Mitchum And Cagney

It is rather amazing that Robert Mitchum and James Cagney never made a movie together. Between the two of them they appeared in more than 175 movies. This photo, from 1959 or 1960, was taken as Cagney visited Mitchum on a movie set.

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The two would have made quite a movie together. This photo could actually be a still from a movie. In the movie Cagney and Mitchum are playing cops. Cagney is an aging detective offering advice to Mitchum on how to successfully  pursue gangsters. Or perhaps Mitchum is an elusive con man being pursued across  the country by Cagney’s shrewd veteran G-Man. Another scenario could have Cagney portraying a retired mob boss who is mentoring the younger Mitchum on the fine arts of building a criminal empire. The possibilities between them could have been endless.

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A Warner Brothers What If

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Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney and George Raft. What if someone at Warner Brothers could have gotten these four greats into one movie?  Wow, what a classic that would have been! They could have given it one of those typical Warner Brothers titles, “We Die As One”,  “Rush Of Night”,  “Four Way Stop” or “The Heat’s On Us”.

Any combination of the three actors would have had the makings for an excellent movie. Thankfully we did get several pairings of twos: Robinson and Raft, Bogart and Cagney, Raft and Bogart, Robinson and Cagney, Bogart and Robinson, Cagney and Raft.

Although they never appeared together in one film they sure made a lot of movies on their own.  Here are my favorite movies from these classic Warner Brothers tough guys.

Humphrey Bogart – My favorite of the bunch. So hard to pick just a few, he made so many excellent movies. Even in some of his lesser movies he tended to give a strong performance.

Casablanca
Dark Passage
The Maltese Falcon
Sahara
Sirocco

James Cagney – Cagney and Bogart were great together on screen. It’s a real shame that they were not able to make a movie together later in their careers. Key Largo, released in 1948 starring Bogart and Robinson , is gold because Bogart and Robinson were mature actors, both at the top of their game. To have seen Bogart and Cagney together around this time period would have been fantastic.

The Roaring Twenties
Angels With Dirty Faces
G Men
The Public Enemy
White Heat

George Raft – Acting wise the lesser of the four, but he had the most mainstream appeal of the group.

They Drive By Night
Invisible Stripes
A Bullet For Joey

Edward G. Robinson – Hands down the most versatile of the four and the best actor in the bunch.  Robinson and Bogart appeared together in five films. Although Key Largo is generally mentioned as a Bogart and Bacall movie, Robinson really steals the movie.

Key Largo
Bullets Or Ballots
The Amazing Dr Clitterhouse
Double Indemnity
Kid Galahad