The Fighting 69th

The Fighting 69th

James Cagney
Director: William Keighley Cast: James Cagney
James Cagney
, Pat O'Brien
Pat O'Brien
, George Brent
George Brent
William Keighley


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Officially, America had no intention of entering the Second World War in 1940: Why, then, were there so many "preparedness" pictures like The Fighting 69th? This film, based on the experiences of military priest Father Duffy (Pat O'Brien), is set during World War I. The US 69th division was a national guard contingent comprised of Irish Americans, who fought with the Rainbow Division in the years 1917-1918. Into this Hibernian stronghold comes cocky Jerry Plunkett (Jimmy Cagney), a streetwise tough who is certain that he can lick the Germans single-handedly. But during his first taste of real combat, Plunkett turns coward and inadvertently reveals the 69th's position. Held responsible for the deaths of his companions, Plunkett is sentenced to a firing squad. Thanks to a conveniently dropped bomb that levels the stockade in which he is held, Plunkett redeems himself on the battlefield by sacrificing his life to save his fellow soldiers. The beauty of James Cagney's star performance is that he is as thoroughly convincing as a "yellow belly" as he is a hero. In addition to father Duffy, the real-life personages depicted in The Fighting 69th include future OSS leader Wild Bill Donovan (George Brent) and poet Joyce Kilmer (Jeffrey Lynn). Other Irish "regulars" include Alan Hale, Frank McHugh, Dennis Morgan, and Sammy Cohen.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/09/2014
UPC: 0888574105556
Original Release: 1940
Rating: NR
Source: Warner Archives
Time: 1:30:00
Sales rank: 5,542

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Cagney Jerry Plunkett
Pat O'Brien Father Duffy
George Brent Wild Bill Donovan
Jeffrey Lynn Joyce Kilmer
Alan Hale Sgt. Big Mike Wynn
Frank McHugh "Crepe Hanger" Burke
Dick Foran John Wynn
William Lundigan Timmy Wynn
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams Paddy Dolan
Henry O'Neill The Colonel
John Litel Capt. Mangan
Sammy Cohen Mike Murphy
Harvey Stephens Maj. Anderson
Tom Dugan Pvt. McManus
Frank Wilcox Lt. Norman
Eddie Acuff Actor
Guy Anderson [Herbert] Casey
Nat Carr Actor
Creighton Hale Actor
Jack Mower Actor
Benny Rubin Actor
Jack Wise Actor
Dennis Morgan Lt. Ames
Herbert Anderson Casey
John Arledge Alabama man
Trevor Bardette Alabama man
Richard Clayton Tierney
Frank Coghlan Jimmy
Joseph Crehan Doctor
Edward Dew Regan
Ralph Dunn Medical captain
Edgar Edwards Engineer officer
Frank Faylen Engineer sgt. at cave-in
James Flavin Supply sergeant
Jerry Fletcher Telephonist
Arno Frey German officer
Edmund Glover Alabama Man
John Harron Carroll
William Hopper Pvt. Turner
J. Anthony Hughes Healey
Jacques Lory Waiter
Wilfred Lucas Doctor
Frank Mayo Capt. Bootz
Frank Melton Alabama man
Byron Nelson Soldier
George O'Hanlon Eddie
Jack Perrin Major
George Reeves Jack O'Keefe
John Ridgely Moran
Frank Sully Sergeant
Charles Trowbridge Chaplain Holmes
Roland Varno German Officer
Emmett Vogan Doctor
Sol (Saul) Gorss Soldier

Technical Credits
William Keighley Director
Adolph Deutsch Score Composer
Louis Edelman Associate Producer
Leo F. Forbstein Musical Direction/Supervision
Dean Franklin Screenwriter
Tony Gaudio Cinematographer
Byron Haskin Special Effects
Charles Lang Sound/Sound Designer
Owen Marks Editor
Fred Niblo Screenwriter
Norman Reilly Raine Screenwriter
Ted Smith Art Director
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Jack L. Warner Producer
Perc Westmore Makeup
Rex Wimpy Special Effects

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