So similar to Barbary Coast as to be almost its twin Frisco Kid is, nevertheless, good entertainment. Since an identical locale and period are used in both, outstanding characters have been twice fictionized and resemblances are great.
Vigilantes, meetings, hangings, burning of the Coast, crusading newspaper and other details are used once again. For its principal character Frisco Kid has James Cagney as against Barbary’s Miriam Hopkins. That is the only point in which the two films differ to any real extent.
Through Cagney this picture has the benefit of a more vigorous central character. Romantic phase is secondary and, with Cagney to handle the punches, Frisco takes in more territory and contains more action.
Story traces the career of Cagney from his arrival as a poor sailor through his rise to power and riches by right of might, his almost hopeless romance with a girl from the other and nicer side of the tracks, and finally his reformation.