Considering its age, this film has scrubbed up very nicely for this DVD re-issue, with sharp images and good sound.
The great James Cagney plays Tom Powers, a streetwise hood with no regard for man, woman or beast, in what was to be the first of a series of leading roles in which he portrayed a variety of tough guys and gangsters. His performance is brilliant in conveying the sort of charisma that enables this type of character to attract a following amongst other lowlifes and criminals without suggesting, however, that Tom Powers is anything other than a sordid, selfish little hoodlum.
Although one or two of the older supporting actors in the cast still adopt a rather stilted delivery of their lines, which must have been a remnant of earlier days in the theatre, most of the cast play their parts in a colloquial manner and this movie is as watchable today, and its message as relevant, as it must have been almost eighty years ago.
The disc extras include an interesting running commentary on the film by Robert Sklar,contemporary newsreels,and a featurette entitled Enemies of the Public.