Yankee Doodle Dandy
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Well, the US had officially entered World War II at this time so you can expect that there is going to be a bunch of propaganda films like this. I did not expect, however, for the book to include movies like this. I guess it is historically significant?
James Cagney sings and dances. Yep, you read that correctly. The man that starred in all those gangsters films is performing cheesy musical numbers. I had a similar reaction when I saw Hugh Jackman perform. I mean, there is nothing wrong with pursuing your musical dreams if you are so inclined but it is just vaguely unsettling after they have been acting like such bad asses. Anyway, this is the story of George Cohan and it is over two hours long.
I believe that it takes a special kind of director to direct musicals and I am not sure Michael Curtiz had the experience or expertise to pull it off. It just comes across as a middle school production of Yankee Doodle Dandy for veterans' day or something. Not impressed.
Fred Astaire turned down the role of George.
Not a very accurate portrayal of George Cohan's life.
Ranked #98 in AFI's top 100 movies. Oh come on.
James Cagney's performance was ranked #6 in Greatest Performances of all time by Premiere magazine.