well.
The DVD isn't in great shape, though as this is a budget release one would suspect that this might be the case. The picture is a bit scratchy and there are numerous jumps and slight cuts in the action. The sound quality has similar flaws; several popping noises and other numerous audible distractions abound during the running of this DVD.
This is a fun film that's recommended to fans of James Cagney. It's a pleasant way to while away an hour of a Saturday afternoon if you find yourself with some time to kill. The Laserlight DVD itself contains a few flaws, so you may want to try to find a better version of the film.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Great Guy", starring James Cagney, is a very entertaining movie. The direction is not up to the standard that Jimmy often enjoyed at Warner Bros via Michael Curtiz or Raoul Walsh, but the flick moves along swiftly and is never boring. My reason for writing this is to inform potential buyers that, contrary to the item listing, this movie has NOT been remastered. It is still the same old grainy print as before, and it still has its many splices resulting in missing frames throughout. I'm tempted to return this since it is patently false advertising on the part of the distrbutor, but as I said, it is still enjoyable. Caveat emptor.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed it. It was great to see James Cagney being the good guy and standing up to do the right thing. I mainly remember him in many old fashioned mobster movies along side Bogart and Robinson.
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Format: DVD
I bought this particular DVD release of this movie due to the reviews indicating it was a nice clean print, something I have just never found on this title. Unfortunately after purchase I discovered it was the same old grainy dupe with muffled sound that one can find from any low rent public domain distributor. I would really like a nice print of Great Guy and simply cannot find one. I guess none exist at this time.
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