Frisco Jenny was orphaned by the 1906 earthquake and fire and has become the madame of a prosperous bawdy house. She puts her son up for adoption and he rises to prominence as district ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Helen Jerome Eddy
Railroad fireman Bill White is a carefree ladies' man with an irresponsible streak. His buddy Jack Kulper, an engineer, is more solid and reliable. Bill comes to stay a while with Jack and his wife Lily. Bill and Lily fall in love, but not wishing to hurt Jack, Bill leaves without explanation. When Jack confronts Bill about his suspicions, the two fight and Jack is seriously injured. Bill is consumed with guilt and tries to make good, but Jack has his own ideas about that.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
I have no doubt that when William Wellman directed James Cagney in Other Men's Women he had him filed for future reference and then used him so successfully in The Public Enemy. Cagney and Joan Blondell in secondary parts outshine the leads of Grant Withers, Mary Astor, and Regis Toomey in this working man's love triangle film.
Not that the leads give bad performances, but charisma can't be kept down. Toomey is a railroad worker married to Astor and one night he brings an inebriated Grant Withers home to sleep it off. Turns out that Withers and Astor knew each other back in the day and before long the love sparks start going off.
Around this time Grant Withers was married to Loretta Young ever so briefly, but in Young's Catholic tradition, the marriage was annulled due to his real life drinking and carousing. Withers's excesses led his career on a downward spiral and he took work where he got it and in mostly lower grade films until his suicide in 1959. John Wayne tried to use him in films when he could. Withers would appear in support of James Cagney in 1954 in Run for Cover as a western outlaw leader.
Toomey was a very competent character actor, but just not lead material. Still he does well and in a few years he'd be supporting James Cagney in G-Men. Mary Astor is fine, but far from Brigid O'Shaughnessy, you'd never know it was the same actress.
Cagney as a friend to both Withers and Toomey and Blondell in an early gem of a part as a wisecracking waitress, show exactly why they would rise to the top of the Warner Brothers pecking order.
William Wellman did some very nice location photography in and around the railroad yards, very similar in fact to that done by John Frankenheimer in The Train. And Wellman got good performances from his cast.
But I'm sure he had no doubt as to who a future star was.
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