Sunday, October 28, 2012

EACH DAWN I DIE (1939)

Newspaper reporter James Cagney is unjustly thrown into prison on a bum triple manslaughter wrap because he had some dirt on a politician.  On the bus ride there he's handcuffed to tough guy gangster George Raft.  They get into fight, but in standard movie fashion they quickly become friends.  But even with a friend, life in the big house ain't easy.  You constantly gotta be on watch out for snitches, crooked guards, solitary and fights.  And don't forget Cagney is still trying to prove his innocence.

EACH DAWN I DIE is a great 30's prison movie.  Entertaining with a quick story and memorable performances by the two leads, especially Cagney.  It's not as hard-hitting as say I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, but it's light years better than SAN QUENTIN!  Although I do wish it had gotten deeper into the prison life.  Most of the scenes are filmed in their workshop and we never get a real feel of the crushing heaviness of prison life.  That said, it's still definitely worth checking out and be sure to watch out for all the familiar faces like Victor Jory and Paul Hurst.
That looks safe.