James Cagney was an American actor and dancer who was active in the film industry for over six decades.

He was known for his versatility, portraying a wide range of characters in both dramatic and comedic roles.

Best James Cagney Movies

Here are some of his best movies that showcase his talent and enduring legacy in Hollywood.

1. White Heat (1949)

“White Heat” is a 1949 crime film directed by Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, and Edmond O’Brien, with a supporting role from actor Anthony Caruso as one of the members of Cagney’s gang.

In the film, Cagney plays Cody Jarrett, a ruthless gangster with a mother complex. Caruso plays one of Jarrett’s loyal henchmen, known as ‘Big Ed.’

Although Caruso’s role in the film is relatively small, he delivers a standout performance as a tough-talking criminal who is willing to do whatever it takes to help his boss.

“White Heat” is considered a classic of the crime genre, and James Cagney’s performance as Cody Jarrett is widely regarded as one of the greatest in his career. The film is notable for its tense and gripping storyline, as well as its memorable characters and iconic scenes.

While Anthony Caruso’s role in “White Heat” may not be as prominent as some of the other actors in the film, his performance as Big Ed adds an extra layer of authenticity and intensity to the movie.

His portrayal of a loyal gang member who is willing to follow his boss to the ends of the earth is a testament to his talent as an actor, and showcases his ability to make the most of even the smallest roles.

White Heat
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien (Actors)
  • Raoul Walsh (Director) - Ivan Goff (Writer) - Louis Edelman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

2. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

“Yankee Doodle Dandy” is a 1942 biographical musical film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, and Walter Huston. Here are three reasons why “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is one of the best musical movies of all time:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a show-stopping performance as legendary composer and entertainer George M. Cohan.

Cagney’s energy, charisma, and musical talent bring Cohan to life in a way that is both entertaining and inspiring. His performance in the film earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor.

   

Memorable Music: “Yankee Doodle Dandy” features a soundtrack filled with memorable music from George M. Cohan’s career, including classics like “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Over There,” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”

The film’s musical numbers are expertly choreographed and performed, and they provide an entertaining glimpse into the world of musical theater.

Heartfelt Story: At its core, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is a heartfelt story about the life and legacy of George M. Cohan. The film explores the ups and downs of his career, as well as his relationships with his family and friends.

It is a moving tribute to a talented entertainer who helped shape American culture.

Overall, “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is a classic musical film that continues to be beloved by audiences today. With an unforgettable performance by James Cagney, memorable music, and a heartfelt story, it is a must-watch for fans of the musical genre.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition)
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition) - DVD Brand New
  • James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston (Actors)
  • Michael Curtiz (Director)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

3. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

“Angels with Dirty Faces” is a 1938 crime film directed by Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, and Humphrey Bogart, with a supporting role from Anthony Caruso as one of Cagney’s gang members.

In the film, Cagney plays Rocky Sullivan, a streetwise gangster who returns to his old neighborhood after a stint in prison.

Caruso plays one of his loyal henchmen, a tough-talking criminal known as ‘Crabface.’ The film explores themes of loyalty, friendship, and redemption, as Rocky’s childhood friend and now priest, Father Connolly, tries to steer him on the right path.

“Angels with Dirty Faces” is widely regarded as a classic of the crime genre, and James Cagney’s performance as Rocky Sullivan is considered one of the greatest in his career.

The film’s tense and dramatic storyline, combined with its memorable characters and iconic scenes, have made it a favorite among fans of the genre.

While Anthony Caruso’s role in the film is relatively small, his performance as Crabface is noteworthy for its intensity and authenticity.

Caruso brings a sense of realism to the character, making him a believable and formidable presence in the film.

His portrayal of a loyal gang member who is willing to follow Rocky to the end is a testament to his talent as an actor, and adds an extra layer of depth to this classic crime drama.

Angels With Dirty Faces [DVD]
  • Angels With Dirty Faces - DVD Brand New
  • James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart (Actors)
  • Bobby Connolly (Director) - Ben Hecht (Writer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

4. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

“Love Me or Leave Me” is a 1955 biographical musical film directed by Charles Vidor and starring Doris Day and James Cagney. Here are three reasons why “Love Me or Leave Me” is a must-watch movie:

Powerful Performances: Doris Day and James Cagney both deliver exceptional performances in “Love Me or Leave Me.” Day shines as Ruth Etting, a singer who rises to fame with the help of a powerful and controlling husband, played by Cagney.

Cagney’s performance as the domineering Marty Snyder is intense and captivating, showcasing his range as an actor.

Memorable Music: The film features a number of memorable musical performances, including Day’s rendition of “Ten Cents a Dance” and Cagney’s energetic performance of “I’m Just Wild About Harry.”

The music is expertly integrated into the story, and it provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of 1920s and 30s music.

Gripping Story: “Love Me or Leave Me” tells the story of Ruth Etting’s rise to fame and her tumultuous relationship with Marty Snyder.

The film is a compelling drama that explores themes of love, ambition, and power. The story is engaging from start to finish, and it offers a fascinating look at the music industry during a pivotal time in American history.

Overall, “Love Me or Leave Me” is a classic film that showcases the talents of two iconic actors. With powerful performances, memorable music, and a gripping story, it is a must-watch for fans of the musical and biographical genres.

   

Love Me or Leave Me (DVD)
  • Love Me Or Leave Me - DVD Brand New
  • Various (Actor)
  • Various (Director)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

5. Mister Roberts (1955)

“Mister Roberts” is a 1955 American comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, and stars James Cagney, Henry Fonda, and William Powell.

Cagney plays the role of Captain Morton, the tyrannical and oppressive commanding officer of a US Navy cargo ship during World War II.

Cagney’s performance as Captain Morton is a standout in the film, as he brings an intense and unpredictable energy to the character.

He is both cruel and cunning, and his interactions with the ship’s crew are often tense and uncomfortable to watch.

The scenes between Cagney and Fonda, who plays the titular Mister Roberts, are particularly memorable, as the two actors play off each other with a mix of tension and humor.

Despite Cagney’s character being the antagonist, his performance is captivating and entertaining to watch. He brings a level of complexity to the role, making Captain Morton more than just a one-dimensional villain.

Cagney’s performance, along with the strong ensemble cast and the film’s themes of camaraderie and sacrifice, make “Mister Roberts” a classic of American cinema that continues to be celebrated today.

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Mister Roberts
  • DVD
  • Multiple Formats, Color, Closed-captioned
  • French (Subtitled), English (Subtitled), French (Dubbed)
  • 1
  • 123

6. Ragtime (1981)

“Ragtime” is a 1981 drama film directed by Milos Forman, based on the novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow.

The film features an ensemble cast that includes James Cagney, Elizabeth McGovern, and Howard E. Rollins Jr., with a supporting role from Anthony Caruso as a member of the Coalhouse Walker Jr. gang.

The film is set in the early 1900s and explores the lives of several characters from different social classes, including a wealthy family, a black pianist, and a group of anarchists.

Anthony Caruso plays Willie Conklin, a racist and violent member of a group of firefighters who vandalize Coalhouse Walker Jr.’s car.

“Ragtime” was well-received by critics and received several Academy Award nominations. The film is praised for its ambitious scope and richly drawn characters, as well as its portrayal of racial tensions in early 20th century America.

Although Anthony Caruso’s role in “Ragtime” is relatively small, his portrayal of Willie Conklin is memorable for its chilling realism.

Caruso brings a sense of menace to the character, making him a believable and despicable antagonist. His performance adds an extra layer of tension to the film, and is a testament to his talent as an actor.

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Ragtime
  • Ragtime - DVD Brand New
  • James Cagney, Elizabeth McGovern, Howard E. Rollins Jr. (Actors)
  • Milos Forman (Director) - E.L. Doctorow (Writer)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

7. One, Two, Three (1961)

“One, Two, Three” is a 1961 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, and Pamela Tiffin. Here are three reasons why “One, Two, Three” is a must-watch movie:

Fast-Paced Comedy: “One, Two, Three” is a hilarious and fast-paced comedy that keeps the audience laughing from start to finish.

The film is full of witty one-liners, clever sight gags, and physical comedy that is expertly timed and executed. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the performances by the cast are top-notch.

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as C.R. MacNamara, an executive at Coca-Cola’s West Berlin office who is tasked with keeping an eye on his boss’s teenage daughter.

Cagney’s comedic timing and energy are on full display in this film, and he brings a level of charm and likability to his character that is infectious.

Social Commentary: “One, Two, Three” is set against the backdrop of the Cold War, and the film provides a fascinating look at the political and social tensions of the time.

The film is a biting satire that pokes fun at both American and Soviet culture, and it offers a commentary on the politics and power struggles of the era.

Overall, “One, Two, Three” is a hilarious and entertaining comedy that is a must-watch for fans of the genre. With a standout performance by James Cagney, fast-paced comedy, and social commentary, it is a classic film that continues to be beloved by audiences today.

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One, Two, Three [DVD]
  • James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin (Actors)
  • Billy Wilder (Director) - Billy Wilder (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

8. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

“The Roaring Twenties” is a 1939 crime drama film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and Priscilla Lane.

The film follows the lives of three friends, Eddie Bartlett (played by Cagney), George Hally (played by Bogart), and Lloyd Hart (played by Jeffrey Lynn), as they navigate the criminal underworld during the Prohibition era.

Cagney delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Eddie Bartlett, a World War I veteran who becomes involved in bootlegging and organized crime after returning home from the war.

His transformation from a struggling war veteran to a successful but ruthless criminal is both heartbreaking and fascinating to watch.

Cagney’s energy and charisma are on full display throughout the film, particularly in the iconic final scene where he delivers the memorable line, “I ain’t so tough.”

“The Roaring Twenties” is widely regarded as one of the best gangster films of the 1930s, and Cagney’s performance is a major reason why. His portrayal of Eddie Bartlett is both compelling and complex, and it remains a defining role in his illustrious career.

The Roaring Twenties
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart (Actors)
  • Raoul Walsh (Director) - Jerry Wald (Writer) - Samuel Bischoff (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

9. City for Conquest (1940)

“City for Conquest” is a 1940 drama film directed by Anatole Litvak, starring James Cagney and Ann Sheridan, with a supporting role from Anthony Caruso as a gangster named “Bull.”

The film follows the story of a struggling New York City boxer named Danny Kenny (Cagney), who dreams of becoming a champion and providing a better life for his family and girlfriend (Sheridan).

However, after his brother is blinded in a fight with Bull, Danny must put his own dreams on hold to take care of his brother and seek justice.

“City for Conquest” is widely regarded as a classic of the boxing film genre, and James Cagney’s performance as Danny Kenny is considered one of the best of his career.

The film’s themes of sacrifice, loyalty, and perseverance have made it a favorite among fans of classic Hollywood drama.

Although Anthony Caruso’s role in the film is relatively small, his portrayal of Bull is memorable for its menacing presence.

Caruso brings a sense of danger and unpredictability to the character, making him a worthy opponent for Cagney’s Danny Kenny. His performance adds an extra layer of tension to the film, and is a testament to his talent as an actor.

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City for Conquest
  • DVD
  • Full Screen, Closed-captioned, Subtitled
  • English (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled), French (Subtitled)
  • 1
  • 104

10. ‘G’ Men (1935)

“G Men” is a 1935 crime drama film directed by William Keighley and starring James Cagney and Ann Dvorak. Here are three reasons why “G Men” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as Brick Davis, a law school graduate who joins the FBI to take down organized crime.

Cagney’s performance is both intense and charismatic, and he brings a level of energy and passion to the role that is impossible to ignore. This film solidified Cagney’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actors.

Exciting Action Sequences: “G Men” is full of thrilling action sequences, including shootouts, car chases, and fist fights.

The action is expertly staged and choreographed, and it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The film also features impressive cinematography and innovative camera work that adds to the excitement and tension of the action scenes.

 Social Commentary: “G Men” is set during the Prohibition era, and the film provides a commentary on the social and political issues of the time.

The film explores themes of corruption, greed, and the struggle between law and order and organized crime. It offers a fascinating glimpse into a pivotal moment in American history and provides insight into the social and political tensions of the era.

verall, “G Men” is a thrilling crime drama that features a standout performance by James Cagney, exciting action sequences, and social commentary. It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who appreciates a well-crafted and engaging story.

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G-Men (1935)
  • James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak (Actors)
  • William Keighley (Director) - Seton I. Miller (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

11. Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

“Shake Hands with the Devil” is a 1959 war drama film directed by Michael Anderson and starring James Cagney, Don Murray, and Dana Wynter.

Cagney plays the role of Sean Lenihan, an Irish doctor who becomes involved in the conflict between Belgian forces and Hutu rebels during the Rwandan Revolution of 1960.

Cagney delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Lenihan, bringing depth and humanity to the character of a man struggling to make a difference in the midst of a violent and chaotic conflict.

His interactions with the other characters in the film, particularly Murray’s character, are complex and emotionally charged, and Cagney handles them with a deft touch.

“Shake Hands with the Devil” is a thought-provoking film that explores the nature of war and the moral complexities that arise in times of conflict.

Cagney’s performance is a major reason why the film remains a powerful and relevant work today, and it showcases his versatility as an actor who could handle both dramatic and action-oriented roles with equal skill.

Shake Hands With The Devil (1959) [DVD]
  • Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)
  • Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)
  • James Cagney, Michael Redgrave, Cyril Cusack (Actors)
  • Michael Anderson (Director) - Shake Hands with the Devil (1959) (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)

12. The Public Enemy (1931)

“The Public Enemy” is a classic 1931 crime film directed by William A. Wellman, starring James Cagney in a breakthrough performance as Tom Powers, a small-time criminal who rises to become a notorious gangster during the Prohibition era.

The film also features Jean Harlow and Edward Woods in supporting roles, with Anthony Caruso playing one of Tom’s henchmen named “Sammy.”

The film is widely regarded as a landmark in the gangster film genre, and helped to establish James Cagney as a major star.

Its realistic portrayal of violence and criminality shocked audiences at the time, and the film remains a powerful example of early Hollywood’s gritty and uncompromising style.

Anthony Caruso’s role in the film is relatively small, but he makes an impact as Sammy, one of Tom’s loyal followers.

Caruso brings a sense of toughness and loyalty to the character, making him a believable member of Tom’s gang. His performance adds an extra layer of authenticity to the film, and is a testament to his talent as an actor.

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The Public Enemy
  • The Public Enemy - DVD Brand New
  • James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Joan Blondell (Actors)
  • William A. Wellman (Director) - Kubec Glasmon (Writer)
  • English, Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

13. Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

“Man of a Thousand Faces” is a 1957 biographical drama film directed by Joseph Pevney and starring James Cagney, Dorothy Malone, and Jane Greer. Here are three reasons why “Man of a Thousand Faces” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as Lon Chaney, the legendary silent film actor who was known for his ability to transform himself with elaborate makeup and costumes.

Cagney captures Chaney’s physicality and emotional depth, and he brings a level of nuance and complexity to the role that is truly remarkable.

Fascinating Story: “Man of a Thousand Faces” tells the story of Chaney’s rise to fame in the early days of Hollywood, and the film explores his personal and professional struggles.

The film provides insight into the creative process behind Chaney’s iconic characters and offers a glimpse into the early days of the film industry.

Technical Achievements: “Man of a Thousand Faces” features impressive makeup and special effects that were used to recreate Chaney’s iconic characters.

The film also uses innovative camera techniques to capture the elaborate sets and costumes, and it showcases the technical prowess of the filmmakers involved.

Overall, “Man of a Thousand Faces” is a fascinating biopic that features a standout performance by James Cagney, a compelling story, and impressive technical achievements.

It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who is interested in the history of the film industry.

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Man of a Thousand Faces [DVD]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • James Cagney, Dorothy Malone (Actors)
  • Joseph Pevney (Director)
  • English, French (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

14. The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)

“The Bride Came C.O.D.” is a 1941 romantic comedy film directed by William Keighley and starring James Cagney and Bette Davis.

The film follows the story of a wealthy socialite, Joan Winfield (played by Davis), who hires a pilot, Steve Collins (played by Cagney), to fly her to Las Vegas to stop her wedding to a wealthy businessman.

Cagney delivers a charming and comedic performance as Steve Collins, a brash and confident pilot who initially resists Joan’s attempts to control him.

His chemistry with Davis is palpable, and the two actors play off each other with a mix of tension and humor that makes their interactions engaging to watch.

“The Bride Came C.O.D.” is a light and entertaining film that showcases Cagney’s range as an actor.

His performance as Steve Collins is a departure from the tough-guy roles he is often associated with, and it demonstrates his ability to handle comedic material with ease. The film is a delightful romp that remains a beloved classic of Hollywood’s golden age.

The Bride Came C.O.D. [1941]
  • Danish, English, Finnish, French, German (Subtitles)

15. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

“Each Dawn I Die” is a 1939 drama film directed by William Keighley, starring James Cagney and George Raft, with a supporting role from Anthony Caruso as a gangster named “Jinx.”

The film follows the story of a crusading journalist named Frank Ross (Cagney), who is framed for a crime and sent to prison.

While in prison, he befriends a hardened criminal named “Hood” Stacey (Raft) and the two men work together to expose corruption within the prison system.

However, their efforts are complicated by Jinx (Caruso), a fellow inmate who wants to take over the prison’s illegal activities.

Anthony Caruso’s performance as Jinx is one of the highlights of the film. He brings a sense of danger and unpredictability to the character, making him a formidable opponent for both Cagney and Raft’s characters.

Caruso’s ability to convey both menace and vulnerability makes Jinx a complex and intriguing character, and his performance is a testament to his talent as an actor.

Overall, “Each Dawn I Die” is a powerful and well-crafted film that combines elements of drama, action, and social commentary.

Its themes of justice and redemption resonate with audiences to this day, and the performances of Cagney, Raft, and Caruso are among the film’s many strengths.

Each Dawn I Die (1939)
  • James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan (Actors)
  • William Keighley (Director) - Norman Reilly Raine (Writer)
  • English, French, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

16. The Gallant Hours (1960)

“The Gallant Hours” is a 1960 war film directed by Robert Montgomery and starring James Cagney. Here are three reasons why “The Gallant Hours” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as Admiral William F. Halsey Jr., the commander of the U.S.

naval forces in the Pacific during World War II. Cagney brings a level of intensity and gravitas to the role, and he captures the complexity of Halsey’s personality and leadership style.

Realism: “The Gallant Hours” is a highly realistic portrayal of naval combat during World War II.

The film was shot using actual footage of naval battles and features detailed recreations of historical events. The film’s attention to historical accuracy adds to its sense of authenticity and realism.

Direction and Cinematography: “The Gallant Hours” was directed by Robert Montgomery, a former naval officer who brought a level of authenticity and attention to detail to the film.

The film features impressive cinematography that captures the beauty and drama of the Pacific Theater, and Montgomery’s direction creates a sense of tension and urgency throughout the film.

Overall, “The Gallant Hours” is a must-watch war film that features a standout performance by James Cagney, a highly realistic portrayal of naval combat, and impressive direction and cinematography.

It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who is interested in the history of World War II.

The Gallant Hours
  • James Cagney, Dennis Weaver, Richard Jaeckel (Actors)
  • Robert Montgomery (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

17. 13 Rue Madeleine (1946)

“13 Rue Madeleine” is a 1946 World War II spy thriller directed by Henry Hathaway and starring James Cagney, Annabella, and Richard Conte.

The film follows the story of Bob Sharkey (played by Cagney), an American intelligence officer who is tasked with training a group of agents to infiltrate Nazi-occupied France.

Cagney delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Sharkey, a tough and experienced spy who is driven by his commitment to his country and his desire to stop the Nazis.

His interactions with the other characters in the film are complex and emotionally charged, and Cagney handles them with a deft touch.

“13 Rue Madeleine” is a tense and suspenseful film that captures the danger and intrigue of the spy game during World War II.

Cagney’s performance is a major reason why the film remains a classic of the genre today, and it showcases his ability to handle both action and dramatic material with equal skill.

13 Rue Madeleine
  • 13 Rue Madeline - DVD Brand New
  • James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte (Actors)
  • Henry Hathaway (Director) - John Monks Jr. (Writer)
  • English, Spanish (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

18. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)

“Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” is a 1950 film noir directed by Gordon Douglas and starring James Cagney in the lead role. Anthony Caruso appears in a supporting role as a gangster named “Big Ralph.”

The film tells the story of Ralph Cotter (Cagney), a career criminal who is sent to prison after a heist goes wrong. While in prison, he forms a plan to escape and seeks revenge against those who betrayed him.

Big Ralph (Caruso) is one of the people who crossed Ralph, and he becomes a target for the vengeful criminal.

Caruso’s performance as Big Ralph is a standout in the film. He brings a sense of menace and toughness to the character, making him a believable and threatening presence.

Caruso’s ability to convey both fear and bravado adds depth to the character, and his scenes with Cagney are among the film’s most memorable.

Overall, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye” is a well-made and engaging film noir, with strong performances from the entire cast. Caruso’s role as Big Ralph is a testament to his skill as an actor, and his contribution to the film should not be overlooked.

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Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye [Blu-ray]
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • James Cagney, Barbara Payton, Ward Bond (Actors)
  • Gordon Douglas (Director) - Harry Brown (Writer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

19. Blood on the Sun (1945)

“Blood on the Sun” is a 1945 war film directed by Frank Lloyd and starring James Cagney. Here are three reasons why “Blood on the Sun” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as Nick Condon, a newspaper reporter who uncovers a plot by the Japanese government to conquer China.

Cagney brings a level of intensity and energy to the role, and he captures the bravery and determination of his character.

Historical Significance: “Blood on the Sun” was one of the first American films to deal directly with the issue of Japanese aggression in the Pacific leading up to World War II.

The film’s portrayal of the Japanese government as ruthless and expansionist was controversial at the time, but it was also prescient given the events that would unfold in the years to come.

Action and Suspense: “Blood on the Sun” is a thrilling and suspenseful film that features impressive action sequences and intense moments of drama.

The film’s tense atmosphere and high stakes make it a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who enjoys a good war movie.

Overall, “Blood on the Sun” is a must-watch war film that features a standout performance by James Cagney, historical significance, and impressive action and suspense.

It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who is interested in the history of the Pacific Theater during World War II.

Blood On The Sun - 1945
  • James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney (Actor)
  • Frank Lloyd (Director)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

20. The Time of Your Life (1948)

“The Time of Your Life” is a 1948 drama film directed by H. C. Potter and starring James Cagney, William Bendix, and Wayne Morris.

The film is an adaptation of the William Saroyan play of the same name and follows the story of a group of colorful characters who frequent a San Francisco bar in the early 20th century.

Cagney delivers a nuanced and captivating performance as Joe, a free-spirited and philosophical regular at the bar who befriends the other patrons and helps them confront their personal struggles.

His interactions with the other characters are both comedic and poignant, and Cagney handles the shifts in tone with ease.

“The Time of Your Life” is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant film that captures the spirit of Saroyan’s original play.

Cagney’s performance as Joe is a standout, and it showcases his ability to handle complex and nuanced characters. The film remains a powerful and relevant work today and is a testament to Cagney’s lasting impact on Hollywood’s golden age.

The Time Of Your Life 1948
  • James Cagney, William Bendix, Wayne Morris (Actors)
  • H. C. Potter (Director)

21. What Price Glory (1952)

“What Price Glory” is a 1952 war drama directed by John Ford, starring James Cagney and Corinne Calvet in the lead roles. Anthony Caruso appears in a supporting role as a Marine named “Pvt. Lipinsky.”

The film follows the story of two Marines, Captain Flagg (Cagney) and Sergeant Quirt (Dan Dailey), who are stationed in France during World War I.

They both fall in love with a French woman named Charmaine (Calvet), leading to a love triangle that complicates their military duties. Caruso’s character, Pvt. Lipinsky, is a fellow Marine who provides comic relief throughout the film.

Caruso’s performance as Pvt. Lipinsky is a standout in the film. He brings a sense of humor and lightness to the character, providing a much-needed break from the heavier themes of war and romance.

Caruso’s comedic timing and delivery are excellent, and his scenes with Cagney and Dailey are among the film’s most enjoyable.

Overall, “What Price Glory” is a well-made and engaging war drama, with strong performances from the entire cast. Caruso’s role as Pvt. Lipinsky adds an important element of humor to the film, and his contribution to the movie should not be overlooked.

22. The Fighting 69th (1940)

“The Fighting 69th” is a 1940 war film directed by William Keighley and starring James Cagney. Here are three reasons why “The Fighting 69th” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a standout performance as Jerry Plunkett, a brash and rebellious soldier who joins the 69th Infantry Regiment. Cagney brings a level of intensity and energy to the role, and he captures the bravery and determination of his character.

Realism: “The Fighting 69th” is a highly realistic portrayal of life in the U.S. Army during World War I. The film features detailed recreations of historical events, and it captures the camaraderie, conflict, and sacrifice that characterized the American war effort.

Supporting Cast: “The Fighting 69th” features an impressive supporting cast that includes Pat O’Brien, George Brent, and Alan Hale.

The film’s ensemble cast brings a level of depth and complexity to the story, and the actors deliver memorable performances that enhance the film’s emotional impact.

Overall, “The Fighting 69th” is a must-watch war film that features a standout performance by James Cagney, a highly realistic portrayal of military life, and an impressive supporting cast.

It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who is interested in the history of World War I.

The Fighting 69th [1940]
  • Danish, English, Finnish, French, Norwegian (Subtitles)
  • English (Publication Language)

23. Here Comes the Navy (1934)

“Here Comes the Navy” is a 1934 romantic comedy film directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, and Gloria Stuart.

The film follows the story of a cocky, working-class sailor named Chesty (played by Cagney), who is assigned to serve on the same ship as his former girlfriend, Dorothy (played by Stuart), who is now engaged to a wealthy officer.

Cagney delivers a dynamic and energetic performance as Chesty, a brash and confident sailor who is not afraid to speak his mind.

His interactions with the other characters in the film are both humorous and touching, and Cagney infuses the character with a sense of vulnerability that makes him relatable.

“Here Comes the Navy” is a fun and engaging film that showcases Cagney’s range as an actor. His chemistry with O’Brien is particularly notable, and the two actors play off each other with a mix of rivalry and friendship that adds depth to their characters.

The film remains a beloved classic of Hollywood’s golden age and a testament to Cagney’s enduring appeal as a leading man.

Here Comes the Navy (1934)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart (Actors)
  • Lloyd Bacon (Director) - Louis Edelman (Producer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

24. Tribute to a Bad Man (1956)

“Tribute to a Bad Man” is a 1956 western drama film directed by Robert Wise, starring James Cagney and Irene Papas in the lead roles. Anthony Caruso appears in a supporting role as a ranch hand named “Juan.”

The film follows the story of Jeremy Rodock (Cagney), a wealthy and ruthless cattle baron who becomes enamored with a young woman named Jocasta (Papas) who lives on a neighboring ranch.

After a series of confrontations with Jocasta’s father, Rodock becomes more and more obsessed with the young woman, leading to a tragic conclusion.

Caruso’s character, Juan, is one of Rock’s loyal ranch hands who provides support and advice throughout the film.

Caruso’s performance as Juan is a solid supporting turn in the film. He brings a sense of wisdom and loyalty to the character, providing a valuable sounding board for Rodock’s decisions.

Caruso’s ability to convey Juan’s respect for Rodock, as well as his own moral compass, adds depth to the character and enhances the film’s themes.

Overall, “Tribute to a Bad Man” is a well-made and engaging western drama, with strong performances from the entire cast. Caruso’s role as Juan is a testament to his skill as an actor, and his contribution to the film should not be overlooked.

Tribute To A Bad Man
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • James Cagney, Don Dubbins, Irene Papas (Actors)
  • Robert Wise (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

25. These Wilder Years (1956)

“These Wilder Years” is a 1956 drama film directed by Roy Rowland and starring James Cagney. Here are three reasons why “These Wilder Years” is a must-watch movie:

James Cagney’s Performance: James Cagney delivers a nuanced and emotionally powerful performance as Steve Bradford, a wealthy businessman who sets out to find the son he fathered as a young man.

Cagney brings a level of depth and sensitivity to the role, and he captures the complex emotions of a man who is struggling to come to terms with his past.

Themes of Redemption and Forgiveness: “These Wilder Years” explores themes of redemption and forgiveness, as Steve Bradford seeks to make amends for his past mistakes and reconcile with his son.

The film’s powerful message of hope and reconciliation resonates with audiences today, and it remains a timeless and poignant work of cinema.

Supporting Cast: “These Wilder Years” features an impressive supporting cast that includes Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, and Betty Lou Keim.

The film’s ensemble cast brings a level of depth and complexity to the story, and the actors deliver memorable performances that enhance the film’s emotional impact.

Overall, “These Wilder Years” is a must-watch drama that features a standout performance by James Cagney, a powerful message of redemption and forgiveness, and an impressive supporting cast.

It is a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema and anyone who appreciates thoughtful and emotionally resonant films.

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3 Reasons To Watch James Cagney Movies

Iconic Performances: James Cagney was a highly versatile actor, known for his intense and dynamic performances.

He was equally comfortable in dramatic roles as he was in comedies or musicals, and his work in films like “Public Enemy,” “White Heat,” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” are considered some of the greatest performances in Hollywood history.

Cagney’s talent as an actor is reason enough to watch his movies.

Hollywood History: James Cagney was a major figure in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and his films are a testament to the artistry and craftsmanship of that era.

Cagney’s work spanned several decades and multiple genres, from gangster films to musicals to war movies, and his films provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of classic Hollywood.

Cultural Impact: Cagney’s work had a profound impact on American culture. He became an icon of masculinity, toughness, and loyalty, and his performances inspired countless imitations and parodies.

Cagney’s characters embodied the American spirit of resilience and determination, and his legacy continues to influence filmmakers and actors to this day. Watching James Cagney movies is a way to connect with a cultural icon and experience the enduring power of his work.

Best James Cagney Movies – Wrap Up

In conclusion, James Cagney was a legendary actor whose performances in some of the greatest films in Hollywood history have cemented his status as an icon of American cinema.

His intense and dynamic performances in films like “Public Enemy,” “White Heat,” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” have left an indelible mark on the world of film, and his legacy continues to inspire generations of actors and filmmakers.

Whether you’re a fan of gangster films, musicals, or war movies, there is a James Cagney film for everyone, and his work is a testament to the enduring power of classic Hollywood cinema.