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  • A delightful example of 1930's comedy, with James Cagney on fire as a tough and uncultured geneologist-scam artist who matches wits with an assortment of shady types in pursuit of a dead rich woman's fortune.

    The dialogue is snappy and frequently laugh-out loud, the supporting cast led by Bette Davis is fine, and James Cagney is particularly hilarious in his portrayal.

    One of the subplots involves Cagney's attempts to learn a little class with which to impress his love/nemesis Davis, and there is a sustained scene of hijinks concerning this that will have you laughing and commending Cagney's acting at the same time. All I can say is that I will never look at tea the same way again!

    Finally, this movie is worth seeing just because it was directed by the great Michael Curtiz. This was the first time Curtiz was entrusted with a really major film project, and he makes the most of it. Of course, Curtiz would later direct Cagney in arguably his greatest role, that of Rocky in Angels With Dirty Faces (1938). Curtiz also directed such classics as Casablanca (1942), Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Sea Wolf (1941), The Sea Hawk (1940), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942 - which won James Cagney an Oscar) and many many other great films.

    Between Curtiz, Cagney, Davis, and the rest, there is a lot to like about this movie. It's not Heavy Drama, but if you like the kinds of witty and lighthearted comedies that flourished in Hollywood during the 1930's, you will enjoy this example.
  • I have seen this unforgettable movie but once - on television - and have been trying to find a copy to buy ever since.

    Such a splendid cast, with James Cagney as (cocky) 'Jimmy' Corrigan, Bette Davis as (classy) Miss Joan Martin, Allen Jenkins as (tough guy) Lou, Alan Dinehart as (smarmy) Charles Wallingham, and Alice White as (lovely) Miss Mabel

    What delightful dialog. For instance, ordered to show a little class by Jimmy in his attempt to impress Miss Martin, a lady receptionist answered his phone by asking, "To whom do you wish to speak?" and then promptly blowing it with, "He ain't in."

    James Cagney's menacing but humorous persona verily glowed in this movie. The mold was broken when Jimmy Cagney departed.
  • This is slightly superior to Blonde Crazy in that the stars have been given slightly livelier dialogue and that Bette Davis glows as a wise-ass blonde rather than Joan Blondell's put-upon blonde. Both are great, but some of the rip offs in this film are truly great and Allen Jenkins adds ten points to any film he's in. These golden age films have the writers that current day movies lack. No one steams anymore unfortunately. Cagney is a cock rooster and the world's a better place for seeing him go through his paces. I hope dvd brings all these movies back.
  • Jimmy Corrigan is an unpolished, unmannered, unscrupulous con man specializing in finding bogus claimants for the unclaimed fortunes of wealthy people who die without an heir. Charles Wallingham, his chief rival, has stolen away his "Girl Friday," Joan Marsh, with whom Corrigan is still smitten.

    When he goes to Wallington's office to try to win her back, he is struck by its contrast to his own organizational style. Instead of the herd of crude and ugly "mugs" he has working for him, Wallingham's operation boasts a gaggle of beautiful, well-mannered, cultured secretarial hostesses who serve clients tea and crumpets with friendly smiles. Unlike Corrigan, Wallingham is well-dressed, cultured, and erudite. In order to try to win back Joan, as well as improve his operation, Jimmy decides to transform himself into a "gent."

    Cagney and Davis are in top form in this early example of the new screen genre that would be soon known as 'Screwball Comedy." Cagney draws upon all the vocabulary in his unique body language: his arching back and idiosyncratic walk, to great comedic advantage, and there are smaller examples of the Davis mannerisms that would later inspire impressionists for decades. Both Cagney and Davis had a great affinity for fast-paced dialog, and this 1934 effort contains a similar premise to "His Girl Friday," the high water mark of the genre, as an unprincipled con-man tries to woo back his business partner/girl friend.

    It's interesting that the two stars' only other collaboration would be eight years later in "The Bride Came C.O.D.," another fast-paced Screwball Comedy. Too bad they didn't make more together. They could have been Warners' answer to MGM's William Powell and Myrna Loy.
  • I loved this amazing movie. I can't believe the amount of plot and dialogue weaved into 67 minutes by Cagney and Curtiz.

    Cagney just does not shut up, thankfully. He is brilliant. The idea that he was a shady geneologist who goes semi-straight and that Bette Davis was his foil was interesting. Lots of lauggh out loud scenes in this movie.
  • This pre-code film starring James Cagney has him playing Jimmy Corrigan who is a private detective specializing in finding heirs to large fortunes. He's in competition with Alan Dinehart who calls himself a "geneologist" and has just about the same set of ethics Cagney has. The only difference is Cagney lacks the polish of Dinehart and is less a hypocrite.

    Now no one ever confused James Cagney with Ronald Colman on the screen and I daresay they probably were never up for the same parts, but Cagney dumbs it down to Leo Gorcey levels in order to contrast himself with Dinehart. It's effective though.

    What makes this film special is that the leading lady is Bette Davis who was a year away from finally getting Jack Warner to give her a role with substance in Of Human Bondage. Speaking of class, you can see that Ms. Davis has it in abundance and that she wasn't going to be held down with supportive leading lady roles. Later on Cagney and Davis were given The Bride Came COD when both were big box office names.

    Cagney is quite the operator here and I won't tell you exactly what he does, he does bend our legal system over backwards though. And if he's not exactly reformed, he does learn the difference between class and manners.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of the more lightweight comedies Bette Davis made early in her career, working for Warner Bros. JIMMY THE GENT pairs Davis up for the first time with James Cagney. Cagney was another powerhouse actor who would engage in his own form of battle against the studio for handing down unremarkable stories with rather repetitive characters in which he was almost invariably the gangster. Here, his flashing an extreme military buzz cut was his way of protesting, and in Bette Davis he found a kindred spirit. They were well matched here and would be so in THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. made in 1941, right before his own Oscar win for the musical YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

    A convoluted plot centering on Jimmy Corrigan, an investigator in charge of tracking down missing people -- in this case, heirs -- and his rivalry with onetime girlfriend Joan Martin, now working for a competitor, James Wallingham (Alan Dinehart). At a little over an hour, the movie has a near breakneck pace and its dialog is as rhythmic as a jazz piano. It's not a matter of what happens or who does what to whom as much as seeing Corrigan try and win his girl back. Directed by Michael Curtiz, he of MILDRED PIERCE fame, this is a pretty entertaining short movie, less gritty and hard bitten, a little farcical here and there, but still little more than a product churned out for the masses, devoid of any real style.
  • MStillrage19 December 2000
    Cagney was tired of playing mugs by this point in his career, but he played this one comically.(Humor is a Cagney trait in any of his roles.) He intentionally had the studio barber put bottle scars on his head just to annoy Hal B. Wallis!!! Ya gotta love that. His attitude towards Warner's was getting worse,understand? He could play a thug like DaVinci could draw a dame named Mona. But in spite of his frustrations with the studio,I personally view this as one of his most memorable performances of the 30s!!
  • Jimmy the Gent (1934)

    As an old-film lover, I'm going to have to disagree with the majority of reviewers here and say this film is too flawed and formulaic to rise above its peers. Even its star, James Cagney, is a bit rote and predictable, taking on a harsh edge that prevents any depth to his supposedly complicated character. The other star is in retrospect—this is an early Bette Davis appearance, and she's wonderful to see so unformed, but she, too, is playing a common role.

    All is not disaster here, for sure. The pace is terrific, and turns of plot, which are a problem overall in their quick succession, keep you on your toes. There are stock characters in secondary roles who will be familiar to early Warner Bros. fans, and the filming is generally solid, if bright and a bit dull, too.

    Yes, there are hesitations at every turn. Director Michael Curtiz has been cranking out films by the dozen for Hollywood by now, after emigrating from Europe, and many of those are frankly better and worth seeking out. But he's a long way from the mastery of "Casablanca" or "Mildred Pierce," as a director above all.

    The story here seems workable—Cagney and Davis play characters who scheme a complicated scam involving a huge inheritance. The twists are basically a farce because there are so many and they happen without warning. In fact, I think the style of the film is to have everything just "happen" in a madcap way, and the audience is to be dazzled and impressed by the audacity of the writers. But there is a little sense of involvement that would help very much, a wanting the characters to win or lose at their efforts. One example is how two court cases are reduced to a single sentence each: the judges reading their conclusion.

    That seems dandy in a way, a hugely streamlined plot. But it defines superficial, too. In these two cases, there is time spent watching the courtroom crowd reacting to the news, but we don't really care about that. We aren't made to care.

    Not that this should be a drama, of course. It's a comedy plain and simple. And a slip of romance sneaks in as our two leads brush past each other now and then. All of it is interesting, and it's never quite boring. But for a fast pre-Code or early Code era movie, there are many examples that are fast, funny, and engrossing and inventive, too. Expect only the effects here.
  • Con man Jimmy Corrigan (James Cagney) runs an agency that finds heirs of those who died without a will and he's not above providing phony heirs in order to collect his fee. His girlfriend (Bette Davis) didn't approve of his underhanded techniques so she left him to go work for his supposedly honest and respectable competitor. In order to win her back, Jimmy tries to prove he can go straight and become a respectable gentleman.

    Cagney and Davis are both enjoyable in this snappy comedy, each getting plenty of good lines. Cagney, with his bow-tie, crew cut, and nasal accent, is different than most other pictures I've seen him in from this period. Another fine example of what an underrated actor he was, even doing these WB programmers. They're backed up by a fine supporting cast including Allen Jenkins, Arthur Hohl, and Alan Dinehart. A fun one for fans of Jimmy and Bette.
  • Aesthetically speaking, this is a pretty average Jimmy Cagney film. It stars Cagney as the pretty typical fast-talking but likable schemer and Bette Davis in a rather forgettable role she probably detested. Miss Davis reportedly liked Cagney but longed for roles where she was more than just "the girlfriend". In this film she is slightly more, as she's bright and pretty assertive, but once again it was the type of role that would neither hurt nor help her career to get to the next level. She was quite good in the film, but indications of her future greatness just aren't all that obvious.

    However, despite the film's averageness and Miss Davis' limited character and the film only earning a 6, I actually enjoyed the film quite a bit. It's exactly the type of formulaic Warner Brothers film I enjoy and I try to see every Cagney, Pat O'Brien or Edward G. Robinson film of this era I can find because they are just a lot of fun to watch. Yes, they are rather predictable, but somehow Warner still made the characters likable and compelling. In this case, Cagney plays his typical guy skirting the edges of larceny in the form of a guy running a company that seeks out lost relatives to inherit fortunes. I also thought that juxtaposing this unsophisticated lout of a character with the classy charmer who is wooing Bette was an excellent move--particularly in how this played out in the end.

    A typical Cangey film with some very unusual plot elements and twists, this movie is just plain fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Whew" - here's the kind of early Jimmy Cagney picture where he pulls out all the stops as a fast talking con man, and even if he has an ultimately noble intention of winning back his girl in the end, you're never really quite sure how things will work out. Bette Davis is that girl by the way, and she shares the kind of snappy dialog with Cagney that was honed to a razor wit by the time of 1940's "His Girl Friday" with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Joan Martin (Davis) once worked for Jimmy Corrigan (Cagney) in the 'Personal Contacts' business, but left for competitor Charles Wallingham (Alan Dinehart) who runs a more refined enterprise, including daily tea breaks with the staff. But no matter which way you slice it, both operators are in it for the money, tracking down wealthy patrons who have passed on leaving sizable fortunes.

    You'll have to be really attentive to stay on top of the main plot involving a two hundred thousand dollar inheritance from a deceased heiress. The only problem is, Monty Barton (Arthur Hohl) is on the run from a murder rap, and Cagney's character has to come up with a way to make the will stick until he can get his share of the dough. Getting his former gal pal back would be a bonus, and if you can keep things straight, the final payoff is a winner.

    I've seen Allen Jenkins in enough Cagney films now to actually expect him to be there, so I wasn't disappointed this time. He's around as Corrigan's right hand man, but the first time they come in contact on screen you'll want to consider how political correctness wasn't a factor in films of the Thirties. When Lou (Jenkins) enters Jimmy's office he's greeted with "You dumb Guinea dope, you silly lookin' ape"! It's the kind of stuff that makes you go for the re-wind button on your remote.

    As for Miss Davis, I kept looking for those Bette Davis eyes but they hadn't quite matured yet. Her performance here wasn't that exceptional, but what a difference a couple of years made; her role as the wistful dreamer Gabby Maple in the 1936 movie "The Petrified Forest" was remarkable.

    Cagney of course started right out of the gate in roles that featured him as a con man or gangster and this was no exception. He plays a similar fast talking character in 1933's "Hard To Handle" where he's quick to turn a buck from a gullible public. Unfortunately a lot of his earliest films aren't available commercially, so you have to be in the right place at the right time to catch them on one of the classic movie cable channels. For my money, Cagney found just the right tempo and pacing in a few more years to portray Rocky Sullivan in one of my all time top ten films - "Angels With Dirty Faces".
  • TheLittleSongbird19 December 2019
    Have always had a thing for seeing films that have great casts or actors/actresses etc. that do a lot for me. That is yet another case of too many to count and list with 'Jimmy the Gent'. Love Bette Davis (i.e. 'All About Eve'), even when she featured in films that were not worthy of her, and James Cagney was great in 'White Heat' and 'Yankee Doodle Dandy'. Michael Curtiz directed two of my favourite films 'Casablanca' and 'The Adventures of Robin Hood'.

    'Jimmy the Gent' is certainly worth the watch and definitely recommended, it is entertaining, well made and played with professionalism by people that clearly knew what they were doing and cared. Davis and Cagney did both do better though, in terms of both films and performances, and the same goes for Curtiz and his direction, particularly the above cited films on all counts. So to me it is not one of those must-see films. A longer length would have helped and if it tried to do a little bit less.

    While not lavish, not that it needed to be, 'Jimmy the Gent' is well photographed with the right amount of gritty yet never cheap atmosphere. The music may not stay embedded in the brain a long time after, but it is a good match for the story's tone and at least appeals to the ears. It is breezily directed by Curtiz, while the script crackles amusingly and at its best hilariously.

    The story has some fun twists and turns, is taut enough and is never dull. Cagney is in a role that plays to his strengths and gives a performance full of energy and that is entertainingly larger than life. Davis' character is not as interesting but she is charming and sassy, making the most of her role. The supporting cast are fine too, Allen Jenkins contrasting endearingly with Cagney.

    On the other hand, there are times where the pace was a little hectic and the story over-stuffed. A longer length again would have helped.

    Just over an hour felt far too short and with little time to go into more depth. Something that was missing here, giving the film a little emotional blandness.

    Concluding, fun film if not great. 7/10
  • This flick was indeed a lighthearted fun romp. The "playing the dozens-esque" lines between the various characters are as priceless as a Walton family inheritance. The Fight of the Night honors goes to Davis and Cagney. Their sparring was as precious as a mother's love ... mmm ...well almost.

    I can't wait for the next time someone tells me that they're thinking about me.
  • The best reason to see "Jimmy the Gent" is for the attractive young Bette Davis. Jimmy Cagney's loud persona of the tough guy from the streets was in full mode by the time of this film, and he would carry that most of his career. It worked for the shoot-em-up gangster films for which he was best known. But it doesn't go over very well in comedies. Which is probably why he wasn't cast in more than a couple such films.

    Cagney mellowed by the time of his last few films in the 1960s and thereafter. So, he was very good as Bull Halsey in "The Gallant Hours." And, in the Soviet satire, "One, Two, Three," he was good with his frantic movements without the overboard shouting and street tough guy.

    On the other hand, Bette Davis was fast building her star status in many films in these first years of her career. She showed her talent and versatility in a variety of roles and films - including comedy. Her Joan Martin comes across as a lively, sharp, and interesting young woman capable of handling the likes of Jimmy.

    While the plot may not be hot for this film, the story and screenplay are worse. The idea was okay, but this film just didn't have all the right stuff to make it work - starting with a sharp script. What little comedy it has is mostly flattened by the overly boisterous Cagney character, Jimmy Corrigan.

    The rest of the cast are so-so, but Allen Jenkins deserves credit for playing Louie and having to bear the brunt of Jimmy's outbursts and temper tantrums.

    It's too bad that Cagney was so sold on his tough guy image, because he had considerable talent as a song and dance man and actor. Audiences got a couple of glimpses of what he could do in "The West Point Story" of 1950 and "Come Fill the Cup" of 1951,

    Unless one is a particular fan of Davis or Cagney, this film probably won't be very entertaining.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It amazes me that most movies are now over two hours long, yet most in the 1930s and 40s were rarely longer that 90 minutes. Jimmy clocks in at one hour, 15 minutes yet it still manages to tell a story. One trick they used back then was to use newspaper headlines to show passage of time or subject matter. This movie opens to headlines of a lot of very rich dead people dying in various accidents. So I was expecting something nefarious but no, it is about two businesses, both in the rather creepy business of locating lost heirs when someone rich dies intestate. Apparently Joan Martin (Bette Davis) had once worked for Jimmy (Cagney) but felt he was too slimy, so she went to work for Mr. Wallingham who is slimy in his own way. The way he keeps inserting foreign words into his convos to make himself appear more urbane is irritating. In the sacrifice of time to build on the storyline, we do not get that Jimmy is trying to woo Joan, and we really don't know she actually likes him, as she exhibits contempt in most of their scenes together. The main theme is that an old lady died and is worth about $200K. Jimmy has found a nephew who unfortunately is wanted for killing someone (I know, what a light-hearted comedy!) Cagney's annoying staccato delivery aside, he gets the guy off and then collects his 50% finder's fee. And, of course, gets the gal in the end.
  • "Jimmy the Gent" was the first teaming of James Cagney and Bette Davis. The film is what is known as a "screwball comedy" but the plot is a bit contrived and weak. The running time is only 67 minutes bit it felt longer somehow. Michael Curtiz made far better films than "Jimmy the Gent" but still he does a good job of the direction. The leads are absolute dynamite though. You get two actors who are both strong, both as performers and in their screen presence. They light up the screen as you can feel the tension as neither character will back down from the other, in Cagney's attempts to win back Davis after she has ditched him.
  • What does it say about the Depression that films from this era so often had scenarios where one could get rich quick, and in some highly improbable way? Maybe it's like the lotto fantasy of today's world of wealth disparity, and the more we see these types of schemes, the bigger underlying problem we have. Anyway. In this one, the premise is a pair of rival companies of 'genealogists' who take advantage of cases where a rich person dies suddenly and without a will, finding their heirs for a cut or producing phony ones. Rich people die without wills all the time right?

    James Cagney plays the leader of one of the firms, and Alan Dinehart the other. Bette Davis is Dinehart's main assistant, having worked for Cagney before and leaving him for a lack of ethics. He protests, saying that all businessmen are crooked, and that "there's only two kinds of guys in business - those who get caught and those who don't!" It's a cynical view, but perhaps justified, especially in times when unchecked capitalism and corporate greed lets us down. Regardless, the two are an interesting contrast; Cagney is coarse and slaps his assistant (Allen Jenkins) around, whereas Dinehart is refined and serves proper English tea in the office. The premise is silly, but the way Cagney plays his con is clever. It involves a character played by Alice White and I was happy to see her, but it's unfortunate she was so ditzy. Bette Davis is sharp and engaging though, and more than makes up for this, and at the end of the day, there is more than enough charm in seeing her and Cagney in this minor film of theirs to make it interesting.
  • This very fun film starring James Cagney and Bette Davis really had me wondering about the person behind Ms. Davis' dialogue. I'll get to that later.

    Cagney plays Corrigan, a so-called "genealogist" who is in reality a con man. Of course he looks and acts like one, too. He and his group, which includes Allen Jenkins, try to bilk people out of their inheritances.

    Across the way is Wallingham (Alan Dinehart). He's a genealogist, too, in a very fancy office. He's immaculately dressed, and an immaculate, formal staff go from person to person offering them tea and magazines.

    As one can imagine, when Jimmy visits the office, he's impressed and wants an office just like that. His old secretary, Joan (Davis) works there now, but for ten months she worked for Corrigan. She thinks Wallingham has ethics.

    The plot concerns a woman found dead from poisoning. Homeless and hungry, she ate a partially eaten hamburger bun out of garbage but had no way of knowing the original recipient had been poisoned with it.

    Everyone laments her fate until they get a load of her coat. It is double-lined with bonds, jewels, gold, and the key to a safe deposit box. Wallingham doesn't know he has a mole in his office (Phillip Reed), who tips off Corrigan, and the race is on.

    Corrigan moves into new digs and starts dressing better to impress Joan, and he comes up with a honey of a scheme to retrieve this money from the woman's daughter, who is sure her mother's husband is dead.

    Very funny plot filled with twists and turns, and the film has great direction by Michael Curtiz. It moves like lightening. The dialogue is very funny.

    Cagney is not just a con artist - he plays it like he's really from the slums, which makes the difference between him and Dinehart even funnier. Also I swear he never stopped talking for the entire film.

    Davis is still, in 1934, moping along in these ordinary parts, wearing the blonde hair of the day and probably wondering when someone would give her a role to show off her talents. It happened soon after.

    Now for the dialogue. I started to wonder if someone was slipping incongruous lines into Davis' scripts. In Cabin in the Cotton, Davis utters one of the most baffling lines in film history, and actually she used it to close her interview with John Springer that toured the country: "I'd kiss you, but I just washed my hair."

    In Jimmy the Gent, her current boss, Wallingham, leans in for a kiss. Davis looks at him as if he's under a microscope and says, "I need a haircut."

    I wondered if this hair business had any significance in the early '30s. One of life's mysteries.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    . . . "I'd do my best." This exchange early on between "Jimmy" (James Cagney) and "Mabel" (Alice White) is about as witty as JIMMY THE GENT gets. Since Michael Curtiz directed this rather than IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT's Frank Capra, Jimmy is a gent without a heart. A dishonest current runs through every scene, even when Jimmy and "Joan" (Bette Davis) are together again at last. There may be no honor among thieves, but sometimes there's not much humor, either, as JIMMY THE GENT proves. Perhaps best classified as an early effort at screwball comedy which falls flat, the Warner Bros. funny bone seems broken from the opening montage of this flick, in which five millionaires die without legitimate wills in freak accidents. (This may smack of that old saw, "What do you call 83 Nazis on the bottom of the sea?" "U-Boat 377," but the attempts at humor just get darker from here.) I'm not saying that JIMMY THE GENT is as unpleasant as a root canal, but if you have one of those modern "relaxation" oriented dentists who screen movies during extended procedures, I would NOT recommend this one.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Keep an ear out for the ton of New York style double-talk in this pre-code comedy about a charming but sleazy private detective for estate inheritance and missing heirs, played by James Cagney. Rival agency secretary Bette Davis is in love with him, but after crying and taking dictation at the same time remains loyal to her employer (Alan Dinehart). The two agencies lay claim to an estate of an old female miser who died as a result of a poisoned cheese sandwich and left an estate of $200,000, with stocks, bonds and jewelry found on her corpse when she went to that great big bank vault in the sky, This fast-moving top bill of a "double feature" (at only 67 minutes) is a standard but speedy representation of what Warner Brothers was producing in the early-mid 1930's prior to the installation of that intrusive production code. Cagney and Davis both sparkle, although this is before she hit super-stardom and started collecting Oscar Nominationswith her own pair of bookends. Allen Jenkins is very funny as Cagney's dim-witted assistant, with Arthur Holh as the wanted murderer facing the electric chair who is first in line for the inheritance. Alice White and Mayo Methot as the two women of limited intelligence are utilized by Cagney in his scheme, and White's character in particular, is the dumb Dora of all time.

    The screenplay is filled with the most delightful sardonic dialog, with Cagney and Davis deliciously squabbling, making up, and starting all over again.
  • Jimmy the Gent (1934)

    ** (out of 4)

    A crooked businessman (James Cagney) pretends to go straight to win back his ex (Bette Davis). Considering the two leads and director Michael Curtiz, this was a major disappointment that really didn't work on any level. The only real reason to watch this is the performance from Cagney as well as his shaved head. Davis is very boring throughout and really brings down the film because she has no chemistry with Cagney.

    St. Louis Kid, The (1934)

    *** (out of 4)

    Exciting Warner Bros. "ripped from the headlines" film has James Cagney playing a truck driver who gets involved in a battle between farmers and the businessmen who aren't paying enough for milk. This is a fast, fun and action packed film, which is what audiences expected from a Cagney film. Cagney is very good in the role of the fast talking, quick to throw punches truck driver and the supporting cast helps him well.
  • jonerogers9 December 2018
    This great little print could have been a bit longer in my eyes as just over the hour wasn't enough for such a good film. Films in the 30s were shorter and I am not complaining it's just some I would love to see more of.

    This film sees the pairing of cagney and Bette Davis with that underrated Alan Jenkins who always makes me chuckle. Cagney plays the boss of a company that finds heirs for fortunes left by rich relatives. His sidekick (jenkins) being always on the end of a nice slap when things don't go to plan...it makes for some pretty funny scenes.

    Davis works for another firm carrying out the same heir hunting and the rival against Cagney.

    Davis and Cagney always work so well together and give a sense of comedy love to any film their in. Several funny scenes later and the film ends on a high.

    Over an a great film with plenty of laughs and as I said it could have done with being a little longer for our enjoyment.
  • This 67 minute film, now out on DVD, is well worth your time and money. Just don't ask Jimmy to help you to collect your estate -- or to arrange your marriage. 'Jimmy the Gent' includes just about everyone in the Warner Bros. stock company, and you can guess that it's a pre-Code film near the beginning. After Allen Jenkins walks in, receptionist Renee Whitney curtly asks him, "Where ya been?" He replies, enthusiastically, "I've been out, lookin' up an heiress."

    Bette Davis, still a starlet, shows up at about 9:50, with the 1/2-inch long false eyelashes that she sports in the film. She and Cagney spar(k) well together, and Alan Dinehart is the appropriate third side of the triangle. Besides the 47 actors listed in the cast, that looks and sounds like Leonard Mudie (or his identical twin brother) as the steamship line's ticket agent near the end. And check out the newspapers at the beginning. Evidently the first sportsman died within a day or so of the Copper King, because the same soon-to-be-famous track star is mentioned in the same article on the first page.
  • I'm not convinced that comedy was Warner Brothers' forte at this period; or maybe it's fast-paced humorous gangster movies starring Bette Davis that aren't quite my thing. At any rate, this film reminded me rather of "Satan Met a Lady", the last Warner comedy I'd seen (remembered today chiefly for the fact that it was their second version of "The Maltese Falcon", one of the few films where the remake was better than the original... but that, alas, was not to be until the third version!)

    To be fair, "Jimmy the Gent" is cleverer and funnier on the whole than "Satan Met a Lady"; but Bette Davis is equally uninspiring in it (one wonders how much effort she put into these supporting roles), and it isn't really my sort of film. Cheerful, generic stuff with a fair proportion of laughs and cringes (the mounting catalogue of implausible disasters at the beginning had me in hysterics), but I didn't find the hero as lovable as the film thinks he is, or the quickfire dialogue as funny as the scriptwriters presumably hoped.

    It was reasonably enjoyable, but not really worth the entrance fee as a rarity.