The action in this film is non-stop, with car chases, kidnappings, lots of shooting, and scenes at a lodge, reminiscent of a well-known real-life happening in Wisconsin.
Cagney is excellent as usual, and Barton MacLane gives a strong performance as the enemy. Lloyd Nolan, as a fellow recruit, makes his film debut.
Still, pretty entertaining, and Cagney has some great lines.
It's an enjoyable film, sure, but I wouldn't really call it all that great or distinguished. It's not bad, but I don't think it's all that special either. It does feature James Cagney playing a good guy for once, which is cool, but as I said, this is a very typical genre film. The performances are decent though, especially Cagney, and there's a decent amount of humor and some faily decent action, too.
All in all, an unremarkable film, but still slightly better than average. I don't fully recommend it, but I'm not saying avoid it either.
So in a way "G Men" (Government Man) is almost a watershed for the gangster pictures as was "Wizard Of Oz" was to the musicals. I admired the tough flat out dialogue and Cagney's performance as the government man breaking all the rules into bringing justice. There is romance too but it is not important but the violence is well directed and moves by fast and earned it's code by the MPAA and I admired the relationship between Cagney and Armstrong. After watching "G Men" it's what I call a first rate picture.
Cagney brings the same cockiness from his earlier gangster films to his young, former lawyer and newly turned government agent who refuses to take anything from his superiors. Like Warner Bros. earlier gangster pictures, they fill the movie with plenty of ammunition along with the bits of police procedural. One could even argue it as their most violent films of the era, one that wouldn‚(TM)t really get exceeded until later with Bonnie & Clyde. The script ‚" personally approved by founder J. Edgar Hoover himself ‚" is excellent throughout and is less predictable than many others of the same genre. Jimmy Cagney is in top form as he usually was throughout his entire career, but the supporting cast is excellent as well. Ann Dvorak and Margaret Lindsay don‚(TM)t receive as much screen time as the others but both of them shine in their few moments, particularly Ann Dvorak as Cagney‚(TM)s former love interest. But the best of all is Robert Armstrong as Jeff McCord, Cagney‚(TM)s superior. G-Men is pretty much a propaganda film to recruit new FBI agents but plays as a highly entertaining thrill ride that shows what goes on in trying to get the ‚bad guys‚?. It doesn‚(TM)t glorify the violence of the gangster lifestyle but instead shows a realistic view of the ‚right‚? side of the law. G-Men is a highly recommended film brought to us by one of the era‚(TM)s better filmmakers and one of Hollywood‚(TM)s most heralded studios. Perhaps the only thing that could have made the film any better was replacing the actor who played the main gangster with a star like George Raft or Humphrey Bogart but otherwise it‚(TM)s very much worth watching. 8/10
After playing a Gangster for the better part of four years, Cagney was allowed a curveball in 'G-Men'. Though not without a little prodding to the Warners, Jimmy turned the tables and finally portrayed the law, in one of the better F.B.I. films to this day. Breaking from his standard typecast, Cagney gets to show a little more range in a restrained lawman looking to use the law as his vehicle of payback. A great turn in a well paced and scripted film.
For Cagney fans or just old school movie lovers, bring the popcorn.