A huge box office success and a key film in James Cagney's rise to stardom, this drama stars Cagney as Matt Nolan, a gritty New York City cab driver who is being squeezed by a monopolistic taxi trust which uses force to run him and other independent cabbies away from the most profitable locations. Nolan joins forces with Pop Riley (George Kibbee), whose cab is smashed by a truck when he refuses to cooperate with the syndicate. Kibbee is sent to prison for shooting at the truck driver. Nolan is dating his daughter, Sue (Loretta Young), and they enter a Peabody dance contest at a local nightclub. Cagney dances on screen for the first time, and so does George Raft as Willie Kenny, another dancing tough guy who was a friend of Cagney's, who pushed Warner Bros. to give Cagney the role. Nolan marries Sue Riley, and she tries to get him to cool down. But the taxi trust goons kill his brother Danny (Ray Cooke), and Nolan goes on a rampage. In several filmed gun battles, live machine-gun bullets are used, as they were in Cagney's famed The Public Enemy. This is the last time Cagney allowed that.
by Michael Betzold synopsis