How could you not love a film that was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency and denied a Production Code Seal!?. Producer Howard Hughes got the Seal--along with a million dollars' worth of free publicity, which is what he intended all along. Filmed in 3D, The French Line is the film that was ballyhooed with the classically tasteless ad campaign "Jane Russell in 3D--It'll knock both your eyes out!"
GREAT GUY (Grand National, 1936), directed by John G. Blystone, is an interesting yet plausible low budget production starring none-other than James Cagney, the same James Cagney of the higher quality studio of Warner Brothers. What's a top actor like James Cagney doing over at Grand National instead of at the majors as MGM, Columbia, United Artists or Paramount? Well, it had something to do with a contract dispute, which kept him away from his home lot for nearly two years. Since Grand National, not First National, initially began in early 1936, how fortunate for the studio to have acquired a top name like Cagney working for them? How unfortunate for the studio to have lost his services following his second with the studio, a musical titled SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT (1937). How fortunate to have Cagney return to his home studio where he belonged, and continue to work on films that were to become classics. As for those done at Grand National .... well, let's take a look at his initial offering of THE GREAT GUY. It's not a gangster film idolizing a popular crime boss but actually a crime story placing Cagney on the right side of the law attempting to rid corruption. Having done something similar the year before in G-MEN, the misfortune for GREAT GUY is not having much gun play nor fast-pace action to make this equivalent to a Warner Brothers production.Sure makes a "Great" Poster thou!