Starring James Cagney, directed by Gordon Douglas, produced by William Cagney and based on the novel by Horace McCoy. The film was banned in Ohio as “a sordid, sadistic presentation of brutality and an extreme presentation of crime with explicit steps in commission.”
Supporting Cagney are Luther Adler as a crooked lawyer, and Ward Bond and Barton MacLane as two crooked cops.
Ralph Cotter is a career criminal who escapes from prison and then murders his partner-in-crime. Along the way, he attempts to woo his ex-partner’s sister (Barbara Payton) by threatening to expose her role in his escape. Cotter quickly gets back into the crime business—only to be shaken down by corrupt local cops. Then when he turns the tables on them, his real troubles have only started.
James Cagney as Ralph Cotter
Barbara Payton as Holiday Carleton
Helena Carter as Margaret Dobson
Ward Bond as Insp. Charles Weber
Luther Adler as Keith ‘Cherokee’ Mandon
Barton MacLane as Lt. John Reece
Steve Brodie as Joe ‘Jinx’ Raynor
Rhys Williams as Vic Mason
Herbert Heyes as Ezra Dobson
John Litel as Police Chief Tolgate
William Frawley as Byers