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The Best James Cagney Movies

Updated September 24, 2019 7.1k votes 1.1k voters 52.4k views63 items

List RulesVote for your favorite movies, regardless of critic reviews or how big the role was.

List of the best James Cagney movies, ranked best to worst with movie trailers when available. James Cagney's highest grossing movies have received a lot of accolades over the years, earning millions upon millions around the world. The order of these top James Cagney movies is decided by how many votes they receive, so only highly rated James Cagney movies will be at the top of the list. James Cagney has been in a lot of films, so people often debate each other over what the greatest James Cagney movie of all time is. If you and a friend are arguing about this then use this list of the most entertaining James Cagney films to end the squabble once and for all.

If you think the best James Cagney role isn't at the top, then upvote it so it has the chance to become number one. The greatest James Cagney performances didn't necessarily come from the best movies, but in most cases they go hand in hand.

This list is made up of films like The Oklahoma Kid and Winner Take All.

"This list answers the questions, "What are the best James Cagney movies?" and "What are the greatest James Cagney roles of all time?"

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  • 1
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    85

    The Crowd Roars

    James Cagney, Joan Blondell

    Released1932

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    The Crowd Roars is a 1932 film directed by Howard Hawks starring James Cagney and featuring Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Eric Linden, Guy Kibbee, and Frank McHugh. The driver in the film's auto racing...  more
  • 2
    341
    37

    Footlight Parade

    James Cagney, Joan Blondell

    Released1933

    Directed byBusby Berkeley, Lloyd Bacon

    Footlight Parade is a 1933 American musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The movie...  more
  • 3
    313
    30

    The Time of Your Life

    James Cagney, Ward Bond

    Released1948

    Directed byH. C. Potter

    The Time of Your Life is a 1948 film starring James Cagney adapted from the 1939 William Saroyan play of the same title. A Cagney Production, The Time of Your Life was produced by Cagney's brother...  more
  • 4
    309
    29

    Mister Roberts

    Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon

    Released1955

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, John Ford, Joshua Logan

    Mister Roberts is a 1955 American Warnercolor in CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy and features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James...  more

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    #116 of 376 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked#127 of 136 The Best Movies Based On Plays

  • 5
    295
    33

    Something to Sing About

    James Cagney, William Frawley

    Released1937

    Directed byVictor Schertzinger

    Something to Sing About, re-released in 1947 as Battling Hoofer, is the second and final film James Cagney made for Grand National Pictures – the first being Great Guy – before mending relations with...  more
  • 6
    210
    21

    Blonde Crazy

    James Cagney, Joan Blondell

    Released1931

    Directed byRoy Del Ruth

    Blonde Crazy is a 1931 film by Roy Del Ruth, starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern, Ray Milland, and Guy Kibbee famous for Cagney's line, "That dirty, double-crossin' rat!" In 2014 the...  more
  • 7
    221
    37

    Yankee Doodle Dandy

    James Cagney, Joan Leslie

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf,...  more

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    #157 of 1,195 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#39 of 362 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • 8
    205
    31

    Angels with Dirty Faces

    Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

    Released1938

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Angels with Dirty Faces is a 1938 American gangster film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, the Dead End Kids and Humphrey Bogart, along with Ann Sheridan and George Bancroft. The...  more
  • 9
    217
    44

    White Heat

    James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien

    Released1949

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    White Heat is a 1949 film noir starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien and featuring Margaret Wycherly and Steve Cochran. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts...  more

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    #43 of 129 The Best Mafia Films Of All Time#108 of 225 The Best Black And White Movies Ever Made

  • 10
    193
    36

    The Public Enemy

    Jean Harlow, James Cagney

    Released1931

    Directed byWilliam A. Wellman

    The Public Enemy is a 1931 American all-talking pre-code crime film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow,...  more

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    #16 of 138 The Best Pre-Code Movies#5 of 26 The Best 1930s Gangster Movies

  • 11
    157
    66

    The Roaring Twenties

    Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

    Released1939

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    The Roaring Twenties is a 1939 crime thriller starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart and Gladys George. The epic movie, spanning the periods between 1919 and 1933, was directed by...  more
  • 12
    132
    54

    The Fighting 69th

    James Cagney, George Reeves

    Released1940

    Directed byWilliam Keighley

    The Fighting 69th is an American war film starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, and George Brent. The plot is based upon the actual exploits of New York City's 69th Infantry Regiment during World War...  more
  • 13
    129
    79

    The Strawberry Blonde

    Rita Hayworth, Olivia de Havilland

    Released1941

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    Strawberry Blonde is a 1941 Warner Bros. feature film directed by Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland, and featuring Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, Jack Carson and George Tobias....  more
  • 14
    94
    56

    Each Dawn I Die

    James Cagney, George Raft

    Released1939

    Directed byWilliam Keighley

    Each Dawn I Die is a 1939 gangster film featuring James Cagney and George Raft in their only movie together as leads, although Raft had made an unbilled appearance in a 1932 Cagney vehicle called...  more
  • 15
    48
    16

    Blood on the Sun

    James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney

    Released1945

    Directed byFrank Lloyd

    Blood on the Sun is a film starring James Cagney and Sylvia Sidney. The film is based on a fictional history behind the Tanaka Memorial document. The film won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction...  more
  • 16
    54
    24

    The Bride Came C.O.D.

    Bette Davis, James Cagney

    Released1941

    Directed byWilliam Keighley

    The Bride Came C.O.D. is a 1941 Warner Bros. screwball romantic comedy starring James Cagney as a pilot and Bette Davis as a runaway heiress, and directed by William Keighley. Although the film was...  more
  • 17
    41
    13

    Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

    James Cagney, Ward Bond

    Released1950

    Directed byGordon Douglas

    Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is a 1950 film noir starring James Cagney, directed by Gordon Douglas, produced by William Cagney and based on the novel by Horace McCoy. The film was banned in Ohio as "a...  more
  • 18
    46
    20

    The Oklahoma Kid

    Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

    Released1939

    Directed byLloyd Bacon

    The Oklahoma Kid is a 1939 western film starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. The movie was directed for Warner Bros. by Lloyd Bacon. Cagney plays an adventurous gunslinger in a broad-brimmed...  more
  • 19
    41
    16

    Picture Snatcher

    James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy

    Released1933

    Directed byLloyd Bacon

    Picture Snatcher is a 1933 film directed by Lloyd Bacon....  more
  • 20
    39
    14

    Jimmy the Gent

    Bette Davis, James Cagney

    Released1934

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Jimmy the Gent is a 1934 American comedy-crime film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney and Bette Davis. It was the first pairing of Cagney and Davis, who would reunite for The Bride...  more
  • 21
    40
    16

    Lady Killer

    James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay

    Released1933

    Directed byRoy Del Ruth

    Lady Killer is a 1933 film starring James Cagney, Mae Clarke, and Margaret Lindsay, based on the story "The Finger Man" by Rosalind Keating Shaffer. The picture was directed by Roy Del Ruth....  more
  • 22
    78
    57

    G Men

    James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay

    Released1935

    Directed byWilliam Keighley

    G Men is a 1935 Warner Bros. crime film starring James Cagney, Ann Dvorak, and Margaret Lindsay, and presenting Lloyd Nolan's film debut. According to Variety Magazine, the movie was one of the...  more
  • 23
    35
    13

    Great Guy

    James Cagney, Joe Sawyer

    Released1936

    Directed byJohn G. Blystone

    Great Guy is a crime film starring James Cagney and Mae Clarke. In the film, an honest inspector for the New York Department of Weights and Measures takes on corrupt merchants and politicians....  more
  • 24
    41
    20

    The Seven Little Foys

    Bob Hope, James Cagney

    Released1955

    Directed byMelville Shavelson

    The Seven Little Foys is a Technicolor in VistaVision 1955 film starring Bob Hope as Eddie Foy. James Cagney reprises his role as George M. Cohan for an energetic tabletop dance showdown sequence. In...  more
  • 25
    35
    17

    Here Comes the Navy

    James Cagney, Gloria Stuart

    Released1934

    Directed byLloyd Bacon

    Here Comes the Navy is a 1934 American romantic comedy film starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart and Frank McHugh. The movie was written by Earl Baldwin and Ben Markson, and directed by...  more