There's an old Irish proverb that goes, "Those who shake hands with the devil often have trouble getting their hands back," and in this picture it's Cagney who has firmly gripped the devil's outstretched hand. A college medical professor at Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons, Cagney
spends his days lecturing students but at night wears the hat of a militant member of the Irish Republican Army. The 1921 conflict between the IRA and the British Black and Tans is apparent from the opening frames, as a group of militiamen break up a seemingly innocent funeral service. It is
innocent only in appearance, however. When the wooden casket is sent crashing to the ground it i...