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City for Conquest

Released Sep 21, 1940 1h 41m Drama List
80% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 74% Audience Score 500+ Ratings
Truck driver Danny Kenny (James Cagney) gets into boxing to help his talented younger brother, Eddie (Arthur Kennedy), pay for music school. But when Danny's relationship with his girlfriend, Peggy Nash (Ann Sheridan), disintegrates, boxing becomes his life. After Danny's blows knock down opponent after opponent, he gets a shot at competing for the welterweight championship. But when a corrupt fight ends with Danny's vision getting damaged, his entire future is put into question. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (5) Critics Reviews
Variety Staff Variety Picture carries plenty of dramatic punch. Nov 1, 2007 Full Review Bosley Crowther New York Times Uunevenly paced, mounts slowly to a sizzling prizefight sequence, which comes somewhere about the middle, then sags off to a long-drawn, agonized finish. Rated: 2/5 Mar 25, 2006 Full Review TV Guide Litvak's careful poduction overcomes any flaws. Rated: 3.5/4 Nov 1, 2007 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews The heartwrenching tearjerker love story surfaces at the end as a winner by a narrow decision. Rated: B- Jul 22, 2006 Full Review Film4 Staff Film4 Cagney's marvellous performance almost saves the mawkish ending. May 24, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member I thought I had seen most of the James Cagney movies and then discovered "City for Conquest" on TCM. It boasts a wonderful performance by Cagney and Ann Sheridan too and director Elia Kazan in an acting role as a gangster before he began directing films. A very enjoyable film and have a handkerchief available for the finale. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/10/23 Full Review Audience Member sappy, by todays standards Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member Cagney boxing movie. Melodramatic, but very enjoyable. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 06/14/19 Full Review bill t Interesting parrallel story of a up and coming boxer and his goil, an up and coming singer, sort of falls apart in the second half and becomes oscar bait sentimentality with Cagney chewing the scenery. Ends with a big number, a big speech AND a tearful reunion! Ho boy... Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member I'm unashamedly a James Cagney enthusiast--in fact, he's my very favourite actor (like me, he's at least part-Irish, and he's more versatile than Orson Welles), so yes, I tend to be overly generous when I'm watching his films. But I really enjoyed this gangster/boxing hybrid film from the early 40's that, not only sported great acting by Cagney but also had wonderful performances by Ann Sheridan (I'm rather fond of redheads too), Anthony Quinn and a rare acting role for top-notch director Elia Kazan. Yes, it was melodramatic, a tearjerker and overly predictable--people talk about those qualities as if they were bad things. Also being an aficionado of many types of music, particularly jazz and classical, I found it highly compelling of the filmmakers to utilize music as a way of communicating the inexpressible (the trials and tribulations, dreams and pitfalls). Highly recommended for anyone who likes seeing filmmakers think outside of the box for once, and dare to try something different. Especially if you love Cagney and classic cinema as much as I do, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/06/23 Full Review Audience Member I showed this movie recently to our men's group. This film has a good musical score and three careers to focus on. It is a movie with "Middle Class" appeal. The ups and downs, and the great Gershwin style culmination are entertaining, and bring the audience to be involved emotionally. Cagney reminds you of "Public Enemy" while walking the streets, but the real lesson here is the hazards of choosing money over love in the case of Ann Sheridan, and the consequences of fame. But the film never fails on hope. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/02/23 Full Review Read all reviews
City for Conquest

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis Truck driver Danny Kenny (James Cagney) gets into boxing to help his talented younger brother, Eddie (Arthur Kennedy), pay for music school. But when Danny's relationship with his girlfriend, Peggy Nash (Ann Sheridan), disintegrates, boxing becomes his life. After Danny's blows knock down opponent after opponent, he gets a shot at competing for the welterweight championship. But when a corrupt fight ends with Danny's vision getting damaged, his entire future is put into question.
Director
Anatole Litvak
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Sep 21, 1940, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 21, 2016
Runtime
1h 41m
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