James Cagney Pack: Blood on the Sun/Something to Sing About/Great Guy/Time of Your Life [4 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 19867528
- Release Date: 01/03/2012
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In his first film in two years, James Cagney stars as Nick Condon, the American editor of a pre-WW2 Tokyo newspaper. When two of his best friends are horribly murdered, Condon suspects that the "peaceful" Japanese military government is up to no good. He dedicates himself to getting his hands on the "Tanka Plan," a Japanese blueprint for conquering the world, and bringing this document to the attention of the Free World. As a result, he is targeted for persecution by the corrupt Tokyo police and betrayed by a traitorous fellow journalist. On a pleasanter note, Condon makes the acquaintance of half-Chinese Iris Hilliard (Sylvia Sidney), who agrees to help him foil the Japanese High Command. As was customary in wartime films, virtually all the Japanese characters in Blood on the Sun are played by Chinese, Korean, and Caucasian actors; for example, Robert Armstrong is cast as Colonel Tojo, while Premiere Tenaka is enacted by John Emery. Having lapsed into the public domain, Blood on the Sun is available from several distributors and also exists in a computer-colorized version. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
After retiring from a boxing career, Johnny Cave (James Cagney) accepts an appointment to serve as head of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. However, when he discovers that his organization is full of corruption and lies, he sets out to uncover the scam, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Janet (Mae Clarke), and his underhanded coworkers. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi
Something to Sing About
Battling Hoofer is the reissue title of the 1936 James Cagney vehicle Something to Sing About. Cagney plays Terry Rooney, a New York bandleader who heads to Hollywood when he is offered a movie contract. The down-to-Earth Rooney resists the "star treatment," an attitude misinterpreted by movie executive Bennett O. Regan (Gene Lockhart) as arrogance. When Terry's first film is a hit, Regan orders everyone involved to keep its success a secret from Terry, lest he develop a swelled head! (We don't believe it either.) The best sequence has Rooney chewing out his Asian houseboy, Ito (Philip Ahn), whereupon he drops his "So solly" pidgin English and begins talking like a Harvard professor! Terry gets to romance newcomer Evelyn Daw, as well as veteran vamp Mona Barrie; he also gets to participate in several lively dance numbers. Something to Sing About was the second of Jimmy Cagney's films for Poverty Row studio Grand National: the production values and snappy script work that he might have enjoyed at Warner Bros. are noticeably lacking, but Cagney is always fun to watch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Time of Your Life
After turning down several other Hollywood producers, playwright William Saroyan sold the film rights of his whimsical Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Time of Your Life to James and William Cagney. The scene is a rundown San Francisco waterfront bar, populated by a group of lovable eccentrics. Joe (James Cagney), a philosophical souse, encourages all around him to indulge in their wildest dreams. Joe's pal Tom (Wayne Morris), a born patsy, runs errands for Joe, the only person who has ever shown him kindness. Kitty (Jeanne Cagney), a streetwalker, willingly allows Joe to sponge drinks off her in exchange for a few nice words. Harry (Paul Draper), an enthusiastic but hopelessly untalented dancer-comedian, is hired by bartender Nick (William Bendix) at Joe's urging. And Kit Carson (James Barton), an addled old man who lives in a dream world, is prodded by Joe into weaving his unlikely reminiscences of the Wild West. It is Kit Carson (James Barton) who solves everyone's problems by eliminating a particularly scabrous detective named Blick (Tom Powers). Time of Your Life was originally filmed with Saroyan's bizarrely humorous ending intact, but the preview audiences reacted negatively, forcing the Cagney brothers to shoot $300,000 worth of retakes. Though many historians have written off The Time of Your Life as a brave failure, the film was actually a hit, grossing $1.5 million. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- James Cagney - Nick Condon
- Sylvia Sidney - Iris Hilliard
- Porter Hall - Arthur Beckett
- Wallace Ford - Ollie Miller
- Robert Armstrong - Col. Tojo