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Picture Snatcher
Picture Snatcher
Actors: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis, Alice White, Ralf Harolde
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     1hr 17min

Here?s Cagney as Danny Kean, a former gangster who has decided to go straight after a stretch in the big house. Danny has fallen for Patricia (Patricia Ellis), the daughter of the cop who put him away (Robert Emmett O'Conn...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis, Alice White, Ralf Harolde
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Creators: Sol Polito, William Holmes, Allen Rivkin, Ben Markson, Daniel Ahern, P.J. Wolfson, William Keighley
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 03/25/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1933
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1933
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 17min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fast-paced early Cagney film
calvinnme | 12/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1933's "Picture Snatcher" is one I've waited to come out on DVD for some time. It's about a gangster (James Cagney) who decides to go straight and become a photographer for a scandal sheet. The complication in the film is that Cagney's character is in love with the daughter of the cop that arrested him and sent him to prison. Dad isn't as convinced as his daughter that the ex-gangster has really changed. In the end, Cagney gets his exclusive photo of an execution - by breaking all of the rules of course - and he gets the girl. You would have figured as much, so I don't really think these are spoilers. The fun is watching how Cagney does these things. The film is fast paced and full of the energy that only Cagney could lend to such a role. Special features are:
Vintage theatrical trailer: I Loved A Woman
Classic WB short: Plane Crazy
WB cartoon: Wake Up The Gypsy In Me

This film is part of the larger volume 3 of the Warner Gangsters Boxed Set that is being released on the same day as this movie."
Cagney Joins The Paparazzi
Craig Connell | Lockport, NY USA | 04/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This was great! It's vintage James Cagney: tough, cocky, funny and endearing! The film is also typical early '30s: short, entertaining, fast-moving with some wild dialog and plenty of action and humor.

Imagine the outcry today if they showed the hero pushing women around as Cagney did here and in other films of the period. This particular story has Cagney playing "Danny Kean," an ex-con who quits his former mob and winds up at a tabloid newspaper as a member of the paparazzi! (I guess this story was ahead of it's time.) He does what he has to do get a picture for the paper, and a financial raise for his efforts.

Along the way are several very pretty women "Pat" and "Allison" (played respectively by Patricia Ellis and Alice White); a number of sexual innuendos (which wouldn't have made it in the picture had this been made a year later); and just a fun-filled corny 1930s ride.

One of Cagney's Best
luvtheCag | Colorado | 05/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Picture Snatcher has become one of this reviewer's favorites, biting into the lead once held by Each Dawn I Die. Cagney is in top form here, with lots of "goodies" as he called them (ad libs and improvs): particularly enjoyable was the bathtub scene, when lavendar-scented bath salts are poured in the water (also, note his voluminous freckles).

Ralph Bellamy is great as a supporting character and Patricia Ellis is the love interest, although Alice White does her best to form a love triangle between the two males. White is great as a woman drawn to Cagney's character like to high-grade catnip.

A great comedy/drama based on real life headlines of the time. Extras include a good commentary and the usual vintage cartoon or two and news reels."
First rate pre-code Cagney
Douglas M | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Every now and then, a forgotten film surfaces and is as pungent today as it was when first released. "Picture Snatcher", released in 1933, is such a film.

The film stars the magnetic James Cagney as an ex-con trying to go straight who joins a sleazy tabloid as a paparrazi. The narrative traces his attempts to establish a career as he skirmishes with the police, trying to stay out of trouble. Part of the problem is he falls for the daughter of a policeman so complications ensure. This is a film where everyone is on the make whether it be the alcoholic editor, Ralph Bellamy, the promiscuous journalist, Alice White, or the subtly ambitious heroine, Patricia Ellis. The film was made before the censorship was enforced in 1934 so there are some great one liners. Cagney leers at every woman, is ready with his fists and you can't take your eyes off him. The observations about the morality of the paper and Cagney's employment are as sensitive today as they were in 1933. The film is very well directed by Lloyd Bacon.

The print is outstanding and the DVD contains Warner's Night at the Movies, that great combination of short film, trailers and cartoon etc prior to the main feature. The Vitaphone musical short stars an appealing Dorothy Lee and is surprisingly complex for such a minor item, even including overhead shots a la Busby Berkeley. The cartoon is a gem, full of close harmony and rich stereotypes. There is also a detailed commentary of the film, shared between 2 historians. They focus, and rightly so, on Cagney but their observations of the film itself are often remarks about what is obvious on screen.

This DVD is great value and even better if purchased as part of Warner's Gangster Set Volume 3."