High Sierra

  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Producers: Mark Hellinger
  • Writers: Story, W R Burnett, Screenplay, John Huston, W R Burnett
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis, Arthur Kennedy

An aged gangster, Big Mac (Donald MacBride), is planning a robbery at a California resort casino, and he wants an experienced Roy Earle (Humphrey Bogart), just released from an eastern prison by a governor’s pardon, to lead the heist and to take charge of the operation. Roy drives across the country to a camp in the mountains to meet up with the three men who will assist him in the heist: Louis Mendoza (Cornel Wilde), who is working in the resort, and Red (Arthur Kennedy) and Babe (Alan Curtis), who are already living at the camp. Babe has also brought along a young woman, Marie (Ida Lupino). Roy wants to send Marie back to Los Angeles, but after some argument she convinces Roy to let her stay. At the camp Roy also is adopted by a small dog called Pard.

Marie falls in love with Roy as he plans and executes the robbery, but he does not reciprocate. On the drive up to the mountains, Roy met the family of Velma (Joan Leslie), a young woman with a deformed foot who walks with a limp. Roy pays for corrective surgery to allow Velma to walk normally. While she is convalescing, Roy asks Velma to marry him, but she refuses, explaining that she is engaged to a man from back home. When Velma’s fiancé arrives, Roy then turns to Marie, and the two become lovers.

While Roy and Marie leave town, a dragnet is put out for him. The two separate in order to allow Marie time to escape, while Roy is pursued until he climbs one of the Sierra mountains, where he holes up overnight. Shortly after sunrise, Roy trades shots with the police down the mountain from him, he hears Pard barking and runs out calling Marie’s name and is shot dead from behind by a sharp shooter.

Gentleman Jim

  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Producers: Robert Buckner
  • Writers: James J Corbett, Vincent Lawrence, Horace McCoy
  • Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith

In 1890s San Francisco, boxing is illegal. James J. Corbett (Errol Flynn), a brash young bank teller, attends a match with his friend Walter Lowrie (Jack Carson). When a police raid nets Judge Geary, a member of the board of directors of Corbett’s bank, Corbett’s fast talking gets his superior out of trouble. The judge is looking to improve the image of boxing by recruiting men from more respectable backgrounds and having them fight under the Marquess of Queensbury rules. He has even imported British coach Harry Watson (Rhys Williams) to evaluate prospects. Watson finds that Corbett, raised in a combative Irish immigrant family headed by Pat Corbett (Alan Hale), has excellent fighting skills; Geary likes his protegé’s seemingly-polished manner.

However, Corbett’s arrogance irritates many of the upper class, particularly Victoria Ware (Alexis Smith). They clash frequently, but Corbett is attracted to her, and his limitless self-confidence and charm eventually overcome her distaste for him.

Meanwhile, Corbett becomes a professional prizefighter. He acquires a manager, Billy Delaney (William Frawley), and introduces a new, more sophisticated style of boxing, emphasizing footwork over the unscientific brawling epitomized by world champion John L. Sullivan (Ward Bond). After winning several matches, Corbett finally gets the opportunity to take on the great man. Corbett’s method of boxing baffles Sullivan, and Corbett wins not only the title, but also Victoria.

The Roaring Twenties

  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Producers: Hal B Wallis
  • Writers: Mark Hellinger, Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, Robert Rossen
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart, Gladys George

After the World War I armistice, Lloyd Hart (Jeffrey Lynn) goes back to practice law, former saloon keeper George Hally (Humphrey Bogart) turns to bootlegging, and out-of-work Eddie Bartlett (James Cagney) becomes a cab driver. Eddie builds a fleet of cabs through delivery of bootleg liquor and hires Lloyd as his lawyer. George becomes Eddie’s partner and the rackets flourish until love and rivalry interfere. Gladys George plays a night club hostess clearly based on Texas Guinan.

White Heat

  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Producers: Louis F Edelman
  • Writers: Virginia Kellogg, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Film-Noir
  • Actors: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O Brien

Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) is the ruthless, deranged leader of a criminal gang. Although married to Verna (Virginia Mayo), Jarrett is overly attached to his equally crooked and determined mother, ‘Ma’ Jarrett (Margaret Wycherly), his only real confidante. When he has one of his splitting headaches, she consoles him, sits him on her lap and gives him a whiskey with the toast, “Top of the world.” It is revealed that Jarrett’s father died in an insane asylum.

Jarrett and his gang rob a train, resulting in the deaths of four members of the train crew and one of Jarrett’s accomplices, Zuckie (Ford Rainey). With the help of informants, the police soon close in and Jarrett shoots and injures US Treasury investigator Philip Evans (John Archer). Jarrett then confesses to a lesser crime, which was committed by an associate at the same time as the train robbery, thus providing Jarrett with an alibi. He is sentenced to one to three years.

Evans is not fooled. He plants undercover agent Hank Fallon (Edmond O’Brien) in Jarrett’s cell; Fallon goes by the name Vic Pardo. His main task is to find the “Trader”, a fence who launders stolen money for Jarrett.

Jarrett’s henchmen are shot by the police or by Jarrett himself when they try to give themselves up. Jarrett then flees to the top of a gigantic gas storage tank. When Fallon shoots Jarrett several times with a rifle, Jarrett starts firing into the tank and shouts, “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” just before it goes up in a massive explosion.