Taxi! (1932)

“Come out and take it, you dirty yellow-bellied rat!” Yes, this is the early James Cagney film where he DOESN’T actually say the line “you dirty rat, you killed my brother” favored by so many impersonators over the years. Tough, hot-tempered cab driver “Matt Nolan” (Cagney) gets caught up in a feud between independent taxi drivers and an evil conglomerate that wants to violently wipe them out and control their turf. When Matt’s brother “Danny” (Ray Cooke) gets accidentally killed during a skirmish, Matt vows revenge. Loretta Young shines as Matt’s good-hearted wife “Sue,” who desperately tries to keep him out of trouble. This fast-paced film with a running time of just 69 minutes was directed by Roy Del Ruth and also stars David Landau as “Buck Gerard,” Dorothy Burgess as “Marie Costa,” Leila Bennett as “Ruby,” George E. Stone as “Skeets” and Guy Kibbee as “Pop Riley.” Another novelty of the film is that Cagney speaks with a passenger in Yiddish. That’s none other than George Raft who Cagney punches out during a nightclub dance contest.

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