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James Cagney Grapefruit Scene A famous scene from an old classic: James Cagney cruelly shoves a grapefruit into the face of actress Mae Clarke in The Public Enemy (1931). Depending on which story you believe, Cagney either ad-libbed the incident or he and Clarke together decided to incorporate it into the scene. Either way, no one else in the studio expected it!
Tags: James  Cagney  grapefruit  Public  Enemy 
Added: 10th December 2007
Views: 3982
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: donmac101 on 2007-12-11 
So many scenes, from so many films are remembered. This is one of the classics that people of a certain age can quote. Not only for the fact that James Cagney was an amazing talent with so many strings too his bow, it was that this scene showed him at his best worst. A bit like, made it ma, top of the world, you feel sorry but also mad at him in one breath.
Posted by: Naomi on 2007-12-11 
Not exactly Mr Sunshine was he? Maybe he needed some of those little pills from Dr Miles!
Posted by: Lenofus on 2007-12-16 
Actually, the Director, William Wellman, was in a bad marriage. He said, although his wife at the time, I believe she was three of four, was beautiful, he just wanted to....... Well, when he saw that grapefruit in the scene, he directed Cagney to do the famous smush.

source, a 1973 PBS special, recently rebroadcast on TCM, and it is tremendous. That's the story, from Wellman's mouth.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2007-12-16 
I've never heard that version of the story before. Thanks for the input.
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