James Cagney

​From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. James Francis Cagney, Jr. (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986) was an American film actor. Although he won acclaim and major awards for a wide variety of roles, he is best remembered for playing "tough guys". In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time. In his first performing role, Cagney danced dressed as a woman in the chorus line of the 1919 revue Every Sailor. He spent several years in vaudeville as a hoofer and comedian until his first major acting role in 1925. He secured several other roles, receiving good reviews before landing the lead in the 1929 play Penny Arcade. After rave reviews for his acting, Warners signed him for an initial $500 a week, three-week contract to reprise his role; this was quickly extended to a seven year contract. Cagney's seventh film, The Public Enemy, became one of the most influential gangster movies of the period. Notable for its famous grapefruit scene, the film thrust Cagney into the spotlight, making him one of Warners' and Hollywood's biggest stars. In 1938, he received his first Academy Award Best Actor nomination for Angels with Dirty Faces, before winning in 1942 for his portrayal of George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. He was nominated a third time in 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me. Cagney retired for 20 years in 1961, spending time on his farm before returning for a part in Ragtime mainly to aid his recovery from a stroke. Cagney ...

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Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

In New York, the boys Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connelly are best friends and small time thieves. After a robbery, Rocky is arrested and sent to a reformatory school, where he begins his criminal career. Jerry escapes and later becomes a priest. After three years in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Pat O’Brien  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Ann Sheridan

In New York, the boys Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connelly are best friends and small time thieves. After a robbery, Rocky is arrested and sent to a reformatory school, where he begins his criminal career. Jerry escapes and later becomes a priest. After three years in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Pat O’Brien  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Ann Sheridan

Blood on the Sun (1945)

Nick Condon, an American journalist in 1945 Tokyo, publishes the Japanese master plan for world domination. Reaction from the understandably upset Japanese provides the action, but this is overshadowed by the propaganda of the time.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Sylvia Sidney  •  Porter Hall  •  John Emery

Nick Condon, an American journalist in 1945 Tokyo, publishes the Japanese master plan for world domination. Reaction from the understandably upset Japanese provides the action, but this is overshadowed by the propaganda of the time.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Sylvia Sidney  •  Porter Hall  •  John Emery

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)

Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carl Reiner
CAST:  Steve Martin  •  Rachel Ward  •  Carl Reiner  •  Reni Santoni

Juliet Forrest is convinced that the reported death of her father in a mountain car crash was no accident. Her father was a prominent cheese scientist working on a secret recipe. To prove it was murder, she enlists the services of private eye Rigby Reardon. He ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Carl Reiner
CAST:  Steve Martin  •  Rachel Ward  •  Carl Reiner  •  Reni Santoni

Each Dawn I Die (1939)

A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Keighley
CAST:  James Cagney  •  George Raft  •  Jane Bryan  •  George Bancroft

A corrupt D.A. with governatorial ambitions is annoyed by an investigative reporter's criticism of his criminal activities and decides to frame the reporter for manslaughter in order to silence him.  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Keighley
CAST:  James Cagney  •  George Raft  •  Jane Bryan  •  George Bancroft

Footlight Parade (1933)

A fledgling producer finds himself at odds with his workers, financiers and his greedy ex-wife when he tries to produce live musicals for movie-going audiences.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Joan Blondell  •  Ruby Keeler  •  Dick Powell

A fledgling producer finds himself at odds with his workers, financiers and his greedy ex-wife when he tries to produce live musicals for movie-going audiences.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Joan Blondell  •  Ruby Keeler  •  Dick Powell

Frisco Kid (1935)

After a roustabout sailer avoids being shanghaied in 1852 San Francisco, his audacity helps him to arise to a position of power in the vice industry of the infamous Barbary Coast.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Margaret Lindsay  •  Ricardo Cortez  •  Donald Woods

After a roustabout sailer avoids being shanghaied in 1852 San Francisco, his audacity helps him to arise to a position of power in the vice industry of the infamous Barbary Coast.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Margaret Lindsay  •  Ricardo Cortez  •  Donald Woods

'G' Men (1935)

James “Brick” Davis, a struggling attorney, owes his education to a mobster, but always has refused to get involved with the underworld. When a friend of his is gunned down by a notorious criminal, Brick decides to abandon the exercise of the law and join the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Keighley
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Margaret Lindsay  •  Ann Dvorak  •  Robert Armstrong

James “Brick” Davis, a struggling attorney, owes his education to a mobster, but always has refused to get involved with the underworld. When a friend of his is gunned down by a notorious criminal, Brick decides to abandon the exercise of the law and join the ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William Keighley
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Margaret Lindsay  •  Ann Dvorak  •  Robert Armstrong

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)

Ralph Cotter, a ruthless criminal, escapes violently from a farm prison. Then, he seduces a dead inmate’s sister, gets back quickly into the crime business, faces corrupt local cops who run the city’s underworld and meets a powerful tycoon’s whimsical daughter.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gordon Douglas
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Barbara Payton  •  Helena Carter  •  Ward Bond

Ralph Cotter, a ruthless criminal, escapes violently from a farm prison. Then, he seduces a dead inmate’s sister, gets back quickly into the crime business, faces corrupt local cops who run the city’s underworld and meets a powerful tycoon’s whimsical daughter.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Gordon Douglas
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Barbara Payton  •  Helena Carter  •  Ward Bond

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

ClassicAdventurousEpicDramatic

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Clark Gable  •  Franchot Tone  •  Herbert Mundin

Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Frank Lloyd
CAST:  Charles Laughton  •  Clark Gable  •  Franchot Tone  •  Herbert Mundin

One, Two, Three (1961)

C.R. MacNamara will do anything to get a promotion within the Coca-Cola company, including looking after boss W.P. Hazeltine's rebellious teenage daughter, Scarlett. When Scarlett visits Berlin, where C.R. is stationed, she reveals that she is married to a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Billy Wilder
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Horst Buchholz  •  Pamela Tiffin  •  Arlene Francis

C.R. MacNamara will do anything to get a promotion within the Coca-Cola company, including looking after boss W.P. Hazeltine's rebellious teenage daughter, Scarlett. When Scarlett visits Berlin, where C.R. is stationed, she reveals that she is married to a ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Billy Wilder
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Horst Buchholz  •  Pamela Tiffin  •  Arlene Francis

Ragtime (1981)

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Miloš Forman
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Brad Dourif  •  Moses Gunn  •  Elizabeth McGovern

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Miloš Forman
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Brad Dourif  •  Moses Gunn  •  Elizabeth McGovern

The Mayor of Hell (1933)

Members of a teenage gang are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the callous Thompson. Soon Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed Deputy Commissioner, arrives and takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles. Thompson needs ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Archie Mayo  •  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Madge Evans  •  Frankie Darro  •  Arthur Byron

Members of a teenage gang are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the callous Thompson. Soon Patsy Gargan, a former gangster appointed Deputy Commissioner, arrives and takes over the administration to run the place on radical principles. Thompson needs ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Archie Mayo  •  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Madge Evans  •  Frankie Darro  •  Arthur Byron

The Oklahoma Kid (1939)

McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" claim on land which is to be used for a new town; in exchange for giving it up ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Rosemary Lane  •  Donald Crisp

McCord's gang robs the stage carrying money to pay Indians for their land, and the notorious outlaw "The Oklahoma Kid" Jim Kincaid takes the money from McCord. McCord stakes a "sooner" claim on land which is to be used for a new town; in exchange for giving it up ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Rosemary Lane  •  Donald Crisp

The Public Enemy (1931)

Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfound wealth, the duo feels the heat from the cops and rival ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William A. Wellman
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Jean Harlow  •  Edward Woods  •  Joan Blondell

Two young Chicago hoodlums, Tom Powers and Matt Doyle, rise up from their poverty-stricken slum life to become petty thieves, bootleggers and cold-blooded killers. But with street notoriety and newfound wealth, the duo feels the heat from the cops and rival ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  William A. Wellman
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Jean Harlow  •  Edward Woods  •  Joan Blondell

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

After World War I, Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Priscilla Lane  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Gladys George

After World War I, Armistice Lloyd Hart goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Priscilla Lane  •  Humphrey Bogart  •  Gladys George

The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

Biff Grimes is desperately in love with Virginia, but his best friend Hugo marries her and manipulates Biff into becoming involved in his somewhat nefarious businesses. Hugo appears to have stolen Biff's dreams, and Biff has to deal with the realisation that having ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Olivia de Havilland  •  Rita Hayworth  •  Jack Carson

Biff Grimes is desperately in love with Virginia, but his best friend Hugo marries her and manipulates Biff into becoming involved in his somewhat nefarious businesses. Hugo appears to have stolen Biff's dreams, and Biff has to deal with the realisation that having ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Olivia de Havilland  •  Rita Hayworth  •  Jack Carson

White Heat (1949)

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and then leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. After the heist, events take a crazy turn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Virginia Mayo  •  Edmond O'Brien  •  Margaret Wycherly

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and then leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. After the heist, events take a crazy turn.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Raoul Walsh
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Virginia Mayo  •  Edmond O'Brien  •  Margaret Wycherly

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Joan Leslie  •  Walter Huston  •  Richard Whorf

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Michael Curtiz
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Joan Leslie  •  Walter Huston  •  Richard Whorf

Here Comes the Navy (1934)

A cocky guy joins the Navy for the wrong reason but finds romance and twice is cited for heroism.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Gloria Stuart  •  Frank McHugh  •  Dorothy Tree

A cocky guy joins the Navy for the wrong reason but finds romance and twice is cited for heroism.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Lloyd Bacon
CAST:  James Cagney  •  Gloria Stuart  •  Frank McHugh  •  Dorothy Tree

Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Charles Vidor
CAST:  Doris Day  •  James Cagney  •  Cameron Mitchell  •  Robert Keith

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Charles Vidor
CAST:  Doris Day  •  James Cagney  •  Cameron Mitchell  •  Robert Keith
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