Oh joy! Today is an excuse to post these

James Cagney was the ultimate song and dance man. I’m pretty sure Michael Jackson watched these moves over and over . . .

and how about this for pure grace . . .

and you can’t beat this for pure wonderful schmaltz . . .



15 responses to “Oh joy! Today is an excuse to post these

  1. A Yankee Doodle Dandy he was.


  2. Several years ago I ran into an Asian lady in the DVD section of the Westport Library. She was obviously puzzled by the selectionb. She explained she was new to the United States and wanted to watch a good American movie.
    “What kind of movies do you like?”
    “Musicals, I think.”
    A few moments of silence while I thought.
    “Ever see ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’?’
    I raced down the aisle to musicals and, God bless the Wpt library folks, there it was big as life.
    “I suggest you start with this.”
    She took it and smiled intense gratitude.
    Hope she enjoyed it.

    I must admit I almost danced to

    Ba bum bum bum bum
    Baa bum.

    on the way out.

    Very best regards,



  3. The first one sounds like rap…


  4. Happy 4th Moe!!


  5. Happy 4th! My grandma and I are watching this movie now. I was the only 15 year old in my h.s. history class who knew all the words to Yankee Doodle Dandy. It definitely freaked my teachers out.


    • Welcome SciFiGirl, glad you stopped by – how cool that you knew the song. Was it your grandmother who got you to watch it back when?


      • No, it was my mom. One of my aunts had the movie on VHS, so we would watch it around the 4th of July every year. The first time I saw it was the July 4, 1999, when I was 13. For some reason, my mom always needed an excuse to watch it, so she always claimed it was because my grandfather was born on the 4th, so the movie was for him.


  6. Commenter Jim (above) recounted a story to me today about something that happened a few days after James Cagney died. As Jim tells it:

    “E—n happened to be in NYC, up near 96th Street and Lex, the morning of [Cagney’s] funeral. She walked in and sat in the back of the church. Midway through the mass, she spotted the newly named Archbishop O’Connor quietly enter the church and take a seat in a pew off to her side.

    “After the presiding priest’s homily, the Archbishop rose from his pew and walked to the pulpit. He introduced himself in a quiet dignified voice. (I have been in meetings with US Navy admirals, one of which he was (a two-star), and I have observed they have the ability to speak softly, but with obvious command of the occasion, throwing their quiet voice quite audibly, across an arena with ease, without the slightest trace of effort.

    “E–n reported he introduced himself as the new bishop of the NY Archdiocese. He then announced he was there to apologize on behalf of that Archdiocese for a terrible wrong inflicted on young Jimmy, many years ago, the night his father passed away in a tenement a few blocks away from this church. He explained he understood the local priest had refused to come to administer last rites; and that for that reason, Jimmy had separated himself from the church for the rest of his life.

    “. . . As the casket exited the church and processed down the rather steep steps to 96th St in the bright sun, directly across that broad street, on the south side, every one of the workers working on a new building silently removed their hard-hats and stood at attention until the funeral procession ad gone away. E–n wasn’t the only one who teared up.”


  7. I loved his musicals and comedies – and Yankee Doodle Dandy – is awesome but my favorite Cagney movie is always going to be Angels With Dirty Faces. Caney’s character choosing to be thought of as coward rather than face his execution with stoicism so as stop the young kids from following in his footsteps still sticks with me.


    • Not too many actors managed to excel at being both a song and dance man and a fine fine actor. Most actors who ‘make it’ have the training to do it all, but we don’t get to see it often. And not many are as good as Cagney was.


  8. Regardless of whether he played a good guy or a bad one, Cagney was wonderful.

    Thanks Moe. I hadn’t watched this is years!


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