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Each Dawn I Die [Import]

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, George Raft, Jane Bryan, George Bancroft, Maxie Rosenbloom
  • Directors: William Keighley
  • Writers: Charles Perry, Jerome Odlum, Norman Reilly Raine, Warren Duff
  • Producers: David Lewis, Hal B. Wallis
  • Format: NTSC, Import
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • VHS Release Date: July 5 2000
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 0790744988
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
William Keighley's Each Dawn I Die set the tone for the prison genre. Oz it is not, but for 1939, Each Dawn I Die presents viewer insights to the jargon, code of ethics, and behavior of hardened convicts. John Wray as Pete the prison guard barks through his lines like a rattled pit bull. George Raft, who seemed to be forever dressed in prison garb, plays Stacey a "lifer" who is sprung to aid newsreporter Ross (James Cagney) who has been framed for manslaughter. Cagney shows glimpses of his emotional explosiveness as Ross breaks down befoe a parole board. Raft is in prime form cooly delivering lines that would make Edward G. Robinson proud. The prison break scenes are shot and edited realistically and provide reference points for future prison films such as Brute Force and Caged. Still other scenes are highly improbable and mirorred in Hollywood fare. ( Stacey giving himself up in front of the penitentiary, and the warden's mushy sentimentality to name just two). These shortcomings restricted Each Dawn I Die from attaining a higher echelon among crime films. Still the sixty-one year old film retains its credibility among the genre and is worth owning.
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Format: VHS Tape
EACH DAWN I DIE is a movie about a reporter who is framed for manslaughter by crooked politicians and sent to prison where he befriends a hardened criminal. Most of the story takes place in prison as the reporter slowly turns into an embittered inmate. James Cagney stars as the reporter and George Raft plays the part of his prison buddy. The strong supporting cast includes Jane Bryan, George Bancroft, Victor Jury and Maxie Rosenbloom.
Director William Keighley also directed THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER and THE FIGHTING 69th.
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Format: VHS Tape
James Cagney and George Raft are in the prime of their respective careers in this film about life in prison. Cagney is a convict who is innocent. Raft is his ally who leads an attempted escape. Cagney is very much in his element in this environment and plays his part with particular gusto.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b8b7474) out of 5 stars 31 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8e9144) out of 5 stars "Throw me back in the hole, I can take it" July 16 2000
By Vincent Tesi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
William Keighley's Each Dawn I Die set the tone for the prison genre. Oz it is not, but for 1939, Each Dawn I Die presents viewer insights to the jargon, code of ethics, and behavior of hardened convicts. John Wray as Pete the prison guard barks through his lines like a rattled pit bull. George Raft, who seemed to be forever dressed in prison garb, plays Stacey a "lifer" who is sprung to aid newsreporter Ross (James Cagney) who has been framed for manslaughter. Cagney shows glimpses of his emotional explosiveness as Ross breaks down befoe a parole board. Raft is in prime form cooly delivering lines that would make Edward G. Robinson proud. The prison break scenes are shot and edited realistically and provide reference points for future prison films such as Brute Force and Caged. Still other scenes are highly improbable and mirorred in Hollywood fare. ( Stacey giving himself up in front of the penitentiary, and the warden's mushy sentimentality to name just two). These shortcomings restricted Each Dawn I Die from attaining a higher echelon among crime films. Still the sixty-one year old film retains its credibility among the genre and is worth owning.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8e9198) out of 5 stars A 1939 BLOCKBUSTER. Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
The title refers to what many prison inmates feel when they awaken in the morning: it's a timeless - albeit poetic - metaphor. As a pugnacious reporter, Cagney unearths evidence that will put some hight-level politicians in jail. Before he can get his material into print, he is abducted, knocked unconscious and put into a car, booze poured over him & the vehicle sent careening down the street where it runs over a man and kills him. The brutal frame-up works: Cagney is convicted of manslaughter and is sent to prison, where he befriends smooth crook George Raft (as "Hood" Stacey), a crime boss. On the train to the Big House, Raft smiles and jokingly asks Cagney to write a piece about him - cause he likes his name in the paper...Once inside Rocky Point, Cagney pleads again and again for parole, which is repeatedly denied him...Cagney and Raft had known each other in vaudeville back in the late twenties. Raft, a real-life tough guy had various connections with hoodlums and bootleggers: Owney Madden & Joe Adonis to name a couple. Raft even picked up their own particular mannerisms and he had a very short fuse in real life. But Raft got along well with Cagney: advantageously making this film a blockbuster hit in its day: owing to a tight script and the electric acting of the leads, this one is far above average in the category of crime films.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8e936c) out of 5 stars Deep film, filled with emotion, action, love, and pain. July 17 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
This film is about a man who was framed and then put in jail. It shows his struggle to bring the real criminals to justice. Definately a classic!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8e98a0) out of 5 stars Best of the Prison Films Aug. 13 2006
By Douglas M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Each Dawn I Die", released in 1939, is the best of the prison films which Warner Brothers made in the thirties. Even the title is fantastic. James Cagney plays a reporter working for a newspaper who is exposing the politicians who run the rackets. Cagney is framed, convicted and sent to prison for 10 years as retaliation. There, he meets hardened criminal George Raft.

The film was produced by Hal Wallis and benefits from a bigger budget than most of its predecessors. There is a more detailed and convincing expose of prison life than usual and cliches are avoided. You get a real feel for the hopelessness and boredom of the inmates. Cagney is subdued and underplays - very effective. George Raft, usually a wooden and stiff actor, rises to Cagney's level. Their friendship becomes very touching. The film develops real suspense as you wonder if Cagney will ever be released. Jane Bryan plays Cagney's girlfriend with a small but key part in the plot. Bryan was a very talented actress on the Warner's payroll who retired early when she married. She invests the part with great depth and is touching.

The print is excellent and the DVD has lots of extras, including a really worthwhile commentary by Haden Guest; at last, a commentator with a pleasant voice who avoids trivial biographical details and really observes the film as it unfolds. A contemporary featurette documentary on the language of the gangster film is included but it is by far the weakest in this series - a lot of historians/actors etc saying which lines they liked and who they imitated as children - yawn! There is also another of the Warner's blooper shorts which are entertaining, particularly if you know the actors on the studio payroll then. "A Day at San Anita" is is technicolour short film set around the race track. It stars the nauseating Shirley Temple contemporary Sybil Jason who is cloying in the worst child star sense. The colour is excellent and there is some interest in the shots of stars such as Bette Davis and then husband Harmon Nelson and Ruby Keeler with Al Jolson. The cartoon, which definitely does not date to 1939, is OK with a rooster that may have developed into Foghorn Leghorn. Finally, the Lux Radio version of the film is included with Franchot Tone replacing Cagney. These radio versions really only have historical interest.

The DVD is excellent value, particularly if purchased as part of the Warner's Tough Guys Collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b8e99c0) out of 5 stars The Master at Work Aug. 11 2005
By Randy Keehn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
I often enjoy checking out old movies by some of the great actors of the past like Bogart, Gable, Cooper, and Cagney. Thanks to Turner Classic Movies, I've been able to do a lot of that lately. They made a lot of great movies back then but they also made a lot of clunkers that probably haven't been seen from the time they were released until TCM debuted a few years back. Many are in between good and bad and every now and then a sleeper shows up. Last night I enjoyed a very good movie by the name of "Each Dawn I Die".

James Cagney and George Raft are quite a pair of actors in this strong movie about law and order in the 1930's. Cagney plays a reporter whose tenacity uncovers a major scandal. The scandal involves some powerful people and, to get even, they frame Cagney before he can do more harm. He ends up in prison where he allies himself with lifer George Raft. There are a lot of stories within the story and the prison life is examined in a sort of exposee manner. The relationship between Cagney and Raft is well developed and serves as the core of the film. I was impressed how well the story weaved itself through a lot of action, intrigue and diverse characters. I could never tell for sure what was coming next. That surprized me because one of the knocks on many of the old films is their predictability and I can attest to that from many of the old Black and Whites that I've seen over the years.

The acting, directing, and writing team together to raise this to a level above good and a little short of great. The way Cagney plays the role of a reporter is impressive because he stays with that persona throughout the movie. There's a scene a little past the half-way point that brings it out. However, I really appreciated the subtle way that Cagney was always playing the observer, taking time to study and analyze the situation before commiting himself. Even then, his commitment was tempered by only going as far as the facts would safely lead him.

George Raft was smooth in his role as a career gangster who'd gotten caught one (or two) times too many. I was glad that I had the opportunity to see him in one of his better roles; he seemed to just walk through many of his later movies. Barton McLane was great as the warden (giving us another one of those stories within a story). By the time this movie finished I had seen plenty of action, impressive character development, social consciousness, morality and human relationship messages, and more. I sat for awhile afterwards wondering why I had never had the opportunity to see this one before. It's not "Yankee Doodle Dandy" or "White Heat" but this is a movie that all Cagney fans need to see. If you're not already a Cagney fan, you'll probably be one after watching "Each Dawn I Die'.


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