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This review is for the James Cagney Signature Collection, Black card slipcase with a picture of Cagney and his signature across the front, ASIN: B002L7O830.

This set collects seven classic Cagney features into one box. Each film is on a separate disc, held in two normal size DVD cases enclosed in a neat black card slipcase.

The films are a well chosen selection that showcase Cagney's hard man persona and his more genial knockabout side. From his breakthrough film Public enemy, the masterpiece that is White Heat, a topical (for the time) war film the fighting 69th and on to a more lighthearted romantic adventure The Bride Came COD, Cagney's magnetic charm comes shining through on the screen, and shows just why he is a screen icon.

Cagney is helped in these films by having great scripts, directors and co-stars. The films here hail from a time when Hollywood relied on good stories and characters rather than just stunt after stunt. This really gave Cagney every opportunity to show just how good an actor he was, and to draw the viewer in to some enthralling tales.

Each film is on a separate disc. The transfer of each is as good as can be, with no obvious defects and a crisp and sharp picture. The sound is in similarly good shape. Some time and care has obviously been taken over these.

The seven films (in the order they are presented in the set) are:

White Heat (1949)
The Roaring Twenties (1939)
Public Enemy (1931)
The Bride Came COD (1941)
The Fighting 69th (1940)
The Torrid Zone (1940)
West Point Story (1950)

An excellent set, well worth getting.
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on 25 December 2011
I bought this set after seeing James Cagney in the 1975 documentary film Brother Can You Spare A Dime [DVD], and becoming intrigued, having seen little of his work. I now understand why Cagney is considered a great. A fantastic set of films showcasing James Cagney's (and others) impecable acting talents. All the films were Warner Brother's productions. All films are in black and white. As others have covered this set very well, I have provided the following information, most of which comes from Wikipedia.

Public Enemy (1931)
Cagney's breakthrough movie. Contains the famous scene where Cagneys character (Tom Powers) forces a grapefruit into his girlfriend's face (Kitty, played by Mae Clarke). This scene is viewed by many critics as one of the most famous moments in movie history. The film cost only $151,000 to make, but it became one of the first low budget films to gross $1 million.

The Roaring Twenties (1939)
The Roaring Twenties was the last film that James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart made together. The movie is hailed as a classic in the gangster movie genre, and considered an "homage" to the classic gangster movie of the early 1930s. In 2008, the film was nominated for AFI's Top 10 Gangster Films list. In 2009 Empire Magazine named it #1 in a poll of the 20 Greatest Gangster Movies You've (Probably) Never Seen.

The Fighting 69th (1940)
"The Fighting 69th" is a First World War regiment of mostly New York-Irish soldiers. Amongst a cocky crew, perhaps the cockiest is Jerry Plunkett, a scrappy fellow who looks out only for himself. The officers and non-coms of the regiment do their best to instill discipline in Plunkett, and the chaplain, Father Duffy, tries to make Plunkett see the greater good, all to no avail. Behind the lines or in the trenches, Plunkett acts selfishly and cowardly, eventually costing the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. A final act of cowardice leads to terrible consequences, but Plunkett sees in them a chance to redeem himself ... if only he can.

Actual archived war combat footage was used in the film, as well as footage of soldiers marching through the Arch of Triumph.

The Torrid Zone (1940)
THe Torrid Zone is a 1940 adventure film starring James Cagney, Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien. Steve Case (Pat O'Brien) has to deal with trouble at his tropical fruit company's Central American banana plantation. A revolutionary, Rosario La Mata (George Tobias), is stirring up unrest among the workers, and the only man who can handle the situation, foreman Nick Butler (James Cagney), has just quit. Steve manages to persuade Nick to stick around (for a big bonus). Adding to the complications is Lee Donley (Ann Sheridan), a woman who Steve has ordered out of the region for causing a different kind of trouble among the men.

The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)
Screwball romantic comedy starring James Cagney as a pilot and Bette Davis as a runaway heiress. This film was publicized as the first movie pairing of Warner Bros. two biggest stars, although they had actually made "Jimmy the Gent" together in 1934.

Pilot Steve Collins (James Cagney) agrees to help bandleader Alan Brice (Jack Carson) and heiress Joan Winfield (Bette Davis) elope. Steve then contacts her father Lucius (Eugene Pallette), offering to prevent the marriage and deliver her to him in return for enough money to get out of debt.

Steve tricks Alan into getting off the plane, then takes off with Joan. When an irate Joan tries to jump out of the plane, Steve sees that she has her parachute on backwards and is forced to crash land near the ghost town of Bonanza. The next morning, they encounter the lone resident, Pop Tolliver (Harry Davenport). Joan escapes into an abandoned mine. When Steve follows her, they are trapped by a cave-in. Steve finds a way out, but hides it from Joan on the advice of Pop. Believing that they are going to die, Joan re-examines her frivolous life with great regret. Steve admits he loves her, but when he kisses her, she tastes food on his lips and realizes he has found a way out. They exit the mine to find that Alan has tracked them down, accompanied by a Nevada judge.

Steve does not object when Alan and Joan get married, hiding the fact that Bonanza is in California and therefore the wedding is invalid. The "newlyweds" board another plane, but when Joan figures out that they are not really married, she ... well, I won't spoil it for you!

White Heat (1949)
The film is considered one of the classic gangster films and was added to the United States National Film Registry in 2003 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress. Critical reaction to the film was positive, and today it is considered a classic. White Heat was listed in Time magazine's top 100 films of all time. In June 2008, the American Film Institute released its "Ten Top Ten" list - the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres - after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. White Heat was acknowledged as the fourth best in the gangster film genre. Also, the quote; "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" was number 18 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest movie quotes.

West Point Story (1950)
The West Point Story (also known as Fine and Dandy) is a 1950 musical comedy film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Doris Day. The film received two award nominations in 1951. Ray Heindorf was nominated for a Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture and John Monks Jr., Charles Hoffman and Irving Wallace were nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Musical.

I thoroughly recommend this set, should you purchase I doubt you will be disappointed.
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on 29 April 2012
I have the full cable package and there's still bugger all on! These films are the perfect thing for curling up to on a cold winter's day. Jimmy Cagney could dance,fight, fall over and generally make a prat of himself in search of his acting talent.
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on 8 June 2014
A great collection of films, knew hardly anything about James Cagney before buying this outstanding actor without a shadow of a doubt. Good value for money and really engaging films .
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on 3 March 2011
Brilliant. Bought it for My Darghter's birthday (she's 45). She loved it, used to watch him on TV on a Saturday morning when she was young. Loved him then, loved him now.
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on 18 February 2014
This was Bought for my Friend who grew up in the era of James Cagney' and the old Black & White Movies,
He loved his films and him too!
He always say's to us "You Dirty Rat" Just like James Cagney'
These were one of the best sets he has bought to watch and has enjoyed them.
Recommended to all'
Thank you :)
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2014
Amazon have unhelpfully mixed up the reviews for the box set. The set with the green cover contains four Cagney films:

Public Enemy - Cagney’s breakthrough piece is too dated for my taste. The acting style is stilted (perhaps that was the way it was done then) and the film is too episodic to allow the viewer to engage with the characters. Cagney has some good scenes, but the overall feel of the film is clumsy.

White Heat - a strong storyline, great cast and good cinematography combine to make a truly great film. Tense throughout, this is a marvellous film though, perhaps, the ending is a little overcooked (literally!).

The Fighting 69th - a propaganda piece, entirely predictable and full of little homilies about duty and patriotism. Cagney plays a wise-talking troublemaker and poor soldier who (inevitably) makes good at the end and, bizarrely for a modern audience, finds God at the same time. On the positive side, the battle scenes are well done and don’t try to downplay the horrors of conflict.

The Roaring Twenties - this is an enjoyable film, though a little clunky around the edges, and with a predictable ending. However, the characters are well played and very engaging, and the scenes that Bogart and Cagney have together are electric.

So, of the four films, one is superb, one enjoyable if you like films of the period, and two are pretty forgettable. A good set to sample the period, though I would have wished for stronger films to replace the two weak ones.
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on 5 July 2013
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on 4 May 2013
Great Cagney collection for all fans. I especially enjoyed renewing acquaintance with The Roaring Twenties and White Heat but the whole package is terrific.
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on 26 February 2014
Brilliant dvd box set, It reminds me of one of the best gangster movie stars of all time, well worth getting if you are a fan of James Cagney.
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