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(1941), Cagney synthesized familiar elements from his numerous portrayals of vicious, amoral menand then surpassed all of them in extreme behavior.Because he was a beloved movie star, Cagney knew that he would have the audience on his side.Bowing to the inevitable, Cagney returned to Warner Bros.

His mother fixation is obvious, but there's no tenderness to it, even in the famous scene in which Cody climbs into his mother's lap.

The relationship between Cody and Ma is more like that between soldiers who have seen war together and expect to see more.

expired in the early Forties, he formed his own production company and swore he'd never make another gangster film.

"Movies should be entertaining, not blood baths," the actor famously grumbled.

Cody's chief lieutenant is "Big Ed" Somers (Steve Cochran), who thinks he's much smarter than he is and is always shooting knowing glances at Verna.

She returns his interest, probably because she hopes he will get her away from Cody.The film's opening depicts the brazen daylight robbery of the postal car on a California train, which is carrying government funds.During the course of the robbery, which Walsh shoots with the kind of logistic precision that is sadly missing from so many contemporary films, Cody casually executes anyone who might identify him.She also knows that the only woman whom Cody will ever truly care about is his Ma (Margaret Wycherly).Ma Jarrett travels with the perfect disguise: grandmotherly features that no one would suspect conceal a merciless and calculating criminal mind."I'm sick of carrying a gun and beating up women." Unfortunately for Cagney, he did not prove adept at choosing his own projects.

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