Whoa, part two! More credits by Fritz Lang?

 

 

No. It does look like a rather impractical skyscraper design; that's some prime office space. Explains why the studio went out of business, perhaps.

 

 

We've met this studio before; they were responsible for the very bad Shadow movies. This one, however, is a fitting mid-point for 100 Mysteries, being both Cheap and Good. One reason:

 

 

Could be any Cagney film, no? He's a Great Guy! In a more opulent era, he might have been a Splendid Fellow - but no, that's more a Cary Grant sort of role. Cagney was a guy. A guy's guy. The sort of guy real guys call a guy's guy.

So: is he a cocky-but-lovable guy who just got outta stir, and is lookin' to go on the level this time? No, he's on the level from the start.

He's a crusading investigator for the Bureau of Weights and Measure.

 

 


Go ahead, snicker. But he's fighting a one-man war against crooked scales in butcher shops and inaccurately metered gasoline pumps. Everyone's out to screw the little guy with fixed scales - as Cagney puts it, it costs the American consumer more each year than the War Debt, and this can't go on. It's not right. It's not on the level. As you might expect, he runs afoul of Big Thumb, or whatever you want to call the crooks and vested interests who want things to stay nice and inaccurate.

Here are the smart, effective thugs:

 

 

And here is another, who appears to be a half-human half-Calimari.

 

 

A great tale for Depression-era crowds - but only Cagney could play a guy who gets so upset over rigged butcher scales he beats the fixer senseless in an apartment room while the police wait outside, letting him finish. Why? Because he's a Great Guy, that's why.

If 100 Mysteries was trying to apologize for the last few movies, consider the apology accepted.

On to the second half!