Bogie and Cagney square off as rival gangsters.
We’re going through the Warner’s Gangsters Collection right now, and this is one of them…I liked The Roaring Twenties better, mostly because there was less moralizing, but this one is still good.
Cagney as usual is the nice guy forced into a life of crime by circumstance/bad choices/desperate need (instead of just being bad clear through, as Bogie is in these movies). He ends up back in his old neighborhood, tries to get Bogie give him his old place in the gangster hierarchy, hooks up with a bunch of kids to whom he is a hero, and finds that his best friend from childhood is a priest.
Well, of course, it gets kinda schmaltzy and moralistic, but the scenes between Cagney and Bogie (or either of them and anyone else) are good, and the ending works well. The Dead End Kids are here in their second movie, and are already too old to be convincing in the parts, mostly they’re just annoying as heck.
Rent this one for Cagney and Bogie, they’re worth it.