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Cagney And George Raft Pack Dynamite In Each Dawn I Die
James Cagney and George Raft, the two champion tough guys of filmdon, are co-starred in “Each Dawn I Die,’ a stark, cruel, grim and tremendously exciting picture of life behind prison bars, produced by Warner Bros., which opens next Friday at the Strand Theatre.
Both Cagney and Raft, as interesting a starring team as has ever been put together in Hollywood, won their initial pre-eminence on the screen as delineators of modern gangsters. Raft! is a gangster again in “Kach Dawn I Die,’ while Cagney is an honest and upright citizen, but before the end of the picture there is little to choose between the two chief characters on the score of toughness.
The metamorphosis in the character of the decent young fellow played by Jimmy comes about under the brutalizinginfluence of first being railroaded to prison for a crime of which he is innocent and then being treated cruelly at the prison. On the other hand, Raft is on the wrong side of the law right from the beginning, but as the picture
Screenlands Toughest ‘Killers’ Meet Face To Face—And The Combination Spells Explosion!
comes to a close, he finds a way to wipe his slate clean and vindicate his life as a gangster. The these two characters give “Each Dawn I Die” a novel and tremendously thrilling theme that sets it quite apart from any prison picture that has ever before been made.
At the outset of the picture, which was based by Norman Reilly Raine and Warren Duff on the novel of the same name by Jerome Odlum, Cagney is a crusading reporter who has just uncovered evidence implicating the district attorney of his community in a graft scandal.
Some of the district attorney’s underworld henchmen carry out a plot to frame the young reporter on a drunk driving charge. As a result of the frame-up, two innocent people are killed, Jimmy is arrested, convicted of manslaugh
ter and sent to prison with a maximum term of twenty years.
Knowing his innocence, Jimmy is a rebellious prisoner and he finds himself in constant hot water with the prison authorities. Treated brutally, he responds in kind and is soon virtually indistinguishable from the toughest of the convicts.
Early in his convict life, Jimmy saves the life of George Raft, who was a big-time gangster until finally caught and inearcerated. Although he is on the surface a cruel and heartless killer, Raft becomes, in his own way, fond of the young reporter.
Meanwhile, Jimmy’s friends on the outside, headed by his faithful sweetheart, played by Jane Bryan, have been fruitlessly trying to uncover evidence which would prove he was framed. Turned down by the parole board
when he applies for commutation of his sentence, Jimmy aids in a plot which enables Raft to escape, his price being a promise by Raft to force a confession from the underworld character who earried’ out the frame-up which sent him to jail. In order to keep his promise, Raft daringly gives himself up and returns to prison to engineer a “break.”
Aside from the individual drama which develops in the course of it, this prison riot sequence is undoubtedly the most authentic as well as the most exciting and terrifying depiction of such an event as has ever been shown on the screen. It makes a smashing climax for a truly powerful picture. In addition to the Messrs. Cagney and Raft and Miss Bryan, the cast is studded with names of numerous top-flight performers, including George Banercft, Maxie Rosenbloom, Stanley Ridges, Alan Baxter, Victor Jory, John Wray, Edward Pawley, Wilard Robertson, Paul Hurst, Louis Jean Heydt, Joe Downing and Emma Dunn. The direction was handled by William Keighley, who also directed Cagney in “G-Men.”
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“Hood. Stacey 2.25220 SEE RO a GEORGE RAFT
JOVCO. ss Jane Bryan John Armstrong ......... iGo arg eres George Bancroft Meuller ..... Stanley Ridges GCatlieie 2585. &: Alan Baxter (SIGNER 68 os die. Victor Jory Pete Kassock ... John Wray er ts Edward Pawley Lang ....Willard Robertson Mrs, Fass es. Emma Dunn Cheimeliey.). 25S ...Paul Hurst Lassiter .. .Louis Jean Heydt
“Limpoy paler: ee oie Serie Joe Downing
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Stacey's Attorney ....... Re ey De Clay Clement
Judge.. .Charles Trowbridge
Temple ..... Harry Cording
Dareetee Seer. oi tus sata a WILLIAM KEIGHLEY
Screen’ Play by oi sey. Norman Reilly Raine Warren Duff
From the Novel by ...... eT ay a Jerome Odlum Photography by <...0..".. ....Arthur Edeson, A.S.C. Art Director ....Max Parker Files Banter! 5 Fe ee
Gowns by .. .Howard Shoup Musical Director .........
Sotihnd by. 5.05. E. A. Brown Technical Advisor .......
(Not for Publication)
Teaming James Cagney and George Raft, the screen’s supreme masters of menace, “Each Dawn I Die” is a smashing indictment of political corruption and prison abuses. Adapted from the novel by Jerome Odlum, the powerful Warner Bros. drama is directed by William Keighley who made “GMen” and “Bullets Or Ballots.”
Hot on the trail of political racketeering, Frank Ross (James Cagney), reporter for the ‘Record,” gets evidence that links the district attorney with a _ construction company scandal. To get Ross out of the way, he is framed and sentenced on a manslaughter charge. With him to prison goes “Hood” Stacey (George Raft) underworld big shot doing a life sentence. Ross helps him attempt a “break.” In return, he promises to try to find the guys who framed Ross.
Stacey gives himself up and goes back to Rocky Point because the guy who framed Ross is there. Back in “‘stir,’ he engineers another break, and although he is mortally wounded, he forces a confession which clears Ross.
Running Time — 92 minutes