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JAMES CAGNEY IN 'FRISCO KID' WITH MARGARET LINDSAY

Year: 1935 Rating: ***1/2

One of the more severe early James Cagney features features Cagney as a character with a name so tough, once he's almost shanghaied in San Fransisco's 19th Century cutthroat/bar-brawling territory, you just know that new-guy-in-town "Bat Morgan" will get his revenge, and then some...

And that some is the kind of "let's band together to make one unbreakable monopolizing outfit" that occurs in just about every gangster flick that FRISCO KID is a time-period version of... 

With either extremely shady or friendly characters surrounding our initially sympathetic turned determined casino-owner, from big boss Barton MacClane's hook-hand henchman The Shanghai Duck to gambler Ricardo Cortez as Cagney's backstabbing second to an affable sidekick to classy ingenue Margaret Lindsay flanked by token idealist Donald Woods (foreshadowing THE ROARING TWENTIES Paul Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Frank McHugh, Patricia Lane and Jeffrey Lynn respectively); the latter a newspaperman ready to stomp the unlawful shenanigans that Cagney's Morgan is only partially responsible for, providing yet another "crime doesn't pay" plot-line that needed more levity climbing to that inevitably unsteady pinnacle... only this time it's all pretty serious business. 

James Cagney as Bat Morgan in FRISCO KID
James Cagney as Bat Morgan in FRISCO KID
James Cagney as Bat Morgan in FRISCO KID with Margaret Lindsay
Ricardo Cortez and Lili Damita in FRISCO KID
James Cagney as Bat Morgan in FRISCO KID
Margaret Lindsay in FRISCO KID
Fred Kohler as Shanghai Duck in FRISCO KID
James Cagney as Bat Morgan in FRISCO KID

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