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KWC

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  1. 1. Lots of patriotic symbols: flags, portraits of prominent Americans (including 2 of George Washington) on the White House stairs; the Oval Office and FDR; stirring music in the parade proclaiming the "red, white and blue"; men in uniform. 2. Cohan says, "Yankee Doodle Dandy...always carrying a flag in a parade or following one." FDR follows by saying"I hope you haven't outgrown the habit...You carry your love of country like a flag." Cohan follows up with a few lines about his father and his combat experience in the Civil War, of which Cohan says his father was the "proudest kid in the state of Massachusetts." And FDR responds, "So you spent your life telling the other 47 states what a great country it is." What I have not noticed in this film in the past is the stereotyping of Irish Americans (by FDR) as patriotic flag-wavers and fighters. 3. The opening with the meeting with FDR provides a contemporary backdrop for the biography and allows the film to be retrospective and analytical rather than linear, as it would have been if opened with the 1878 parade. FDR was extremely popular at the time of this film, so his use as a character provides patriotic validity. Also interesting to note is the contrast between the aristocratic FDR and the plain-spoken Cohan during the White House visit.
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