Picture Snatcher

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 211
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Movie Info

An admirably tough B-picture enlivened by an energetic James Cagney performance, Picture Snatcher stars Cagney as Danny Kean, a former gangster who has decided to go straight after a stretch in the big house. Danny has fallen for Patricia (Patricia Ellis), the daughter of the cop who put him away (Robert Emmett O'Connor). Dad isn't convinced that Danny has left his life of crime behind him, and he isn't too impressed with his new career taking pictures for a sleazy tabloid newspaper. Between getting a lurid photo of a fireman in front of a burning building (where his wife and her lover met their fate) and a daring shot of a woman being executed (based an actual incident when a New York Daily News photographer got a photo of Ruth Snyder in the electric chair), Danny's work is selling papers but hardly making Officer O'Connor think his daughter is in good hands (especially since he was in charge of press security for the execution). Short, sweet and sassy, Picture Snatcher is the sort of gutsy fare Warner Bros. did best in the 1930's; Ralph Bellamy turns in a great supporting performance as Danny's boozy editor.


James Cagney
as Danny Kean
Patricia Ellis
as Patricia Nolan
Alice White
as Allison
Robert E. O'Connor
as Casey Nolan
G. Pat Collins
as Hennessy the Fireman
Alice Jans
as Colleen
Jill Dennett
as Speakeasy girl
Billy West
as Reporter
George Daly
as Machine gunner
Arthur Vinton
as Head keeper
Stanley Blystone
as Prison guard
Sterling Holloway
as Journalism student
Donald Kerr
as Mike Colleen's Boy Friend
Selmar Jackson
as Record Editor
Hobart Cavanaugh
as Drunken Reporter
Phil Tead
as Reporter Strange
Charles King
as Sick reporter
Milton Kibbee
as Reporter Outside Prison
Bob Perry
as Bartender
Maurice Black
as Speakeasy proprietor
Selmer Jackson
as Record Editor
Jack Grey
as Police Officer
John Ince
as Captain
Cora Sue Collins
as Little girl
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Critic Reviews for Picture Snatcher

All Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (1)

  • Loud, trivial, illogical comedy thrown together as an excuse for James Cagney to exhibit a series of tricks for the edification of taxi drivers, professional wrestlers, and college boys.

    Jun 13, 2019 | Full Review…
  • A rip-roaring, crackerjack, sort-of gangster picture in the best pre-code Warner Brothers tradition that has been long overlooked in favor of Cagney's more famous roles.

    Jun 3, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Like the best of these studio quickies, this one provides audiences with a little of everything, and the entertainment value is enormous.

    Apr 5, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Picture Snatcher

  • Apr 11, 2013
    it's all about cagney. this is what he does best
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2011
    Showing that sensationalist journalism is nothing new this breezy little number puts Cagney front and center as a con going straight even if it isn't in the most savory profession. The big difference is that Cagney is shown to have a conscience something that most of the bottom feeding slugs that invade peoples privacy today surely lack.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Nov 27, 2010
    I really liked this movie, it combines the gangster movies with the reporter movies, and adds some romance too. It's a great combination with a great cast, with Cagney as the main character. This is an exciting, fun, romantic, and sometimes humorous movie, and I highly recommend it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2010
    Picture Snatcher seems to follow a trend with James Cagney movies in the 30s. He always plays an ex-con who manages to excel in whatever profession after going legit. The movie's got a fun cast, the dialogue's full of spunk and the story hints at plenty of darkness. Picture Snatcher is also a quick watch with plenty of fun moments even if its not required viewing.
    Michael G Super Reviewer

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