Guest Nunnery, Beth

Who Likes James Cagney?

97 posts in this topic

Guest Nunnery, Beth

Who don't like him? He's like the best gangster there ever was. Am I right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest TRIXIE

Cagney could do it all! Sucha cool gangster & THEN he could dance like no one I ever saw! A true Class Act - there'll never be another Cagney... No actor today could touch this guy, "You Dirty Rat"! Although, he claimed he never said YDR. TRIXIE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Marc

I never get tired of Cagney movies from the early 30's. Without getting into his merits as an actor, which were considerable, he was just a likable guy! Besides, his movies haves such incredible energy. They just move! One of my favorite male actors,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Rene

Cagney is the best. His performance opposite Doris Day's outstanding portrayal in "Love Me Or Leave Me" was a high point in both their careers. He was so humble when he received the AFI tribute in the 1970's. Even Doris Day appeared on the program and said that a film clip would say best what she felt. They then showed the clip of her singing "You Made Me Love You" from "Love Me Or Leave Me". Very fitting and quite moving. What else would you expect from a class act like Doris?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I absolutely love "City for Conquest!" I remember one morning turning on the t.v. just as it was coming on and I started scrambling around to find a video to tape it. I think Cagney is adorable, and boy can he pack a punch! I love him opposite Ann Sheridan. They make such a good pair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is any another actor for whom I will watch ANY film s/he's in, regardless of its reputation. He's just so entertaining and fun to watch.

 

Oddly, I don't consider him my favorite actor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's my favorite actor of all time and has been since I first discovered his films when I was 14 years old thirty years ago. I don't think anyone embodied the joy of performing more than he did. Even when you read about his troubles with Jack Warner and the less than happy sets he endured, his joy shone through every step in every film. That energy, that mercurial joy of just BEING, was incredible to watch. Very few actors could move the way he moved, a blur, that perpetual dance in each gesture and inflection. You see that in actors who are dancers and you see it in actors who have studied martial arts, like James Coburn or Bruce Lee, that grace about them, that refined balance, it's there even when they are standing still as their world around them is always swirling. Pardon me all you fans of Olivier and DeNiro, but movies by their very nature are supposed to MOVE, not just talk, but run and that's what makes Cagney one of the most exciting, compelling, greatest actors in the history of cinema.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I adore James Cagney. I really got into him the summer I was 12. It was a hot summer so I spent a lot of time down in the basement watching Bill Kennedy at the movies. I lived in Det. and he had a show out of Canada that showed old Warner Brothers movies. He knew Bette DAvis and others as he was an extra in some movies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy Cagney but not for his tough guy gangster rolls but for his light hearted/ musical/comedic rolls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mandarin, after RAGTIME, there was talk that he was going to star in a film based on the later years of Bat Masterson, but it never came about. He did one more film, a tv movie called TERRIBLE JOE MORAN from 1984, co-starring Art Carney and Ellen Barkin. He played an elderly man who had once been a prize fighter and was now trying to relate to his adult daughter. Sadly, the movie was not very good at all and Cagney was very ill during the making of it. His voice was so damaged that it was removed from the soundtrack and impressionist Rich Little was called in to dub the entire movie for him. It was a truly sad close to Cagney's career and I've often wished he had just let acting go after RAGTIME, as he was teriffic in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember he had diabetes at the end of his life; did you see the interview/documentary (?) where he talked at great length about his life and some of his roles? (I saw this after "Ragtime"). I believe it was filmed at his home. That's the last memory I have of him, and although he was old and not in the best of health he seemed happy. I think during that interview he mentioned he might do another project. (Or maybe he had? Maybe the movie you mentioned--which I have not seen) He's one of my favorite actors (but I have so many) and in my mind's eye he is forever vital and full of fire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't remember that interview, but I know at the time of RAGTIME's release he was very energetic and enthusiastic, talking of new roles he was considering and scripts he was reading. It's a shame that none of them came about. Some years later there was talk of a biography film being done about him and he said at the time he thought that the two performers who would do a good job in the role were Mikhail Baryshinikov and Michael J. Fox!

 

The biggest regret I have about Cagney is that he did not accept director Francis Ford Coppola's invitation to appear in THE GODFATHER PART II. He was offered the role of an old Irish mafia chieftain, a close friend of the character played by Marlon Brando in the first film. Cagney did not want to come out of retirement and so passed up on appearing in what would ultimately become one of the greatest films ever made. The role was re-tailored as an Italian mobster and played by playwright Michael V. Gazzo. We can only imagine how great Cagney would have been playing his last gangster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd rather see an unknown in a biopic of James Cagney. I never knew that about The Godfather II, that would have been a good role for Cagney. I went to a screening of The Godfather last summer; the theater was packed, with a lot of young people in attendance, but also plenty of people like me who saw it when it was originally released.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"WHY YOU......."

 

I know all of you dirty mugs are gonna be watching CAGNEY all day today, eh?

 

6 film marathon.....enough Cags for any of yous wiseguys!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I forgot who below said they didn't consider him their favorite actor, because I don't either. However, after watching his marathon today, I might have changed my mind. He is more compelling in any role, much more than just about anyone. You can just tell he's having the time of his life. And he's one of the only actors to grow old gracefully in films. Stewart and Fonda worked longer but in their later years made a lot of crap. The only one I can think of in the same league is Paul Newman, and even he's made crap. But I don't think Cagney was in even one bad movie, at least they didn't seem bad when he was in them. Now I'll have to say I wasn't that fond of "The Gallant Hours" only because it was kind of boring. Cagney needs to be ALIVE in his roles, and Admiral Halsey I guess wasn't that exciting. He just did his job and watching someone just do their job is not all that exciting. It was my only disappointment of the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody comes close to Jimmy when it comes to gangsters. I'm sorry, Bogie is a great, but Jimmy....Jimmy is the king. He's so realistic, so authentic. Like I said about Bogie, he's wonderful, very realistic himself, he's just not like Jimmy. I can't thoroughly explain it. Jimmy isn't just a great gangster...he's The Gangster.

 

I suppose I don't need to say I like Jimmy. I think I already clarified it above. Lol. He's absolutely wonderful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like him? Nope - LOVE him! I agree with those of you who said he is KING. IMO None better. I sooo enjoyed Tuesday. I don't know how long it's been since Cagney was star of the month but I sure wish he would be again soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great thread. Cagney is my favorite of all actors regardless of what generation you might like more. Even today's greats ( Pacino, Dinero, Nicholson etc) all said he was the best. Look at what Brando said "Everything he does is believable. No one was better" . Orson Welles said " Everything Cagney does is big. He is a Marching Band where as Tracy is Chamber Music".

 

I have seen almost all his films and it is hard for me to pick just one as a favorite . I would have to say it would be White Heat. As far as follow ups to that then here is my Cagney list in no order:

 

Torrid Zone

City for Conquest

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye ( Great Film Noir)

One, Two, Three

Yankee Doodle Dandy ( BUT OF COURSE)

Footlight Parade

Taxi

Angels With Dirty Faces

Something to Sing About

Blood on the Sun

Run for Cover

Love Me Or Leave me

 

I could go on and on but I will stop here. I had the great pleasure to meet the man himself back in 1980 when he was filming Ragtime. To say he was nice is an understatment. He spent a good part of na hour talking with myself and my friend . He was so very surprised to meet two guys in there early 20's who knew him and loved his films. I will always treasure the phot I have of the man himself with me. Anyway those are my choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us