Entertainment Weekly - 01/28/2005
Los Angeles Times - 01/23/2005
"[A] nostalgic look at the 1920s that stars a superb Cagney..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
The speakeasy era never roared louder than in this gangland chronicle that packs a wallop under action master Raoul Walsh's direction. Against a backdrop of newsreel-like montages and narration, it follows the life of jobless war veteran Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) who turns bootlegger, dealing in "bottles instead of battles." Battles await Eddie within and without his growing empire. Outside are territorial feuds and gangland bloodlettings. Inside is the treachery of his double-dealing associate (Humphrey Bogart). It would be 10 years before Cagney played another gangster (in White Heat), a time in which gangster movies themselves became rare. "He used to be a big shot," Panama Smith (Gladys George) says at the finale, marking Bartlett's demise...and signaling the end of Hollywood's focus on the gangster era.
It's the original drug war and bullets are flying in this classic gangster film. Cagney plays the role of a tough bootlegger who encounters two old army buddies years after the war in which they fought together. A fine screen adaptation of a story by Mark Hellinger.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Three World War I buddies clash in a vicious bootlegging racket. Based on a Mark Hellinger story.
This Prohibition-era morality tale chronicles the rise and fall a working class veteran who, unable to find honest employment after the war, falls in with a ruthless gang of bootleggers.