This is “City for Conquest,” produced by James Cagney’s brother William. Directed by Anatole Litvak, with cinematography by Sol Polito and James Wong Howe.
Screenplay by John Wexley, who wrote “Angels With Dirty Faces” and was a victim of the blacklist. He died in Doyleston, Pa., in 1985 at the age of 77. Novelist and screenwriter Aben Kandel wrote such diverse works as “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and “Dinner at Eight” and died in 1993 at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills.
For Monday, our mystery chap is in the dark trunks. Note: Many people guessed Bob Steel, but he is Joe Gray.
And for Tuesday, we have…
No, that’s not it.
For Tuesday, we have…
No, no, no. That’s not it.
Many people recognized this movie, even if they misidentified our mystery gent in the dark trunks. Cheers to Michael Ryerson, who identified the movie and gave a plot summary.
Please congratulate Julie Merholz (mystery movie/wrong boxer), David Inman (mystery movie/wrong boxer), Michael Ryerson (mystery movie and cast), Dan Nather (mystery movie/wrong boxer), Mike Hawks (mystery movie/wrong boxer) and Chrisbo (mystery movie and boxer).
Michael says: an army of solid supporting players from every corner of the XXXXXX lot…. It seems they swept out the commissary for this one. Not a weak player in the bunch. Bring a hanky.
And for Wednesday, we have the friendly, chatty narrator of the film. Our poet in rags is going to tell us all about the wonders of New York in segments that are bookends for the movie …
… even if a certain police officer doesn’t approve.
Please congratulate Dan Nather (mystery boxer), Julie Merholz (film location) and Michael Ryerson. Note to Chrisbo: ha ha. Here he is today.
Michael says: For Tuesday we have two street signs painted in the XXXXX paint shop to suggest the Bowery on New York City’s lower east side and in the background we can see an outside set (‘generic city street’ in XXXXX California) made to look like the Bowery, jam-packed with pushcarts which had, in fact, recently motivated Mayor La Guardia to establish several off-street city markets to clear the congestion. This is the establishing shot to put in motion the up-by-his-bootstraps narrative of XXXXXX. Truth be told, I think I can see a eucalyptus tree just poking up in the background.
First we had a mystery boxer. Then a mystery New York location. Then a mystery hobo and a mystery cop. Now we have mystery dancers.
It will all become clear tomorrow if it hasn’t already.
A historical note: Our mystery hobo from yesterday was in the original 1940 release of the film, but almost all his scenes were deleted in a re-release. A certain studio restored the scenes for a somewhat recent DVD. My first exposure to the film was when it aired on TV a year ago, so I wasn’t aware of any of this. But several intrepid fans of this mystery film checked their VHS copies (those are old-school videocassettes to you millennials) just to confirm that their memories weren’t faulty.
Please congratulate Chrisbo (mystery hobo and cop), Ed (mystery cop), Don Danard (mystery location, mystery hobo and cop), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and cast), Steve (mystery cop), Sarah (mystery movie and cast), Julie Merholz (mystery hobo and cop), Keith Thursby (mystery cop), Mike Hawks (mystery hobo and cop), Floyd Thursby (mystery movie and cast), Bob Hansen (mystery hobo and cop), Patricia Ann (mystery movie and cast), Rick (mystery movie and cast), Dan Nather (mystery movie and cast), Benito (mystery cop) and Rick Scott (mystery movie and cast).
Michael says: If I have a criticism of XXXX it would be that it is frequently and unabashedly derivative (Golden Boy, Rhapsody in Blue, even a whiff of Stella Dallas), and, in that vein, here we have XXXX as XXXX narrating and walking us through the action, who had recently scored on Broadway as the XXXX in Thornton Wilder’s XXXX and then reprised the role in the film version which was released a scant four months before XXX. The stage play and the film were widely popular and affecting works and XXX is enlisted here to provide essentially the same service. In fact, one might reach a bit and make the connection that the XXX introduces and advances the narrative in Grover’s Corners and here we open at the corner of Delancey and Forsyth Streets. There is little really original in XXX but it is a very effective film nonetheless. Even Ward Bond would agree.
And I can’t resist a mystery gent in a newsboy cap.
Tragedy for one character….
Triumph for another.
Didn’t I tell you there was a heart beating in the city? Take it from me, brother, there’s love in New York.
Please congratulate Mary Mallory (mystery dancers), Julie Merholz (mystery dancers, mystery boxer), Chrisbo (mystery dancers, mystery newsboy cap guy), Don Danard (mystery dancers), Dennis Gilliam (mystery movie and cast), William (mystery movie and cast), Gary Martin (mystery movie and cast), Pat van Hartesveldt (mystery movie and cast), Mike Hawks (mystery dancers, mystery newsboy cap guy), Pat in Michigan (mystery movie), Dewey Webb (mystery movie), Karen (mystery movie and cast) and Barbara Klein (mystery movie and cast).
Michael Ryerson says: Well for Thursday, providing the plot with some romantic conflict we have an unusually oily XXX bending dance partner XXX over backwards. We all know he’s up to no good and besides he’s not good enough for her and we’re nearly shouting at the screen to warn her. Like I said, not a weak player in the bunch. And XXXX, one of the most familiar faces from the background of literally hundreds of movies in a nearly forty year career.