James Cagney

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cagney puddy nose

James cagney as putty nose begs for his life.

All you Cagney fans remember Putty Nose from the 1931 ¬†move The Public Enemy. But did Putty nose have to die at the hands of Cagney? Did he really deserve it? let’s analyze it. When Cagney and his buddy are still kids they steal watches for putty nose and it seems putty short changes them. When they are even older in 1915 Putty Nose offers them a part in a Bigger job. They screw it up one of the gang is killed and upon returning to putty nose he has left town and leaves them high and dry. It seems Cagney’s character is bitter towards putty nose for leading them toward a life of crime. Then when they meet later in the movie Cagney kills Putty in a very effective scene that only William Wellman could provide. Justice has been served. But really wasn’t it a bit much? Would a sound thrashing have sufficed? We think so, In fact killing Putty really served no purpose at all. In contrast the Edward G Robinson character “Rico” in Little Caesar had quite a bit of heart and couldn’t go through with killing his buddy near the end of the movie.