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In 1945, James Cagney, through his independent production company, bought the rights to a lurid novel by Adria Locke Langley, concerning the rise of a Southern demagogue, loosely based on the political career of Huey Long. By the time the film finally went into production and was released in 1953, the film became an also-ran, trailing behind Robert Rossen's Oscar-winning production All the King's Men, which concerned the same subject. The film, directed by Raoul Walsh, never escapes from the towering shadows of the Rossen ...

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