Great Guy (1942)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Great Guy Videos

Great Guy Photos

Movie Info

After retiring from a boxing career, Johnny Cave (James Cagney) accepts an appointment to serve as head of the Bureau of Weights and Measures. However, when he discovers that his organization is full of corruption and lies, he sets out to uncover the scam, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Janet (Mae Clarke), and his underhanded coworkers.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Grand National Pictures

Watch it now


James Cagney
as Johnny 'Red' Cave
Mae Clarke
as Janet Henry
James Burke
as Patrick James Aloysius 'Pat' Haley
Henry Kolker
as Conning
Edward S. Brophy
as Pete Reilly
Bernadene Hayes
as Hazel Scott
Edward McNamara
as Capt. Pat Hanlon
Robert Gleckler
as Cavanaugh
Joe Sawyer
as Joe Burton
Mary Gordon
as Mrs. Ogilvie
Wallis Clark
as Joel Green
Douglas Wood
as The Mayor
Pete Reilly
as Edward Brophy
Eddy Chandler
as Meat clerk
Henry Roquemore
as Store manager
Kate Price
as Woman at Accident
Frank O'Connor
as Detective
Arthur Hoyt
as Furniture salesman
Jack Pennick
as Truck Driver
Lynton Brent
as Reporter
John Dilson
as City Editor
Bud Geary
as Guest
Robert Lowery
as Parker
Bobby Barber
as Grocery clerk
Ethelreda Leopold
as Burton's Girl Friend
Bruce Mitchell
as Cop at Accident
James "T-Model" Ford
as Party guest
Frank Mills
as Party guest
Ben Hendricks Jr.
as Party guest
Kernan Cripps
as Deputy
Bill O'Brien
as 2nd Meat Clerk
W.J. O'Brien
as Meat Clerk #2
Lester Dorr
as Chauffeur
Harry Tenbrook
as Receiving clerk
Lee Shumway
as Mike the cop
Gertrude Astor
as Party Guest
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Great Guy

There are no critic reviews yet for Great Guy. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates!

Audience Reviews for Great Guy


Just a grand, captivating movie. While it may seem the plot strange having it center around crime in a city's Weights & Measures, it doesn't matter. This is all about pressure and big city crime. Great Guy (1936) is a crime film starring James Cagney and Mae Clarke. An honest inspector for the New York Department of Weights and Measures takes on corrupt merchants and politicians. The bribes, the infuriating crap that goes on behind closed doors. Cagney gives a great performance as a little guy (as Director of a city department of Weights and Measures) fighting everyone, including his fiancee. The ending shows what we all want to see... we get to see Cagney beat the living crap out of his long time opponent even as the man is arrested. Its about time and we relish every second seeing Cagney take the guy apart. Cagney IS the movie. Make no mistake about it. He's tough, but not infallible. He gets kidnapped and framed. He gets roughed up and loses. But in the end, the police come to his aid to settle this monstrous tale of corruption in a city gone mad with thievery, bribes, blackmail, threats. The title, however, tells us little of the film. It tells us nothing of the corruption in city politics that the film exposes. It tells us nothing of the romance Cagney almost loses due to his stubborn determination to root out evil. This is a film that all crime films should measure up to. NOTES about the film: 1 This was James Cagney's first film in more than 11 months because of litigation following the termination of his contract at Warner Bros. 2 When James Cagney swung at Joe Sawyer in the party scene, Sawyer jerked back his head, which hit actor Jack Perry ,who was one of the party guests, and broke his nose. 3 Writes RT reviewers: 1 "Great movie. James Cagney plays a hard-ass inspector for the Department of Weights and Measures, and he's not taking sh*t from anybody...." 2 "Solid little "B" film, James Cagney shines, and the supporting cast is great." 3 "The interesting role for James Cagney is probably the main reason to watch "Great Guy". The role in itself is a fairly uncommon one for a leading role, and Cagney gives it his own distinctive style. The movie overall is a solid if rather predictable crime drama, with a couple of interesting details." See the entire film at: Cast James Cagney as Johnny Cave Mae Clarke as Janet Henry James Burke as Patrick James Aloysius Haley Edward Brophy as Pete Reilly Henry Kolker as Abel Canning Bernadene Hayes as Hazel Scott Edward McNamara as Captain Pat Hanlon Robert Gleckler as Marty Cavanaugh Joe Sullivan as Joe Burton Directed by John G. Blystone Produced by Douglas MacLean Written by James Edward Grant (story) Henry McCarty Henry Johnson Harry Ruskin (addl. dialogue) Distributed by Grand National Pictures Release date(s) December 1936 Running time 75 minutes

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

Cagney is a great guy, and a great actor, but this movie isn't so great.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


Great movie. James Cagney plays a hardass inspector for the Department of Weights and Measures, and he's not taking sh*t from anybody. The quality of the film is awful. I dunno if it's just the copy I had or what, but some parts were very badly spliced. This is a great movie for anyone fond of the old school gangster movies. It's got James freaking Cagney, it's gotta be good!

Mark Arnott
Mark Arnott

Great Guy Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Great Guy on our Movie forum!

News & Features