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My Favorite James Cagney film is------


TripleHHH
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I'm really not fit to answer this question, being that I have only seen 2 of his films....(buries face in shame)

 

But, of the 2 films that I have seen, *13 Rue Madeleine* and *The Public Enemy*, I would have to say I liked the latter better. And why? I don't really know.

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This is a real tough one, as I like so many of his films.

So I guess I would say for 1930's, the Cagney film would be BLONDE CRAZY (1931) his acting in this is very natural and "modern", plus the chemistry he has with Joan Blondell is great!

For 1940's Cagney film, I like THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE (1941). Cagney's Biff Grimes is a loveable lout (that's the kind of hairpin he is!). This was a tough call, as I also like his portrayal as Cody Jarrett in WHITE HEAT as well.

For 1950's Cagney, I like him in MISTER ROBERTS (1955) Captain Morton is a real piece of work.

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In "One, Two, Three" at the end of his career he was as frenetic and rat-a-tat-tat as ever. But I am partial to "EACH DAWN I DIE." First off I think it's one of the great all-time titles (like "Kiss The Blood Off My Hands" or "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" or "Yesterday Can Wait"). Secondly he was a tough guy and a sensitive guy as a reporter railroaded in prison. When he had to get sent to solitary I thought he was going to bust out and cry. His pairing with George Raft was great and I loved his last moment on film when he's finally released from prison. He steps out into the fresh air & sunshine with (the lovely) Jane Bryan on his arm. He takes in a deep breath of air and shakes his head. He tugs at Bryan's arm and off they walk. I wait the entire movie JUST for that silent gesture from Cagney.

 

Cagney is just a force of nature in everything he did.

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It's a toss up between Blonde Crazy, The Torrid Zone and Angels with Dirty Faces. They are fun to watch over and over and I like him best with Blondell or Ann Sheridan. Taxi with Loretta Young is up there, too. He's tough and cockey in all of these movies, but he's not totally around the bend like he is in White Heat or others.

 

Oops, forgot to mention that Pat O'Brien's in a couple of them and he and Jimmy played well off each other.

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I kind of took Cagney for granted until January when he was SOTM. Seeing him in all those early Warner's films was a revelation. He quickly moved near the top of my list. I can't really add to the films already mentioned. *Blonde Crazy* was a particularly good one. I agree with Scottman about the chemistry he has with Blondell and about his acting being very natural. I really liked the way their relationship was handled. It was very mature and adult. It's also pretty darn funny in some parts.

 

Also I agree with *Torrid Zone* which is another favorite of mine.

 

*CineMaven wrote*

 

Cagney is just a force of nature in everything he did.

 

I think that sums it up better than anything I could add.

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TripleHHH!!!

 

heehee..... My favorite James Cagney movie is....... IM A YANKEE DOODLE DANDY! A yankdee doodle I!!! lol..... of course there were a few others at the top of my list, but u said FAV...heehee..

 

Ty mucho mas TripleHHH...as always

 

AvaG ;-)

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To know him is to love him!

Someone once said that if you could put one movie in a time capsule to explain Cagney's appeal to future generations it would be *Angels With Dirty Faces*. This is the movie that I always show to my uninitiated friends (which would be all of them). It's also a great film to watch with kids (ages 10 and up, that is).

But I think *White Heat* is his finest gangster film and maybe his best film overall. My only complaint is that he had lost his looks by that time, but certainly none of his power to enthrall.

To see him in all of his youthful pre-code glory I recommend *Footlight Parade* --one of his best Joan Blondell pairings and best dancing pictures. And it's just so darned weird, fun, unique and sexy.

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I'm sorry, but it's totally impossible to name just one Jimmy Cagney favorite. Where should I start? THE PUBLIC ENEMY, THE PICTURE SNATCHER, THE MAYOR OF HELL, JIMMY THE GENT, BLONDE CRAZY, FOOTLIGHT PARADE, THE ROARING TWENTIES, WHITE HEAT...the list goes on and on and that was just a partial list of faves. Not possible to name just one, sorry! :)

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TripleHHH:

 

I can?t resist making comments on your thread, especially since it?s obvious that you and many of the posters are too young to have grown up with Cagney.

 

You must realize that someone like me would be hard pressed to name a favorite Cagney film. For my generation of kids growing up in the inner city and going to the neighborhood movies before, during, and after WWII, Cagney was part of your life. He was always there. He was a gift to us. It was inconceivable that there could be a Hollywood without him. Many of his roles defined ideals you wanted to live up to, and when they didn?t, you were taught the consequences.

 

Imagine a group of grammar school kids seeing ?The Fighting 69th?, who then spent all their daylight hours playing war games; or imitating him as a gun slinger in ?Oklahoma Kid?; or spending months back then arguing over whether or not his fight scene in ?City of Conquest? was the best ever; or starting to think about girls after seeing ?Strawberry Blonde?; or having your recent discovery of patriotism after Pearl Harbor reinforced by watching ?Yankee Doodle Dandy?.

 

The man not only created indelible impressions on my childhood experiences, his screen portrayals were incomparable, and will always be a part of my psyche.

 

At the start of the AFI tribute to him, after he is introduced (by Charlton Heston?), and enters the theater to the music of Yankee Doodle Dandy, just look at the admiration on the faces of those present, and you?ll understand what he meant to me and my contemporaries.

 

--Gus Cerini

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" I can?t resist making comments on your thread, especially since it?s obvious that you and many of the posters are too young to have grown up with Cagney. "

hey Gus

Is that a bad thing ?

No I did not grow up with Cagney

I grew with Godzilla and pro wrestling LOL

Anyway thanks for your insight

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Thanks for your remarkable insight, Gus. I "get it". And, you are right. There was no "TV", internet, and such. Only memories of the film. I suppose if you had money, you could go, 2, 3, times, and get the memory stuck in your head. But it's not like it is now.

24-hour News cycles, internet, so on and so forth.

Images, through film, destroyed the romanticism of books.

Television, and more squarely, internet, destroyed the romanticism of film.

Thanks for the insight into "what was then". I definitely appreciate it.

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mickeeteeze:

 

Your comments are right on. I am always surprised at how many younger posters enjoy classic films, which says something for their insight and for the films.

 

But I always remember that you younger posters don't see them the way we did; as first runs on big screens in a movie theater as we were growing up. Your experience today is so different and yet you have the same love for them. A love that is not engendered by nostalgia. I think that's wonderful.

 

--Gus Cerini

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