"Out of this mix of energy, suspicion, gloom, iconoclasm, and liberalism came not only a distinctive kind of film, but also a distinctive vision of America - particularly urban America. it was an environment cruel and indifferent, one almost cosmologically adversarial, where a host of forces prevented one from easily attaining virtue. it was a world that daunted and dared - a world where one’s only hope and only meaning lay not in higher morals, not in love, not in family, not in sacrifice, but in action leavened by a vague sense of honor. Warners’ stars, more than those of any other studio, were defined by kinesis. They move, and through movement they invent themselves. In fact, one could almost say that in Warner’s pictures - and in Cagney, Robinson, Bogart, Raft, Garfield, Flynn, Muni, Davis, and the others who populated them - heroism is action, at least when the action is informed by an understanding that it is al we have. Hence the speed."
-Neal Gabler, “Empire of Their Own,”
This is one of my favorite documentaries to this day.