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 »
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 9, 1948 with James Cagney reprising his film role. See more »
At just after 1:20 into the film, when 'Gashouse' Mary is speaking to W.M. Dougherty, with his back toward camera, he pulls his handkerchief out of his suit coat front pocket. A moment later, in the face on shot of him, he does it again. See more »
While Jimmy Cagney was a huge star with Warner Brothers in the 1930s and 40s, like many stars of the day he wanted more...he wanted control over his movies and to make the films he wanted to make. So he formed his own production company and made a few films...which didn't do particularly well. So, soon he was back to working with the big studios. But of all his independent pictures, "Johnny Come Lately" is certainly among the most enjoyable. And, like his other independent pictures, his brother Bill Cagney was on hand to produce these films.
The film is set in a small American town at about the turn of the century. A nice old lady, Vinnie McLeod, is running a moribund newspaper and barely keeping up with making payments. Much of the problem is that the paper is very old fashioned but the biggest problem is Mr. Dougherty--the crooked rich man who runs the town. He threatens to ruin her unless she prints crap--stories that ignore Dougherty and his evil business practices. This all changes when an out of work newspaper man arrives in town. Tom (Jimmy Cagney) is a free spirited man...but also one who balks at injustice and is aching to take on Doughtery and his gang of thugs. What follows is the tiny paper taking on the evil behemoth...and Cagney playing an odd sort of hero who doesn't get the girl in the end of the picture!
This is a very sweet film. Perhaps it's a bit hokey and predictable in spots but I liked it and thought Cagney was smart not to play the dashing lover but a more solid sort of everyman character. Well done and with some lovely supporting performances.
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