Great Guy (1937)

73 or 75 mins | Comedy-drama | 2 January 1937

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HISTORY

Charles M. Fuller, technical adviser for this film, was the Los Angeles County Sealer of Weights and Measures. The NYT 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 DV on 29 Sep 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. Var erroneously credits Grace Goodall as "Mrs. Ogilvie" and Russell Hicks as "Joel Green." According to MPH , 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 HR , Cagney received many telegrams of congratulations upon his return. HR reported on 18 Nov 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 ... More Less

Charles M. Fuller, technical adviser for this film, was the Los Angeles County Sealer of Weights and Measures. The NYT 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 DV on 29 Sep 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. Var erroneously credits Grace Goodall as "Mrs. Ogilvie" and Russell Hicks as "Joel Green." According to MPH , 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 HR , Cagney received many telegrams of congratulations upon his return. HR reported on 18 Nov 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. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
29 Sep 36
p. 11.
Daily Variety
7 Dec 36
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Dec 36
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 36
p. 1, 4
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 36
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 36
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 36
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
8 Dec 36
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
19 Dec 36
p. 58.
New York Times
1 Jan 37
p. 19.
The Exhibitor
15-Dec-36
---
Variety
6 Jan 37
p. 40.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
Addl dial
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the stories "Full Measure," "Johnny Cave Goes Subtle" and "Larceny on the Right" by James Edward Grant in The Saturday Evening Post (24 Jun 1933, 17 Mar 1934, 1 Sep 1934).
DETAILS
Release Date:
2 January 1937
Production Date:
began 28 October 1936 at RKO Pathé Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Grand National Films, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 January 1937
Copyright Number:
LP6846
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor "High Fidelity" Sound
Black and White
RCA Victor "High Fidelity" Sound
Duration(in mins):
73 or 75
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
2929
SYNOPSIS

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 ... +


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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.