Tagline – Hollywood’s Most Famous Badman Joins the G-Men!
Starring – James Cagney (‘Brick’ Davis), Margaret Lindsay (Kay McCord), Ann Dvorak (Jean Morgan), Robert Armstrong (Jeff McCord), Barton MacLane (Collins), Lloyd Nolan (Hugh Farrell).
Released – May, 1935
Directed By – William Keighley
Produced By – First National Pictures
Distributed By – Warner Brothers
Description – Law school graduate Eddie Buchanan has joined the F.B.I., whose agents, at that time, were referred to as G-Men. Eddie encourages his friend ‘Brick’ Davis, also a law school grad, to join with him.
However, Brick is not interested and hopes to make it as an honest lawyer even though he has a connection to organized crime. Gangster ‘Mac’ MacKay his financed Davis’ education with his own interests in mind.
When Buchanan is gunned down trying to arrest hood Danny Leggett, Davis changes his mind and is determined to bring the killer to justice. Davis says goodbye to both MacKay, and the singer in the gangsters nightclub Jean Morgan, who has feelings for Davis, and heads to Washington, D.C. to begin his training.
Davis immediately has friction with his instructor Jeff McCord, but also finds himself attracted to McCord’s sister Kay.
Back home, gangster MacKay has retired to a mountain lodge, and without his control, his men go on a crime rampage. Davis recognizes one of the hoods as Danny Leggett, but not yet finished with his training can only aid agent Hugh Farrell with what he knows of the gang.
Farrell and his fellow agents unsuccessful attempt to arrest Leggett leads to them being gunned down and Leggett’s escape. Jeff McCord now assumes command of the investigation and selects Davis to be a part of his team.
Additional shootout’s follow with Davis being shot, Jean Morgan being brought in for questioning, a slip that leads to the location of the gang, another wild shootout, a kidnapping, and the cold-blooded killing of Morgan. How much more of a price is to be paid before justice is served?
NOTABLE: G-Men received an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Story as a write-in nominee.
The production of G-Men was a deliberate attempt to counter the popularity of crime/gangster films made in the early 1930’s. Political and business leaders felt these pictures did too much to glorify the gangster lifestyle.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened its real-life training center the same year as this motion picture was released.
Director of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover, personally approved the script for this film.
This film marked the screen debut for actor Lloyd Nolan.
Initially, agents were unarmed when conducting their duties, but after two notorious shootouts, the Kansas City Massacre, which was an attack on F.B.I. agents during the transportation of a prisoner, in which an agent, three policemen, and the prisoner were killed, and the 1934 battle between agents and the infamous John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson lead to a change in the law allowing agents to be armed.