Yankee Doodle Dandy

1942

Action / Biography / Drama / Musical

24
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 91%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 83%
IMDb Rating 7.8 10 12247

Synopsis


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October 19, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Director

Cast

James Cagney as George M. Cohan
William Hopper as Reporter
Rosemary DeCamp as Nellie Cohan
Walter Huston as Jerry Cohan
720p.BLU
873.46 MB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 6 min
P/S 1 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Matt Greene 7 / 10

No...Thank YOU, Mr. Cagney

An undeniable standout in the show-biz-centric musicals of the era. Where most are disposable song-and-dance-and-not-much-else tales, this takes a deeper look at the changing of trends and the difficulty of relevance. Clearly influenced by the experimentation of Citizen Kane, it boasts cool cinematography and solid editing. Cagney (when not being asked to sing) is great, playing the flawed but lovable song-and-dance man. Even if it isn't as transcendent as its reputation holds, it's still a noble good time.

Reviewed by Richie-67-485852 10 / 10

Its a Dandy

Good entertainment and story-telling from the 1940's where James Cagney ruled films successfully by giving the viewers all he had. He proves this and more in this little gem. Be prepared to have your patriotic genes awakened and stirred and I dare you to not shed a tear or two during the singing of She's a Grand Ole Flag. That song holds up today and will continue too. Good supporting cast and this was the type of film back then where you truly got your monies worth and spent a nice two hours with your date or a group of friends. Heck, even alone it is good value. Grab a bite before and after and life was and is good. I enjoy eating with movie watching. This is a sandwich movie and a tasty drink with a snack of choice to follow. This movie makes a very good point in a scene where Cohan goes to enlist after Pearl Harbor and is declined because of age. However, his efforts where he did shine (song and dance) was worth more than all the fighting he could have ever done. I cannot imagine how it feels to make such a major contribution to life and your fellow man as he did. Congress could and they awarded him a medal to prove it. This supports the premise that whatever gifts or talents you have, use them, give them and share them for life is brief and over before one even has time to assess it. Rally around this movie and enjoy James Cagney as we celebrate the American way of life. How fortunate we are to have America

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 9 / 10

A few small flaws, but otherwise superb entertainment!

Copyright 2 January 1943 by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. New York opening at the Hollywood Theater: 29 May 1942. U.S. release: May 1942. U.K. release: 19 September 1942. Australian release: 30 September 1943. Sydney release: 24 September 1943 (Tatler Theater). Australian length: 11,563 feet (128½ minutes). U.S. length: 126 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: George M. Cohan — from birth to Broadway to "President".

NOTES: Initial domestic gross: $4,800,000. In addition to his Academy Award, James Cagney also won the New York Film Critics award for Best Actor (he walked away with the award, receiving 13 votes to 2 on the very first ballot!). Curtiz was nominated for Best Director but dropped out after the second ballet. (The award was eventually won by John Farrow for "Wake Island").

When I interviewed Jimmy Cagney, there were two films he was especially fond of. One, of course, was "Footlight Parade" (1933) which took Cagney out of the noir aura of thieves and gangsters and into the song-and-dance world of musical comedy. His other favorite film of course was "Yankee Doodle Dandy" which Cagney felt did such important work as a wartime morale-booster that any liberties the script took with the real facts of George M. Cohan's birth (he was actually born on July 3, not July 4) and life story were totally unimportant.

COMMENT: ?Yankee Doodle Dandy" was obviously filmed on a blank check as a war-time propaganda gesture. Cohan himself died a few months after the film's release. He was ill at the time and took no part in the production which, as might be expected of Hollywood, takes considerable liberties, both major and minor with his career.

Although he regarded July 4th as his birthday, Cohan was actually born on July 3rd which makes total nonsense of the entire first ten or fifteen minutes of the film. A nauseating performance by Walter Huston – actively abetting this lie – doesn't help either. Another equally outlandish falsehood occurs in the later stages of the film when Cohan denies having made any movies whereas he made several, including two sound films — The Phantom President (1932) and Gambling (1934).

Oddly, and to my great surprise, Cohan himself hated the movie, which is surprising in view of the fact that it so vigorously abets the lie that he was born on July 4. The problem no doubt is that the movie lies on such an enormous raft of other details as well. It is really a fairy tale rather than a genuine "life".

Nonetheless, this is rousing, bouncy entertainment, with Cagney flashily hoofing and singing such Cohan standards as "Give My Regards to Broadway", "I Was Born In Virginia" and "Over There".

One of the highlights of the film are the two long scenes from the stage presentation of "Yankee Doodle Dandy".

Cagney deserved his Best Actor Award. He dominates the entire film. He tells the story in flashback and appears in just about every scene, except of course the early ones with the child actors. Aside from his opening scenes, Huston is effective, also sings his own songs and does his own hoofing, but the other principal players are either colorless or put in the shade by Cagney, particularly Jeanne Cagney and to a lesser extent De Camp, Leslie and Whorf. Irene Manning tends to over-act and does not come across too attractively though she sings in her own voice.

As in "Lillian Russell", Eddie Foy does his father again to perfection, but alas has only one unimportant scene with Cagney. What could be omitted is a lot of the routine domestic trivia with which the director seems as bored as we are. Curtiz comes to life during the parades and songs and Siegel has provided a couple of lively montages, including an extremely elaborate one of the neon lights of Old Broadway. Production values are superlative.

AVAILABLE on a superb Warner DVD.

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