Raoul Walsh's style achieved maturity with the magnificent use of deep-focus images and spatial metaphors in this 1939 film, conceived as a nostalgic look back to the brutal Warners gangster films like The Public Enemy and Little Caesar. James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart meet in the trenches of World War I and subsequently rise through the rackets, ending up on opposite sides in a gang war. Walsh's mastery of narrative rhythm keeps the action building steadily, while he draws upon the Bogart-Cagney relationship for superbly developed counterpoint. Scripted by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, and Robert Rossen from a story by Mark Hellinger. With Priscilla Lane, Gladys George, Jeffrey Lynn, and Frank McHugh.
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