Guest Nunnery, Beth

Who Likes James Cagney?

97 posts in this topic

The interview you are talking about was filmed while he was in London filming Ragtime. It was done by Time Magazines critic Richard Shikel. He later came out with a book based on his numerious interviews with Cagney.

 

It is available on tape .

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Bogart was good but just like John Wayne or Gary Cooper he was always Bogart. He was always playing Bogart or at least the public's perception of Bogart. Cagney always seemed to take the role to heart and give it his all. Take White Heat for Example. No one and I mean No one could have given that role the power or energy that Cagney did. Can you imagin another actor going crazy the way Cagney did in the mess hall ?

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I saw the RS documentary way back when during my original heyday with Cagney. Loved it. I used to have it on tape but I go through buying and selling like nobody does, and usually not to my benefit. But Shake Hands with the Devil (or any other film the man appeared in) will never leave my collection!

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Hey Johnny,

 

I still have my original tape from 1981 when they premiered the documentary on PBS . You can go too amazon to get it along with the original AFI award show from 1974. I wish I knew where I could get the Kennedy Center show that was on in 1981 when he received that honor. Would be a great addition to my Cagney collection .

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Another Cagney fan here! He is my favorite actor, and has been since I was a little girl. I am fortunate to have written Mr. Cagney and he responded with a thank you and an autograph (the only time I have ever written an actor, btw). I love all his work, but my favorite is "Hard To Handle" with Mary Brian and Ruth Donnelly. I'm glad to see so many others appreciate this great actor!

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He had such a great range. Think about on one end there's Yankee Doodle Dandy. On the other there is 'The Roaring Twenties". Somewhere in the middle you get "Man of A Thousand Faces" and "Love Me or Leave Me" Is it me or is there a huge hole in the number of his films being shown?

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It's not just you, movieman1957, I think there are a lot of his films that do not get as much exposure as they should (my favorite, Hard to Handle, is a prime example). Although, access to his great body of work is far better than it was back in the day. Thank God, for TCM! I remember as a child, I would get the weekly TVGuide and go through it page by page, searching for any Cagney title I could find. So, things have improved immensely since the "dark ages" LOL. Am I dating myself??? I guess that's okay, as long as I buy myself popcorn and open the door for myself, too! LOL.

 

I've noticed that the DVDs of his work are getting more diverse, too. For a while it was always the same (albeit GREAT) titles "Blood on the Sun"; "Great Guy" (aka "The Battling Hoofer"--lol); "Tribute to a Bad Man"; "White Heat"; etc. Now, I'm finding some of his earlier (and wonderful, WONDERFUL) comedy titles such as "The Irish In Us" and "Here Comes the Navy" popping up. Perhaps in time, we'll have access to ALL his films (as well as access to more flicks of other great and classic performers). If they show 'em, I'll watch 'em, 'cause "that's the kind of hairpin I am!!!"

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If you are dating yourself I must really be as I've seen most of his films. The problem was most of them were back in the late 70s. I've The Gallant Hours, Shake Hands With The Devil, What Price Glory, A Lion Is In TheStreets, even his early musicals (and nearly 40 more.) Ever seen "A Midsummer Night's Dream"? There are a few staples but so much of his work is really neglected. Too bad. Most people (outside of our group here) think he played only gangsters. They're in for a surprise, someday.

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Oh, I've seen most of his movies, save for a couple. Some I have not seen for quite a while, though. I grew up in Southern California, and there use to be a UHF channel (this was long before the days of cable) that would play a ton of old Warner Brother classics (I believe the name of the show was "Hollywood Movie Classics"). This is where I got my exposure to many of the WB greats, and of course, became enamored with Mr. Cagney (who's pictures do you think adorned my bedroom wall as a young girl? No Donny Osmond for me! HA HA!). This program featured many wonderful WB flicks from the early 30's. The local channels did show his later work (e.g., Mr. Roberts; The Gallant Hours; Love Me or Leave Me; A Lion is in the Streets), but that UHF program kept me distracted many, many evenings. I have seen "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and Jim did a great job as Bottom (I love Joe E. Brown in that movie, as well). Yes, Gentleman Jim was so much more than a gangster! I hope someday the powers that be will release an ultimate Cagney collection. And I agree, those that love his tough guy image are going to be in for a wonderful treat!!

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It sounds like we had similar movie watching experiences. I had a stattion that played a Bogart movie every weekday night for a month. My senior year in high school ( '75) when I only had to go a half day I told my teacher I had to leave early as there was a Jimmy Stewart movie on I had never seen. Bless her, about ten minutes later she told me to go. If I remember it was "Call Northside 777". It was nice when you could get a lot of old films to watch, even if they were on snowy little UHF channels. It was worth the effort.

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It sounds like both of you had similar experiences to myself. In Canada, in early-to-mid-80s, CBC aired the old Warner Bros. catalogue (or what they picked from it) and it was that package that shaped what I still like, but have long since expand upon. I'd be so tired at school coz I just had to stay up and catch Torrid Zone or The Oklahoma Kid. I always hoped they'd show more of Cagney's early film, which they never did, other than Public Enemy. They switched to Paramount/Universal films when their contract ran out and then I got to see Madame Butterfly, The Phantom President, His Woman, Law and Order, Air Mail, and other obscure early titles from those two studios. Terrific stuff when I only had 15 channels to choose from.

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Always loved him. I'm 47 and started watching him as a teen. What a fascinating actor! I used to batlle with myself as to who was my favorite actor from the classic era. Bogie? Cagney? Gable?

Recently I've narrowed it down to Eddie G and Cagney. But Cagney has to be the tops. I recently bought the DVD of "The Public Enemy". Of course I had seen it before but it had been years. He punches his way into Hollywood lore with this film. He is nothing short of mesmerizing! He always said that acting was about looking the camera or the actor in the eye and telling the truth. Tom Powers is indeed the Truth. Nothing rings false to me, regarding this character. Cagney's growing up years spent in NYC's rough (back then) East Side comes through. Everything he ever saw the local mugs do, he incorporates in the characterization of Tom.

Has to be the Best. Eddie G is a *very* close second.

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I like James Cagney alot.

 

Among his films there is something for everyone. I think my favorites are "Angels With Dirty Faces", and "Yankee Doodle Dandy".

 

I've not seen all of his films - or probably even half of them! But all the ones I've seen, I really enjoyed. And even in his 'tough guy' roles, there is just an adorable quality to him that I can't really put my finger on.

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Hey You might try afi.com...since it is their award. When I watched that show I was 16..& when he came down the aisle and danced up those steps..i was so proud to love this actor and it brought tears to my eyes..! Then Ragtime! 5 minutes of film and he was riveting!!!

 

There is a film called "COME FILL THE CUP" 1951 with James Gleason..about a newspaper writer and his fight with alcoholism...only saw it once on AMC..I even taped it (but lost it in Calif.)! What a film! Blood on the Sun..City of Conquest, Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye...

 

Then his finale in a wheelchair...as Terrible Joe Moran (tv movie), with Art Carney !Beautiful movie to end a remarkable career! THANK YOU... MR CAGNEY..

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Cagney is one of the top definitely. Its hard to choose because all the actors of that era are the best. I do rank Bogart as being possibly the best also but i cannot decide. I may be one of the few younger people(27) who knows that these movies and actors are the cream of the crop and always will be. If i could go back in time and meet these people i would do it in a second. Hollywood today doesnt even compare to these films and actors. I dont like many movies put out today.

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What an incredible teacher. :-) I used to have to sneak out. lol When I was in grade 5, I used to get caught up in "Matinee" (remember the days?) and never made it to afternoon school, I would say 80% of the time. I was lucky cuz my dad was away and my mom at work and I was home alone. They finally told my parents but by then what could they do? I had a fantastic winter and that contributed, in part, to my love of classic movies.

 

 

Johnny, I remember the CBC late nites in the 80s - they had incredible movies when you couldn't see them anywhere else on Canadian TV. I loved that! I was a young mom with little kids and never missed those movies. I think that was the only time CBC was ever worth watching.

 

 

Ohce, I totally agree - Cagney WAS hot! And that just contributed to the wonderful whole package!

 

Scarlett

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You are indeed correct. I absolutely love Cagney. It's hard to pick what he did best...Comedy, Gangster, Musical, Drama....I could go on. *sigh*

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