Decent story about a sailor (James Cagney) who shows up in rough-and-tumble Barbary Coast, San Francisco and immediately makes a splash, by killing a hated, hook-handed thug during a fight. He is lauded as a hero and soon uses his newfound celebrity to make a name for himself, opening a new saloon and getting involved with all the riff-raff that populated the area. He makes a lot of friends and a lot of enemies, too. Walking a fine line between corruption and wholesomeness makes for an interesting character you want to see the future of.
Not one of Cagney's best, but still a good watch. Very serious in tone compared to many of Cagney's more lighthearted films of the time. Impressive mob scenes as well. As a side note, this takes place in 1854. At one point, Cagney buys his friend and business partner a suit which costs $100. Today, that suit would cost a mind-boggling $2,700!