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JAMES CAGNEY & JOAN BLONDELL HIDE OUT IN 'HE WAS HER MAN'

Lobby Card for HE WAS HER MAN Year: 1934
James Cagney dime-novel-style programmer has his character Flicker Hayes, newly released from prison, dangerously double-crossing the hoods who'd double-crossed him as two more goons plan to keep on his trail...

Beginning in San Fransisco where he meets Joan Blondell, as a prostitute setting her mind on marrying a simple fisherman in a John Steinbeck Monterrey style seaside town. She has a seemingly benign passenger in Cagney's Hayes, both hiding out in completely different ways. Cagney's surprisingly soft-spoken here, but not nearly as much as dutiful Victor Jory as the fisherman who doesn't care about Blondell's past. This is merely a distraction to Cagney's story that, in itself, distracts from what the movie's leading to — with armed goons on the way, it doesn't look likely he'll survive...

HE WAS HER MAN Rating: ***1/2
Veteran (even at that time) character-actor Frank Craven fits nicely into the mellow rural proto-Noir — in CITY OF CONQUEST he was a narrating roman chorus bum and here he's a con man "rat" with a trick up his sleeve, ultimately at Cagney's expense: our previously selfish crook is headed toward a crossroad since Blondell loves him madly...

The fishing village connected to the passage seaward is like a dream milieu to the first early Cagney programmer that's more a crime-related, dime-novel inspired fable than his usual rambling con-man connected heist thriller. What it lacks in the usual edgy excitement or spontaneously sarcastic humor is made up for within the creative storyline in this page-turning melodrama with a more poetic than satisfying, noir-esque conclusion.
James Cagney in the opening credits of HE WAS HER MAN
Joan Blondell in the opening credits of HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney and Joan Blondell in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney as Flicker Hayes in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney and Victor Jory in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney and Sarah Padden in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney and Joan Blondell in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney and Joan Blondell in HE WAS HER MAN

James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN with Frank Craven
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN with Joan Blondell
Joan Blondell in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN with Frank Craven & Victor Jory
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN
James Cagney in HE WAS HER MAN with Joan Blondell

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