City for Conquest is an epic 1940 American drama film directed by Anatole Litvak and starring James Cagney, Ann Sheridan and Arthur Kennedy. The picture is based on the 1936 novel of the same name by Aben Kandel. The supporting cast features Anthony Quinn, Elia Kazan, Donald Crisp, Frank McHugh, Frank Craven and Lee Patrick.
|City for Conquest|
|Directed by||Anatole Litvak|
Jean Negulesco (uncredited)
|Written by||Aben Kandel (novel)|
John Wexley (screenplay)
|Produced by||William Cagney|
Hal B. Wallis (uncredited)
|Cinematography||James Wong Howe|
|Edited by||William Holmes|
|Music by||Max Steiner|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
James Cagney plays a truck driver named Danny Kenny who was once a New York City Golden Gloves boxing champion. To help put his brother Eddie (Arthur Kennedy) through music school, Danny starts to box professionally under the name of Young Samson. He quickly rises through the welterweight ranks to become a title contender. Ann Sheridan plays Danny's longtime girlfriend, Peggy, a talented dancer. One night while at a dance club with Danny, Peggy is swayed by Murray Burns (Anthony Quinn), a local dancing champion. Murray asks Peggy to become his professional dance partner, but is insulting to Danny as he does it. Nevertheless, Peggy agrees and quickly learns that Murray is domineering and brutish. The arrangement was supposed to be short-term, but just as she is about to marry Danny, Peggy coldly rejects Danny's proposal in a letter as her dancing career is advancing rapidly. Embittered by Peggy's change of mind, Danny continues to thrive in the ring and gets a chance to fight for the world welterweight title. In the title fight in which he was winning, Danny is deliberately blinded by his opponent's unscrupulous seconds who have placed rosin dust onto the champion's gloves. Peggy listens to the fight on the radio, which Danny loses and absorbs terrible punishment in the process. She is so distraught she cannot go onstage to dance that night. Her career as a big-time dancer ends and she is reduced to dancing in local New York City shows for small wages. Danny, his eyesight damaged, can barely see shadows. With the help of his boxing manager, however, Danny begins working as a newsstand operator where he has many regular customers. Meanwhile, Eddie has become a successful composer of Broadway scores, but his true love is classical music. Danny persuades Eddie to pursue his true calling and continue to work on creating a symphony about New York City. Eddie dedicates his first major symphony at Carnegie Hall to his brother, who is proudly listening to the concert on the radio from his newsstand. The movie ends with Peggy tearfully reuniting with Danny at his newsstand after attending Eddie's very successful concert.
- James Cagney as Danny Kenny
- Ann Sheridan as Peggy 'Peg' Nash
- Arthur Kennedy as Eddie Kenny
- Frank Craven as Old Timer
- Anthony Quinn as Murray Burns
- Elia Kazan as Googi Zucco
- Donald Crisp as Scotty MacPherson
- Frank McHugh as Mutt
- George Tobias as Pinky
- Jerome Cowan as Dutch
- Lee Patrick as Gladys
- Blanche Yurka as Mrs. Nash
- George Lloyd as Goldie
- Joyce Compton as Lilly
- Thurston Hall as Max Leonard
- Ben Welden as Cobb
- John Arledge as Salesman
- Ed Keane as Gaul
- Selmer Jackson as Doctor 1
- Joseph Crehan as Doctor 2
- Ward Bond as First Policeman (uncredited)
- Charles Lane as Al, the theatrical booking agent (uncredited)
According to Warner Bros records the film earned $1,156,000 domestically and $638,000 foreign.
City for Conquest was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on July 18, 2006 as a Region 1 fullscreen DVD and also on October 12, 2010 as a part of the 'TCM Greatest Gangster Films Collection: James Cagney' with City for Conquest on the first disc of a four-disc set.
- Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 21 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
- Variety film review; September 11, 1940, page 14.
- Harrison's Reports film review; September 28, 1940, page 154.
- Schallert, Edwin (May 27, 1940). "Timely 'I Wanted Wings' Set for Early Shooting: Retrenchment Urge On Quinn Tested for 'City' Dual Ouspenskaya Duty Bancroft in 'Daltons' 'Deerslayer' Hastened". Los Angeles Times. p. A10.
- Vagg, Stephen (February 9, 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: George Raft". Filmink.