James Cagney Ranked

by rmailander | created - 2 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

A ranking of James Cagney's film performances.

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1. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 26,837

2. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 16,665

3. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Votes: 13,250 | Gross: $11.80M

4. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

Passed | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan

Votes: 18,840

5. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith

Votes: 3,501

6. One, Two, Three (1961)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy

73 Metascore

In West Berlin during the Cold War, a Coca-Cola executive is given the task of taking care of his boss' socialite daughter.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin, Arlene Francis

Votes: 18,258

7. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 11,954

8. Ragtime (1981)

PG | 155 min | Drama

57 Metascore

A young black pianist becomes embroiled in the lives of an upper-class white family set among the racial tensions, infidelity, violence, and other nostalgic events in early 1900s New York City.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: James Cagney, Elizabeth McGovern, Howard E. Rollins Jr., Brad Dourif

Votes: 8,293 | Gross: $21.02M

9. The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Romance

Quick-tempered yet likable Biff Grimes falls for the beautiful Virginia Brush, but he is not the only young man in the neighborhood who is smitten with her.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland, Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale

Votes: 2,905

10. Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, War

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan | Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon

Votes: 14,623 | Gross: $21.20M

11. 'G' Men (1935)

Approved | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

It's the early days of the F.B.I. - federal agents working for the Department of Justice. Though they've got limited powers - they don't carry weapons and have to get local police approval ... See full summary »

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak, Robert Armstrong

Votes: 3,309

12. 13 Rue Madeleine (1946)

Approved | 95 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

When spy chief Bob Sharkey finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent, his strategic decision not to arrest him results in tragedy.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: James Cagney, Annabella, Richard Conte, Frank Latimore

Votes: 2,568

13. Here Comes the Navy (1934)

Approved | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A cocky guy joins the Navy for the wrong reason but finds romance and twice is cited for heroism.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart, Frank McHugh

Votes: 703

14. Each Dawn I Die (1939)

Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A corrupt D.A. with political ambitions is angered by news stories implicating him in criminal activity and decides to frame the reporter who wrote them for manslaughter in order to silence him.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft

Votes: 2,615

15. Jimmy the Gent (1934)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

An unpolished racketeer, whose racket is finding heirs for unclaimed fortunes, affects ethics and tea-drinking manners to win back the sweetheart who now works for his seemingly upright competitor.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Allen Jenkins, Alan Dinehart

Votes: 1,494

16. The Crowd Roars (1932)

Passed | 85 min | Action, Drama, Sport

Sports car racer becomes overprotective of his brother when he decides to become a racer as well.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Eric Linden

Votes: 978

17. The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)

Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Romance

A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Bette Davis, Stuart Erwin, Eugene Pallette

Votes: 2,776

18. Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell

Votes: 4,392

19. Torrid Zone (1940)

Approved | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

Plagued by revolutionaries that harass his plantation in a banana republic, fruit company exec Steve Case rehires former nemesis Nick Butler to restore order and profits.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Pat O'Brien, Andy Devine

Votes: 1,143

20. Lady Killer (1933)

Passed | 76 min | Comedy, Crime

A former gangster makes it big in Hollywood, but his old life catches up with him.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, Margaret Lindsay, Leslie Fenton

Votes: 1,483

21. Johnny Come Lately (1943)

Approved | 97 min | Drama

Newspaper man wanders about and helps older woman save her paper.

Director: William K. Howard | Stars: James Cagney, Grace George, Marjorie Main, Marjorie Lord

Votes: 455

22. Come Fill the Cup (1951)

113 min | Drama

Alcoholic newspaperman Lew Marsh hits bottom, loses his job and is rehabilitated by Charley Dolan. After six years on the wagon he gets his job back and devotes himself to other recovering ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Cagney, Phyllis Thaxter, Raymond Massey, James Gleason

Votes: 387

23. The Gallant Hours (1960)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, War

A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal.

Director: Robert Montgomery | Stars: James Cagney, Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 1,298

24. The Irish in Us (1935)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy

Two brothers, a police officer and a boxing promoter, vie for the affections of a lovely young woman.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Olivia de Havilland, Frank McHugh

Votes: 559

25. What Price Glory (1952)

Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

The wartime romantic misadventures of Captain Flagg, commander of a company of US Marines in 1918 France.

Director: John Ford | Stars: James Cagney, Corinne Calvet, Dan Dailey, William Demarest

Votes: 1,053

26. Man of a Thousand Faces (1957)

Approved | 122 min | Biography, Drama

The life and career of vaudevillian and silent screen horror star Lon Chaney, including his contentious relationship with his neurotic wife and his premature death.

Director: Joseph Pevney | Stars: James Cagney, Dorothy Malone, Jane Greer, Marjorie Rambeau

Votes: 2,212

27. Blonde Crazy (1931)

TV-G | 79 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

The adventures of an egoistic con man and his glamorous accomplice.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern, Noel Francis

Votes: 1,478

28. Hard to Handle (1933)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Romance

Small time con artist Lefty Merrill has co-organized a crooked dance marathon and set-up his girlfriend to win the prize money. When his partner disappears with money before the contest is ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: James Cagney, Mary Brian, Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly

Votes: 623

29. The Fighting 69th (1940)

Passed | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Biography

Although loudmouthed braggart Jerry Plunkett alienates his comrades and officers, Father Duffy, the regimental chaplain, has faith that he'll prove himself in the end.

Director: William Keighley | Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent, Jeffrey Lynn

Votes: 1,656

30. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950)

Approved | 102 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

Starting with a violent prison break, clever, ruthless Ralph Cotter corrupts everyone around him.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Payton, Helena Carter, Ward Bond

Votes: 1,640

31. Great Guy (1936)

Approved | 66 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

The adventures of an investigator (Cagney) for the Bureau of Weights and Measures.

Director: John G. Blystone | Stars: James Cagney, Mae Clarke, James Burke, Edward Brophy

Votes: 802

32. Smart Money (1931)

Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama

A Greek barber has uncommon skills in playing poker and soon rises in the seedy world of illegal gambling, but pretty blondes remain his Achilles' heel.

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Evalyn Knapp, Ralf Harolde

Votes: 1,596

33. Blood on the Sun (1945)

Approved | 94 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

A dedicated American reporter in 1930s Japan is determined to expose that government's plan for world domination.

Director: Frank Lloyd | Stars: James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney, Porter Hall, John Emery

Votes: 1,692

34. A Lion Is in the Streets (1953)

Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

A charismatic peddler from the bayous finds his true calling in politics. Is he a demagogue in the making?

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Hale, Anne Francis, Warner Anderson

Votes: 540

35. The West Point Story (1950)

Approved | 107 min | Comedy, Music

A Broadway director helps the West Point cadets put on a show, aided by two lovely ladies and assorted complications.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Doris Day, Gordon MacRae

Votes: 1,078

36. Sinners' Holiday (1930)

Passed | 60 min | Crime, Romance

Ma Delano (La Verne) runs a boardwalk penny arcade, living upstairs with her sons (Cagney and Gallagher) and daughter (Knapp). Story involves rum running, accidental murder and a frame-up.

Director: John G. Adolfi | Stars: Grant Withers, Lucille La Verne, Warren Hymer, James Cagney

Votes: 493

37. The Millionaire (1931)

Passed | 80 min | Drama, Comedy

A millionaire automaker retires upon the advice of his doctor, but becomes so bored he buys half interest in a gas station and works it on the sly.

Director: John G. Adolfi | Stars: George Arliss, Florence Arliss, David Manners, Evalyn Knapp

Votes: 410

38. The Oklahoma Kid (1939)

Passed | 85 min | Action, Adventure, History

During the Oklahoma Land Rush, the lawlessness is exacerbated by the McCord gang's feud with the Kincaids, who are trying to bring law and justice to the region.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,872

39. These Wilder Years (1956)

Approved | 91 min | Drama

A middle-aged man tries to reconnect with his illegitimate son, who was given to an orphanage many years ago.

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: James Cagney, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, Betty Lou Keim

Votes: 837

40. Frisco Kid (1935)

Approved | 77 min | Adventure, Romance

After a roustabout sailer avoids being shanghaied in 1852 San Francisco, his audacity helps him to arise to a position of power in the vice industry of the infamous Barbary Coast.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ricardo Cortez, Lili Damita

Votes: 487

41. City for Conquest (1940)

Passed | 104 min | Drama, Music, Sport

Danny is a content truck driver, but his girl Peggy shows potential as a dancer and hopes he too can show ambition. Danny acquiesces and pursues boxing to please her, but the two begin to spend more time working than time together.

Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco | Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp

Votes: 1,994

42. Shake Hands with the Devil (1959)

Not Rated | 111 min | Action, Drama, History

In 1920s Ireland, I.R.A. members are being lead by the war mongering Dr. Sean Lenihan (James Cagney), as they fight oppressive British forces.

Director: Michael Anderson | Stars: James Cagney, Don Murray, Dana Wynter, Glynis Johns

Votes: 1,072

43. The St. Louis Kid (1934)

Approved | 67 min | Drama, Romance

Trucker Eddie Kennedy gets involved with the law when he has an car accident with Ann Reid and knocks the owner of a dairy out. He evades a penalty when he claims, that he had done it as an... See full summary »

Director: Ray Enright | Stars: James Cagney, Patricia Ellis, Allen Jenkins, Robert Barrat

Votes: 339

44. Taxi (II) (1931)

Passed | 69 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Independent cab drivers struggling against a taxi company consortium find a leader in Matt Nolan.

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 1,083

45. Something to Sing About (1937)

Approved | 93 min | Comedy, Musical

A New York bandleader journeys to Hollywood when he is offered a contract with a studio, but he is determined to do things his way and not theirs.

Director: Victor Schertzinger | Stars: James Cagney, Evelyn Daw, William Frawley, Mona Barrie

Votes: 709

46. Boy Meets Girl (1938)

Approved | 86 min | Comedy