City for Conquest (1940)

“A story with all the fire and fury of its two great stars!” Legendary tough guy James Cagney portrays a New York City cab driver named “Danny Kenny” who boxes to support his brother “Eddie” (Arthur Kennedy) while he struggles to make it as a composer. On his way to the top, Danny loses the woman he loves, dancer “Peg Nash” (Ann Sheridan), gets blinded in a bout against dirty boxer “Cannonball Wales” (an uncredited Joe Gray) and ends up with a one-way ticket to Palookaville. Look for Anthony Quinn as a sleazy ballroom dancer named “Murray Burns” (not kidding!) and Elia Kazan as a neighborhood kid, “Googi Zucco,” who becomes a sleazy gangster. City for Conquest was directed by Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit) and based on a novel of the same name by Aben Kandel. Useless Trivia: Litvak was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for The Snake Pit (1948) but lost out to John Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). Kazan won two Best Director Oscars for Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) and On the Waterfront (1954).

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