Lady Killer (1933)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

We first lay eyes on Jimmy Cagney in Lady Killer while he's working as a movie theater usher. This job lasts just long enough for Jimmy to be swindled in a "badger game" orchestrated by hard-boiled Mae Clarke and a gang of crooks headed by Douglass Dumbrille. Knowing a good thing when he sees it, Cagney joins the mob, and soon is calling the shots. But though he's got larceny in his soul, Cagney draws the line at murder, and when gang member Raymond Hatton is bumped off, Cagney and Clarke board the Super Chief and head to California. With the cops laying for Cagney in LA, he's suspicious of everyone. A shifty-looking mug (William B. Davidson) takes after Cagney on the street; catching up to the winded Cagney, the mug explains that he's a movie director, and that Cagney is a perfect "type" for an upcoming prison picture. After several months as a bit player, Cagney befriends good-natured movie-star Margaret Lindsay, who encourages Cagney to seek out bigger parts. The enterprising Cagney engineers a phony fan-mail campaign encouraging the studio to give him starring roles. Though now a slick, pomaded romantic lead in pictures, Cagney is still Cagney; when a snooty critic pans Lindsay's most recent performance, Cagney forces the reviewer to literally eat his words! It must needs be that Cagney's old gang shows up in Hollywood, planning to use Cagney's influence to gain entree into movie stars' mansions, then steal their valuables. Cagney says ixnay to this, so the mob schemes to take him for a ride. Tipped off by Clarke, Cagney is able to rout the crooks, save the day, and claim Lindsay for his bride. Lady Killer is vintage Cagney, throwing virtually every one of his star-making attributes (including one cute reference to his legendary "grapefruit scene" in 1931's Public Enemy) into one entertaining 76-minute stew.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Classics , Comedy , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

Cast

James Cagney
as Dan Quigley
Margaret Lindsay
as Lois Underwood
Mae Clarke
as Myra Gale
Henry O'Neill
as Ramick
Marjorie Gateson
as Mrs. Wilbur Marley
Robert Elliott
as Brannigan
John Marston
as Kendall
Douglas Dumbrille
as Spade Maddock
George Chandler
as George Thompson
George Blackwood
as The Escort
Jack Don Wong
as Oriental
Frank Sheridan
as Los Angeles Police Chief
Edwin Maxwell
as Jeffries, theater manager
Phil Tead
as Usher Sargeant Seymour
Dewey Robinson
as Movie fan
Harry C. Bradley
as Man with Purse
Harry Holman
as J.B. Roland
Harry Beresford
as Dr. Crane
Olaf Hytten
as Butler
Harry Strang
as Ambulance Attendant
Al Hill
as Casino Cashier
Dennis O'Keefe
as Man in casino
James Burke
as Hand-out
Clarence Wilson
as Dan's Lawyer
Sam McDaniel
as Porter
Spencer Charters
as Los Angeles Cop
Herman Bing
as Western director
Harold Waldridge
as Letter-handler
Luis Alberni
as Director
Ray Cooke
as Property Man
Sam Ash
as Hood
Grace Hayle
as Fat Woman with Dog
Clarence H. Wilson
as Dan's Lawyer
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Lady Killer

All Critics (3)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 24, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

A fully satisfying, if totally manic, joyride.

Full Review… | April 5, 2008
DVDTalk.com

[James] Cagney is at his insolent best as the perpetual-motion wiseguy, always with a ready crack yet resilient enough to laugh at a creative insult lobbed his way.

Full Review… | March 28, 2008
MSN.com

In Lady Killer Cagney does a comedic tough-guy, and he does it like almost no one before or since.

Full Review… | March 28, 2008
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Lady Killer

½

This isn't the best James Cagney film, but is good enough to watch for some memorable scenes and good acting from Mae Clark and Cagney himself.

Vadim Dyment
Vadim Dyment

A very funny pre-code movie with a great performance from Cagney. If you're a fan of his, don't miss this movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

Lady Killer is either a comedy that wants to be a gangster picture or a gangster picture that wants to be a comedy. It never really executes the combination of the two smoothly and the best you really get is a mess with a handful of amusing moments--one of which features monkeys trashing a party. James Cagney definitely has fun with the comedic side of the role while taking breaks playing his trademarked tough guy persona by giving Mae Clarke and arguably deserved tough time. The rest of the cast kind of falls to the wayside but even if you're not impressed, all you lost out on is an hour and 15 minutes of your life.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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