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“Come out and take it, you dirty yellow-bellied rat….” Independent cabbie Matt Nolan is primed to let his fists and handgun deliver payback after a big taxi firm uses intimidation and violence to squeeze out small-timers. James Cagney plays Nolan, a role suited to his pugnacious, post-The Public Enemy persona. Ramming rival cabs that have hemmed him into a too-tight parking spot, slugging the hoofer (George Raft) who bested him in a dance contest, tracking down the killer of his brother, Cagney shows why he was the era’s “terrier of the screen” (Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times). Loretta Young costars as the femme who tries to tame Nolan. And Roy Del Ruth directs this swiftie as if his cab were waiting and the meter running.

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WAA73046 Taxi DVD (1932/James Cagney) $19.99