This is a rather lousy piece of studio trash. It’s about a guy played by James Cagney who tries to rise from the streets of New York City by becoming a boxer. His girl played by Ann Sheridan loves him, but really wants to be dancer. Blinded by her desire, she is easily mislead by a slime ball played by Anthony Quinn who does take her to the top at the cost of everything else.
Everything feels so fake and straight out of the studio playbook except for the boxing scene at the end and a little part of Cagney’s character. The boxing match probably looked good because the celebrated cinematographer James Wong Howe worked on the film. The little part of Cagney’s character that is subtle seems to come from a far better film. In lifting himself up from the streets he also wants to help his friends. Sometimes that means trying to get his brother’s music heard, but other times…He comes home and his brother is turning away a vacuum salesmen. Cagney sees it and tells the salesman to come in and give his speech. We know full well that Cagney is planning on buying one not because he needs it but because he knows the salesmen needs it. It’s a nice little touch in what otherwise is brick to the head obvious.
Skip this one.