Review

  • Enjoyable vehicle (in more ways than one) for James Cagney as a champion race car driver overprotective of his younger brother. Cagney's always fun to watch and roles like this were a dime a dozen for him. Eric Linden plays the brother and he's pretty corny but, given the time in which this was made, he doesn't stand out much. Joan Blondell is the sexy dame who sets out to seduce Linden, much to Cagney's disapproval. The lovely and underrated Ann Dvorak steals all of her scenes as the "wrong side of the tracks" girl pining after Jimmy. Great character actors Frank McHugh and Guy Kibbee add color to things. Howard Hawks directs and, as you might imagine if you're familiar with his work, he especially shines with the racing scenes. Lots of cameos from popular racing stars of the time, so I'm sure racing buffs will want to see it for that alone. It's an entertaining drama with some exceptional action scenes. It was remade by Warners just seven years later as Indianapolis Speedway, starring frequent Cagney costars Pat O'Brien and Ann Sheridan, as well as Frank McHugh in the same role he plays here. That version is OK but less gritty. It also reuses the script and even footage from this one.