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Cagney in Footlight Parade

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I love this movie, and Cagney’s dancing is certainly a highlight. Joan Blondell is a delight, and this may be my favorite Frank McHugh role.

Did they really have these kinds of live performances before movies? If so, I’m sure they weren’t this elaborate.

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3 hours ago, KayeA said:

I love this movie, and Cagney’s dancing is certainly a highlight. Joan Blondell is a delight, and this may be my favorite Frank McHugh role.

Did they really have these kinds of live performances before movies? If so, I’m sure they weren’t this elaborate.

 In the early 1940s Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney went to movie theaters and performed before their movies were shown as a promotional gimmick.

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James Cagney is my favorite actor of any era, so I loved getting to enjoy his dancing in "Footlight Parade" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" for class. He was so brilliant at whatever he did, be it drama or comedy, dancing or fighting, and for me, his dancing is as much of a joy to watch as Gene Kelly's or Fred Astaire's. He was so athletic and never limited himself to just one style, and always seemed to be having so much fun!

 

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I find it fascinating that some people today only connect Cagney w/"YDD".  They're unaware of his other dramatic roles, including, of course, 'the ultimate tough guy' with which he was most widely associated.

As was just mentioned, he excelled in every performing aspect: dancing, drama, action & comedy. I think any Cagney fan would do themselves well to see several of his movies that are each quite different from the other.

Since musicals have already been covered, how about:

  • "City For Conquest"
  • "The Bride Came C.O.D"
  • "13 Rue Madeleine"
  • "Angels With Dirty Faces"
  • "Bad Day At Black Rock"
  • "The Strawberry Blonde"
  • "The Fighting 69th"
  • "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Shakespeare)
  • "White Heat"
  • "The Roaring Twenties" (Cagney's agility as a dancer was responsible for the dramatic church-steps' scene.)

  .....for starters. ;)

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Jimmy Cagney is certainly my favorite actor.  I loved him in every performance I saw him in.  I especially liked his last performance in Ragtime.   There will never be another like him! 

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I enjoyed seeing Cagney dance in not only Footlight Parade but also Yankee Doodle Dandy and his other take as George M. in The Seven Little Foys. If one were to say Astaire was an elegant dancer and Kelly was an athletic one, in comparison Cagney's style impolitely put as epileptic. 

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We have seen Cagney dance in two important musicals during this course, "Footlight Parade" (1933) and "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942). He played George M. Cohan in "Yankee Doodle Dandy." What hasn't been mentioned is that he played Cohan again in a famous scene in the biopic "The Seven Little Foys" (1955). It was the story of vaudevillian Eddie Foy and his seven performing children and starred Bob Hope as Foy. Recall that in YDD, Cohan (Cagney) had an exchange outside a theatre with Eddie Foy (played by Eddie Foy, Jr.). In SLF, Cohan (Cagney) and Foy (Hope) perform an energetic table-top dance duet that is the highlight of the film. As I recall the story, both Hope and Cagney had not danced in years and both trained intensely for the scene (and both were exhausted afterwords). I believe this scene was the last time that Cagney danced on film.  

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 12:24 AM, repper said:

I enjoyed seeing Cagney dance in not only Footlight Parade but also Yankee Doodle Dandy and his other take as George M. in The Seven Little Foys. If one were to say Astaire was an elegant dancer and Kelly was an athletic one, in comparison Cagney's style impolitely put as epileptic. 

WOW he danced on air was probably the 2nd best dancer in Hollywood. 

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1 hour ago, LeeDonely said:

WOW he danced on air was probably the 2nd best dancer in Hollywood. 

I love Cagney dancing with Ruby Keeler in " Shanghai Lil "  from " Footlight Parade ". They both danced well with others but I think their 20's barebones hoofing style was well suited to be together. Clean Taps.

Fred Astaire thought the world of Jimmy Cagney's dancing. So many great movie dancers attended Fred Astaire's  AFI Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. But I think Cagney was the oldest one to show up and certainly  the one who meant the most to Fred Astaire.

 Cagney and his wife attended, so he could publicly congratulate Astaire.

When Astaire was performing the dance of his life - - his signature dance, "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails--

he invited one outside dance consultant to objectively judge his performance. And that was James Cagney.

If you search for it, you can find a still photograph of the two of them on that day walking on the RKO lot consulting.

Two great movie tap dancers

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On 6/24/2018 at 9:45 AM, Zea said:

I find it fascinating that some people today only connect Cagney w/"YDD".  They're unaware of his other dramatic roles, including, of course, 'the ultimate tough guy' with which he was most widely associated.

As was just mentioned, he excelled in every performing aspect: dancing, drama, action & comedy. I think any Cagney fan would do themselves well to see several of his movies that are each quite different from the other.

Since musicals have already been covered, how about:

  • "City For Conquest"
  • "The Bride Came C.O.D"
  • "13 Rue Madeleine"
  • "Angels With Dirty Faces"
  • "Bad Day At Black Rock"
  • "The Strawberry Blonde"
  • "The Fighting 69th"
  • "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Shakespeare)
  • "White Heat"
  • "The Roaring Twenties" (Cagney's agility as a dancer was responsible for the dramatic church-steps' scene.)

  .....for starters. ;)

This is an interesting take, since most fans, and casual filmgoers, associate Carney with his non-musical roles, especially his gsngster films.

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