True History of the Kelly Gang
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basically just propaganda
This was very unique as a war story but quite enjoyable, the real-life story of Father Duffy, military priest for a New York-based group of mostly Irish Americans. Weird seeing James Cagney play a disliked, standoffish braggard who ends up being cowardly on the battlefront. Pat O'Brien's outstanding as the main character.
This World War 1 movie was based on fact which means some of it was Hollywoodized.
'The Fighting 69th' gets a lot of mileage out of every cliche you've ever seen in a war film. It's hokey corn from start to end--and yet, despite the fact that you've seen it all before--it's an enjoyable enough experience because of its stellar cast of Warner stock players.
James Cagney is the mug from Brooklyn who is nasty to one and all, described by one character as "the man they'd rather riddle with bullets than the Germans." Pat O'Brien is the true-life character of Father Duffy who has a major job on his hands trying to reform Cagney in time for the fadeout.
Cagney plays a cocky braggart who joins the 69th Infantry Regiment in WW1 who turns out to be a bit of a coward. His cowardice results in the death of several of his comrades. The movie ends with him diving on a grenade to save another. A bit of a cliche.
Interestingly Cagney spends most of the movie playing the coward. He's not the streetwise tough guy you're used to. A very enjoyable early war movie.
A movie that shows Cagney can play against type and do so convincingly, though the setup is a bit slow by today's standards it does get across the idealism that led so many to fight the hun in the first world war.
ok pre-war propaganda
Good, but not great. Reasonably one-dimensional. Feels contrived and unrealistic, filled with speeches and gung ho rhetoric. If this movie was meant to be a propaganda film it is odd, as the US wasn't in WW2 at the time it was made. Ending is a tad predictable.
"Somebody outta frag his ass."-Bunny (Kevin Dillon) PLATOON
Cagney plays a coward! This is an odd war film, it contains an all-star cast for the time but a lot of them don't get to do much. It's part comedy, part warning cry, part recruitment propaganda...a jack of all trades but master of none, its heart is certainly in the right place but despite a decent performance from the wee guy I wouldn't class it amongst Cagney's best.