Cast & Crew
John G. Blystone
When Joel Green, head of the Department of Weights and Measures, is nearly killed in a car accident by corrupt politician Marty Cavanaugh, ex-prizefighter Johnny Cave replaces him. Facing a city-wide racket of faulty measures, Johnny fines merchants who are cheating the public and ignores the customary bribes and threats of Cavanaugh's men. The night after he refuses a job offer from Cavanaugh, Johnny is abducted. He wakes up, stinking of alcohol, in the gutter with his hair dyed red. In addition, Johnny is falsely accused of theft. Next, the mayor, in league with Cavanaugh, offers Johnny a high paying job, but he again refuses. When Johnny learns that Abel Canning, the boss of Johnny's fiancée, Janet Henry, has ordered that the matron of the local orphanage, Mrs. Ogilvie, be fired, Johnny visits her and learns that the orphanage has been receiving half-shipments of food. With evidence that Canning has been grafting state funds, Johnny has a newspaper headline printed that implicates Canning. Ex-wrester Burton, posing as a city prosecutor, knocks Johnny out and steals his evidence in order to blackmail Canning. After Canning publicly accuses Johnny of blackmail, Janet breaks their engagement. That night, Canning pays Burton for the key to his apartment, and Canning and Cavanaugh locate the papers just as Johnny arrives. Thanks to Janet's call to the police, the two men are arrested before Canning can burn the evidence, and Johnny presents Janet her wedding ring.
John G. Blystone
Edward L. Alperson
Charles M. Fuller
This was James Cagney's first film in more than 11 months because of litigation following the termination of his contract at Warner Bros.
When James Cagney swung at Joe Sawyer in the party scene, Sawyer jerked back his head, which hit actor Jack Perry (I), who was one of the party guests, and broke his nose.
Charles M. Fuller, technical adviser for this film, was the Los Angeles County Sealer of Weights and Measures. The New York Times review credits Henry McCarty and Harry Ruskin with screenplay and dialogue, and Horace McCoy with additional dialogue, although McCoy receives no credit on the film itself or in any other contemporary reviews. A news item in Daily Variety on September 29, 1936 states that author James Edward Grant would be writing the film's screenplay with Henry Johnson; however, Grant does not receive screenplay credit on the screen or in reviews. Variety erroneously credits Grace Goodall as "Mrs. Ogilvie" and Russell Hicks as "Joel Green." According to Motion Picture Herald, following the preview, which was 75 minutes in length, the producer announced that sequences which failed to hold that audience would be eliminated. This film marked James Cagney's return to the screen after a year layoff due to litigation following the termination of his contract at Warner Bros. According to Hollywood Reporter, Cagney received many telegrams of congratulations upon his return. Hollywood Reporter reported on November 18, 1936 that Cagney had broken Jack Perry's nose "by proxy" the previous day during filming when he had swung at actor Joe Sawyer, causing him to jerk back and strike Perry in the nose.