From the moment it hit the nation's movie screens in 1939, John Ford's Stagecoach was declared a masterpiece. Not just a pretty good Western, but a masterpiece. Never before had an "oater" earned that sort of praise.
Whatever its merits as entertainment, 1939's Confessions of a Nazi Spy is a social and historical landmark, the first time a major Hollywood studio pulled out all the stops in attacking the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism.
Warner Brothers was noted for its emphasis on films that dealt with social problems. Each Dawn I Die is a prison film pairing James Cagney with tough guy George Raft – a man with intimate knowledge of underworld characters.