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glebb

Yankee Doodle Dandy

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I'm really enjoying the dancing of James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" - TCM. His style is unique and his cabrioles are quite nice.

Happy 4th of July fellow Americans!

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Ooh, I wish I could see that up here today! We're "Yankee Doodle Dandy" fanatics and haven't seen it in, oh so long!

I'm a native New Yorker, raised on Long Island, living in Toronto 31 years now. I really miss the American holidays!

Happy 4th, everyone!!!!

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Thanks :( I agree, glebb. I was stunned when I first saw that sequence. He's seldom mentioned in the Great American Dancers lists, but he's very elegant, and shows how different show dancing was in the early days of the last century (and why so many dancers could go back and forth between ballet and Broadway.)

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glebb...I too spent the last hour or so watching Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy, something I try not to miss every 4rth! He's always been a favorite of mine since I can remember and watching his dancing in that movie always puts a smile on my face. My Grandfather and Grandmother made their living in vaudeville and played some houses with him in N.Y.when he was making his living as a hoofer! One of my prized posessions is a beautiful charcoal portrait I had made for my Dad of Cagney. Glad to see I'm not the only one who will opt to miss the fireworks and stay home to watch Yankee Doodle!

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That is a wonderful movie and Cagney is terrific in it. The framing device--Cagney as George M. Cohan translating headlines from Daily Variety for teen-agers: Sticks Nix Hicks Flicks"--to get into the story is perfect.

He toured vaudeville, one imagines as a song and dance man, before his success in the movies.

One of the main reason that his dancing has been so overlooked is that he became the indispensible tough guy of American movies during the 30s and 40s. From the time he hit Mae Clark in the face with a grapefruit--Public Enemy, 1931, until he was "on top of the world, Ma" as a petrochemical plant exploded behind him--White Heat, 1949 Cagney was the first choice as a vicious killer, gangster or punk. Sometimes, as in Angels with Dirty Faces, 1938, he played a hood with a heart of gold.

One aspect of his dancing style was the amout of space he covered--while some of may be camera work, he seemed to tour a very large stage without much effort.

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