They made a million of these:


The credits, minus the words: 30s swanky sex plus money.



Hopes I had, high hopes. But why do I listen to anyone on the internet about anything? I thought this would be better; it certainly had the requisite elements, and it had a boffo poster:



Perhaps it was my mood - the reviewers praise the snappy patter, but compared to some of the grittier Cagney outings it seemed distracted and pro forma, barking out his lines rat-a-tat because that's what he's supposed to do. Basic plot: he’s a guy who runs a racket that collects on inheritances when rich swells die without heirs. Seems a rather narrow grift, but the opening sequence consists of one calamity after the other:




How modern audiences must have loved seeing the trivial rich die in the pursuit of empty thrills, eh? At least Cagney has a foil as sharp and unsentimental:



Here’s a moment worth noting, though: I have no idea if this is the 40th use of the term or the first. But it’s his “Ah’ll be back,” a catch phrase mostly known to modern audiences, if at all, because Rich Little made it stick. A pity, that - Cagney was the antithesis of the stock character with the stock line. He was all nerves and bounce and high-octane Id with a gossamer bridle of Ego keeping him in line, to use the Freudian terms. But he’s known for this: