Each Dawn I Die - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Each Dawn I Die Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2010
If your a Cagney fan this is a must see, he's dynamic as ever. The script is just the standard Warners 30's prison pic but it's professionally done. Raft is stiff as ever and Jane Bryan overacts terribly but if you're a fan of the genre this is as good as any of them.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2007
After watching Each Dawn I Die you're not really going to wonder why its not one of James Cagney's more well known movies but its well worth the watch. This time out Cagney plays a tough guy reporter who gets framed for murder while trying to expose a corrupt would be politician. Inside he meets a career criminal who helps him clear his name. The first two acts are pretty solid but somewhere in the last act it kind of craps out. Its not exactly The Shawshank Redemption and its not quite Brute Force but for fans of Cagney and George Raft watching won't be wasted time.
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2008
Yet another great performance by James Cagney as a newspaper reporter who is set up by thugs and condemned to life in prison. George Raft plays a jailbird who claims to know how to help Cagney clear his name, if Cagney will help Raft escape from prison. Similar in tone and plot line to Mayor of Hell (which I saw immediately before this). Which treatment is more appropriate for prisoners -- vengeance and punishment or understanding and reform?
Super Reviewer
½ January 9, 2008
good gritty prison drama. cagney plays a reporter who goes in on a false charge and teams up with george raft to clear his name, ending, of course, in a full scale riot.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2011
James Cagney is great and so is George Raft. It's a standard prison picture with Cagney trying to reclaim his innocence. The last act of the picture is basically a prison riot cop out followed by a happy ending.
½ December 26, 2009
Cagney's performance was finer than most others that I've seen. This picture is certainly one of the better classic gangster films out there with a good story and better acting, it's almost like "I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang," only if Paul Muni had gotten free.
½ August 15, 2009
Great story, even if it is a bit far fetched. James Cagney's outstanding performance makes this one a must see film and is well worth watching. Good supporting cast.
May 22, 2015
hasn't aged perfectly but still enjoyable and with an underlying point
½ June 24, 2014
A great filibuster with James Cagney and George Raft--they play pretty well off of each other. One of the better of the gangster films nearing the end of Warner Brothers' 1930's cycle.
July 19, 2014
Each Dawn I Die is an excellent film. It is about reporter Frank Ross is found guilty of murder and is sent to jail. James Cagney and George Raft give incredible performances. The screenplay is well written. William Keighley did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and mystery. Each Dawn I Die is a must see.
February 1, 2014
My favorite Cagney movie because George Raft is in it.
½ January 14, 2013

The teaming of James Cagney and George Raft proved to be an added attraction. James Cagney, who had been seen as a bad guy in most of his gangster oriented movies, plays a good guy here who ends up in jail for a crime he didn't commit.
Similar to "Fugitive from a Chain Gang", this is a 1930's Warner Brothers film with a conscience, taking aim at corrupt politicians and brutal prisons. The flaws in the film are not due to lack of effort or creativity, but simply because this is the way they used to make those types of films. James Cagney and George Raft use their talent and star appeal to draw you in and keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie. It isn't necessarily a film you'd go out of your way to see, but it's definitely worth watching if you get the opportunity.
January 7, 2013
This is really an unsung masterpiece of the 1930s gangster genre. Jimmy Cagney plays a reporter framed for murder after exposing corruption in local politics. He's sent to one of the nastiest prisons around. He meets and befriends career criminal George Raft and helps him escape, taking the brunt of the punishment for the escape on himself. This is a mean little genre flick which flies along with almost no filler. Cagney is on the top of his game here, snapping and snarling his way through several superb monologues ... one that even ends with him bursting into tears. The prison riot/jail break finale is one of the most violent sequences of the 1930s.
½ November 23, 2012
This movie is fantastic. George Raft and James Cagney both were amazingly marvelous.
February 13, 2012
Cagney and Raft are great in this movie. Two men struggling with how enviroment and outside influnces can make you understand how everything is not totally black and white. Both men work as each others teachers showing that both nature and nurture have a way of effecting personality.
February 13, 2012
Another great Cagney role in a "good", not "great" movie. His character development is the best thing about this movie. This a pretty standard "I got framed. Went bad. Got redemption" movie. But I still enjoy watching it, mostly because I like a lot of movies from this era. If you're in the mood for this type of movie grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy. You may have trouble finding this movie. Once in a blue moon it's on TCM.
February 8, 2012
None of the plot points for this prison flick make a solitary lick of sense, but James Cagney is arresting as a crusading journalist who is framed and jailed by the very same corrupt district attorney he was about to expose. While incarcerated, Cagney predictably embroils the affairs of the guards and inmates. This old movie isn't a classic, but devotees of 1930's crime films will probably find something to like about it.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2011
James Cagney is great and so is George Raft. It's a standard prison picture with Cagney trying to reclaim his innocence. The last act of the picture is basically a prison riot cop out followed by a happy ending.
June 17, 2011
And the table was set...

This film marked the first for George Raft under the Warners' regime. Famous as a young song and dance man, Raft later became Paramount's answer to Cagney in their mobster film genre, but in the end, no one could compete with the Warner Bros. in that category. The film paired Cagney with his semi-rival and the two did well together on screen. Two song and dance actors in gritty gangster stereotype action makes for a great film. The story is well paced and keeps in stride, a well versed supporting ensemble to help.

Ironically, it was Raft who would later turn down 'High Sierra' and 'The Maltese Falcon', making way for another Cagney gangster co-star, Humphrey Bogart.
Page 1 of 2