You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Fighting 69th

Based on the adventures of New York's crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture.

Cast:
James Cagney Pat O'Brien George Brent Jeffrey Lynn Alan Hale Frank McHugh

Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture.

Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid display of soldiering under fire – back of the lines, in the front line trenches and up in No Man’s Land.

With an all-male cast, picture carries no semblance of romantic interest. Not only are wives and sweethearts missing from farewells at Camp Mills, but scripters side-stepped the inclusion of French maids to provide diversion for the American doughboys.

Cagney has a definitely unsympathetic role as the smart-alec recruit from Brooklyn whose mental and physical fibre disintegrates under fire. His eventual regeneration through the efforts of Father Duffy (Pat O’Brien) comes too late to evince much audience sympathy for the character.

Despite the handicaps provided by a despicable role, Cagney scores with a highlight performance. O’Brien is effective as the famous Father Duffy, although the script confines his efforts mainly to straightening out the troublesome Cagney. George Brent essays the role of ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, head of the outfit; Jeffrey Lynn is excellent in too-brief appearances as the poet, Joyce Kilmer, and Alan Hale is a typical tough top sergeant in the regiment.

The Fighting 69th

Production: Warner. Director William Keighley; Producer Louis F. Edelman; Screenplay Norman Reilly Raine, Fred Niblo Jr, Dean Franklin; Camera Tony Gaudio; Editor Owen Marks; Music Adolphe Deutsch; Art Director Ted Smith

Crew: (B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: James Cagney Pat O'Brien George Brent Jeffrey Lynn Alan Hale Frank McHugh

More Film

  • Mipcom: Sisde Babett Knudsen on her

    Mipcom: Sisde Babett Knudsen on her Conversion to TV Drama

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • Eddie Izzard Joins Australian Movie ‘The

    Eddie Izzard Joins Australian Movie ‘The Call Back’

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • Abbas Kiarostami

    APSA to Honor Late Abbas Kiarostami, Newcomer Ilgar Najaf

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • village rockstars TIFF

    Village Rockstars,' ‘Summer 1993’ win Mumbai Film Festival

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • Vivien Leigh

    Vivien Leigh Biopic in Works From 'Feud: Bette and Joan' Writers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • Bill Nighy

    Film News Roundup: Bill Nighy, Jack Lowden to Star in Comedy 'Made in Italy'

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

  • Busan: Director Kamila Andini on Balancing

    Busan: Director Kamila Andini on Balancing Motherhood and Filmmaking

    Based on the adventures of New York’s crack Irish regiment during the First World War, The Fighting 69th is a vigorously melodramatic war picture. Story is a factual presentation of the 69th’s war record, from training at Camp Mills through its major engagements at the front, with fictional interpolations for dramatic purposes. It’s a vivid […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content