Review: ‘Each Dawn I Die’

Story structure [from the novel by Jerome Odlum] is a bit thin in spots despite the best efforts of director William Keighley, who isn't always able to cover up. The loyalty theme and seeming double-cross motive becomes too involved just when the plot appears heading for a clever climax.

Story structure [from the novel by Jerome Odlum] is a bit thin in spots despite the best efforts of director William Keighley, who isn’t always able to cover up. The loyalty theme and seeming double-cross motive becomes too involved just when the plot appears heading for a clever climax.

Cagney is kept in typical toughie surroundings, framed by unscrupulous politicians because he has uncovered their crooked work for his newspaper. Embittered by his inability to win a pardon, Cagney is pictured as developing into a hardened prisoner. Then when he helps an underworld big shot (George Raft) go scot free in a daring courtroom break, only to be double-crossed when the big-timer thinks Raft has squealed, the reporter goes haywire.

Cagney fans will be pleasantly surprised at his restrained, skillful performance. Raft is a plausible, gripping underworld big-timer. He rates the co-starring classification.

Each Dawn I Die

Production

Warner. Director William Keighley; Producer Hal B. Wallis (exec.); Screenplay Norman Reilly Raine, Warren Duff, Charles Perry; Camera Arthur Edeson; Editor Thomas Richards; Music Max Steiner; Art Director Max Parker

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 92 MIN.

With

James Cagney George Raft Jane Bryan George Bancroft Victor Jory Maxie Rosenbloom
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