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DAILY DOSE OF DELIGHT #5 (From Yankee Doodle Dandy)

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2 minutes ago, AnnaMae said:

"I think  its important to have FDR opening in the oval office. It sets the tone for a calm assertive collected president..."

AnnaMae made a great point here!  With FDR and George M Cohan teaming up in the same frames, Americans must have felt like they had 2/3 of the Holy Trinity taking care of things in those stressful days. 

 

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1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.

2. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.

The setting in Roosevelt's Whitehouse couldn't have been more patriotic. Roosevelt was the President who brought America out of the Depression, putting millions of Americans back to work. 

Also, during his predecessor, Herbert Hoover's term and the 1932 election cycle when WWI citizen soldiers, during the depths of the Depression demanded some of their lost wages be paid, (Recall the, "Remember my Forgotten Man" number from Golddiggers?) Hoover instead set the Army on these men. Leaving many historians to say this one action elected FDR to his first term as President. FDR would later, in 1936 ensure these men would indeed get their money.

Also, in November 1941 FDR gave his annual Armistice Day Address but there was nothing run of the mill about it. With war covering 3/4 of the world as well as fast approaching the shores of America FDR gave a soul rousing speech. In it he reminded ppl what our WWI soldiers fought for and why they fought and died, “to make the world habitable for decent and self-respecting men and women” and “to make the world a place where freedom can live and grow into the ages.” He truly honored the soldiers. An example we should all follow.

So, in addition to the setting this man's presence alone would promote patriotism, honor, sacrifice and duty in a film. Together, the setting and the President meant a lot to the country as well as to film audiences. The first scene alone would stir the patriotism of even the most isolationist citizen.

The pictures of the battle ships on the walls of the Oval Office reminding us that FDR was once Asst. Secretary of the Navy. The paintings of past Presidents on the wall with the last most enduring shot of President George Washington considered with Lincoln and FDR to be the greatest ever POTUSs.

I also like the long shot up the staircase when Cohan talks with the President's Valet, the common man perfectly seguing into the flashback.

Then the flashback, the opening shot of the flag waving, the Independence Day parade, the soldiers marching, the music playing. Cohan's patriotic Irish immigrant father (subtle but important msg to this largely immigrant and children of immigrant population as emphasized by FDR in their talk.) The patriotic Irish always doing their part. Let all Americans follow their lead regardless of the cost. We are all in this together.

3. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer.

I just don't think it would have been a strong enough opening. An Independence Day parade is a thrilling and wonderful thing but it happens every year on the 4th or as near to. But a nighttime visit to see the President of the United States in the Oval Office is a once in a lifetime event never to be forgotten! No comparison!

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  1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.

This is immediately after the bombing at Pearl Harbor and we see several naval themed pictures in the oval office and a model ship near the president's desk.  The US has just entered WWII.  Also, as Cohen is escorted up the stairs, he passes portraits of American war heroes, among them, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and President George Washington. This was a big nod in support of American patriotism.

  1. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.

FDR tells Cohen how, he loves Irish Americans because they are so demonstrative in their showing their love for America.  FDR says. “you carry your love of country like a flag- right out in the open”. Later FDR says, “you tell the other 47 states what a great country it is”.  Not only is this boosting American moral but also giving argument to any holdouts / isolationists that were against the US entry into WWII.

Like Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer.

The opening scene of an aged Cohen going to meet FDR is stronger because many people may have already known Mr. Cohen's work, by starting here and looking backwards we can see how he became a Broadway legend and the writer of songs, that had become standards. Like the movie, Maytime, we can have a nostalgic look back at the good old days. In early 1942, Americans were going off to uncertain war and with a brutal opponent, no one was sure of the outcome.  I think the director, Curtiz wisely chose to look back, because the future was very scary and uncertain.

 

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1. There was no shortage of patriotic symbolism in this short clip. As Cohan is being walked up the stairs at the very beginning of the clip, there are paintings of several past presidents lining the walls. Also, more of the scene seems to have an American flag in it than does not. By showing these symbols of American heritage, it promotes patriotism both explicitly and subliminally. 

2. The one line that particularly struck me in terms of boosting morale is when Cohan and the man escorting him up the stairs are talking about the song "It's A Grand Old Flag" and Cohan says it's still a great song after all this time. That really plays into the idea of using symbolism of shared American heritage to inspire patriotism and support for the war effort. 

3. There was so much uncertainty during the war that I think starting the movie with Cohan visiting FDR in the Oval Office and then working backwards removes that uncertainty as you know there will be a happy ending, as opposed to starting it at the parade and having that uncertainty as to how the story will end if you are unfamiliar with Cohan's life.

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1.) The walls of the White House were covered with paintings of past Presidents with Grant and Washington being the last and most recognizable.  Both were war time leaders.  FDR's office was decorated with models and paintings of sailing ships.  Teddy Roosevelt (FDR's relative) was Undersecretary of the Navy before the Spanish American War.  Also, the Navy suffered the heaviest losses in the Pearl Harbor attack.  The conversation on the way to the meeting was about patriotic songs of the past and about how Teddy Roosevelt loved one of them, so much he used to sing it while taking a bath.  The reason Teddy Roosevelt is central is that he was related to FDR and was a man of action who quit his government post to join the Rough Riders and fight in Cuba.  FDR was crippled by polio, so, in a sense, Teddy stands in for FDR.  

2.) The conversation with the President contained a statement about how much the President admired the open demonstrations of patriotism by Irish immigrants which prepares and encourages people to positively respond to similar demonstrations.  They discussed a newspaper article saying Cohan would make a better President than FDR.  Cohan's dismissive reply that it was a Republican paper, encourages people to set aside their political differences and to chalk up any criticism of FDR as political.  Mr. Cohan talks about how his father volunteered to fight in the Civil War at 13 and was tremendously proud to have done so.  This encourages young men to volunteer.

3.) Opening with FDR, reminds people of the war that has just begun, flashing back to the past, only 13 years after the Civil War, with flags flying during a Fourth of July parade with soldiers marching reminds them of the past.

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  • 1 - Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.

Average Joe carries on a one-on-one conversation with the  President; Irishman carries on a one-on-one conversation with a black butler.  These all convey the "We're all in this together" attitude being promoted in the War years. The walk up the stairs showing portraits of past presidents, and the final step's camera angle which gives us a full view of George Washington are geared to remind us of America's history and how George Washington fought a war, so we ought to be willing to fight also. Of course there was a flag in the president's office, inspiring patriotism.  

2 - Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.

I think the line from Roosevelt in which he says something about a newspaper saying that Cohan made a better president than he did, then Cohan's answer, that it's a Republican newspaper inserted another "We're all in this together, both Republican and Democrat" message.

3 - Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer.

I think the opening scene in the president's office is a message to the viewer that the story they are about to see this is a not only  movie about "back then", but to associate the message of this movie with what America was going through at that moment.  (I read in the Course literature that the first day of filming for this movie began on the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.  I wonder if the scene in the president's office wasn't part of the original script, but was added because America declared war on the fourth day of shooting this movie.)

 

 

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1. The scene opens in the White house hallway foyer. In the foyer as George Cohan walks up the stairs, there are paintings of past presidents on the wall, so the audience is reminded of their political history. The fact that he has a meeting with the president, in the president's office is also a very serious setting. On the walls of the background setting in the office, there are numerous paintings of ships and also a model on the mantelpiece. This will be a big reminder to the audience of all the American warships that have been lost in Pearl Harbour. 

2. The butler remembers the first play he saw Cohan in called "George Washington Junior". This reminds the audience of their first American president. He tells Cohan he remembers him singing and dancing about the grand ole flag. This is very patriotic because it's the love for the American flag. He then says "Little Teddy would sing it in the bath tub" This means songs can stick in your head and can subconsciously reinstate that love for your country. 
The scene of Cohan and the president talking, Cohan tells the president he was always a Yankee Doodle Dandy waving the flag. This is a very good image for the audience to have. When the president tells Cohan that the Irish Americans carry their love of their country like a flag out in the open. It's a great quality. In reality that is a little speech aimed at the audience to be patriotic. Cohan replies he inherited his patriotism from his father. This tells the audience to instil American patriotism to their own children. The mention of the Civil War is very historic and patriotic saying the 47 states love each other. 

3. The film's opening wouldn't be the same formal serious patriotic setting. The president's dialogue aimed at the audience as a narration to them about displaying the flag openly and being very patriotic. It would be a more light hearted start to the movie with a man singing and dancing and then screwball comedy and dialogue of him rushing off to the birth of his child, but being back for the next performance he is due to do. 

 

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The clear example of the promotion of American values would be the flags waving and the patriotic music during the parade, but also Cagney talks of the patriotic pride he had during his youth and how he inherited it from his father and the president commends him for it. This conversation obviously boosts morale because of the tone it sets; the President of United States applauds a citizen on his patriotism for his country. Any American citizen could easily put themselves in Cagney's shoes and receive the complement FDR gives.

I like that the conversation starts the movie because again.. it sets the tone for the whole movie by giving it "heart and meaning."

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Patriotism is the main theme of this movie right from the beginning of the clip. As Cohan goes up the stairs to the President's office, you notice past Presidents' portraits on the way up as the butler & Cohan are speaking about a song written about the "grand ol' flag" & how Teddy Roosevelt bought him a seat in the gallery of the show. Butler said that the song is as good as it was 30 years before. Entering the president's office, you see pictures of ships (possibly battleships) & the American flag by the fireplace. The dialogue between Cohan & the president was also very patriotic. President said he remembered Cohan & his family when he was a boy back in school. Cohan admitted he was a real Yankee Doodle Dandy back then, always waving the flag in a parade. President replies that's what he liked about Irish-Americans, "You carry your love of country like a flag right out in the open. It's a great quality." I like how the movie opened. This is a biographical musical with a patriotic theme. Start out in the present & fade back into the past when Cohan was born, "born on the 4th of July." You can't get more patriotic than that & what a beginning! This movie was a great way of selling war bonds for WW2. One walks out of the movie wanting to support the USA, helping out with the war effort. If you couldn't serve, you bought war bonds. In this case, one would probably walk out of the movie at the conclusion whistling or singing those catchy Cohan tunes & standing in line with everyone else buying war bonds.

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Yankee Doodle has got to be one of my absolute favorite musicals!  I remember watching it when I was a little girl. I love the concept of Cohan thinking he’s just a normal American getting to talk with the man in charge.  The songs are unforgettable as well as the big production numbers, like the horse race and of course the entire ensemble with the backdrop of DC.   Patriotism at its finest!

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1. The opening scene shows paintings of previous Presidents, an American flag in the Oval Office, and Cohan wearing an American Flag pin.  The second scene is of an Independence Day Parade with people cheering and waving the American Flag.  Both of these scenes were designed to promote American patriotism.

2. When Cohan is talking about the day he was born, he mentions how people at the time had an optimistic view of where the country was going.  This scene was supposed to remind people to remain hopeful of America's future in spite of World War II and the Great Depression.

3. If the movie had opened with the parade, the movie would have been less about Cohan's life and more about the history of America from 1878 to 1942.

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1.Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.  American Flags are everywhere. You can't get more American than being in the White House and meeting the president. Cohan keeps looking over his shoulder as if he can't believe he is there. He is wearing a flag pin on his lapel.

Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.  FDR spoke about how Irish Americans were proud to be Americans and not afraid to show it. This was a time when many Irish Americans were still sadly experiencing "Irish Need Not Apply"

Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? It lets us know this is about a man. We are going to learn about his life and family not just events or shows.

 

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I love this movie. I never get tired of watching it.

It was created to spread patriotism during the war but it's still doing that today, well, sort of. This movie is always on TV on the 4th of July. The movie used every patriotic theme you could think out. Songs about how wonderful America is, lots of stars and stripes decorations, etc. I imagine it was exactly what audiences needed during WWII.

The butler talking to Cohen about the song Grand Old Flag, being in the White House is patriotic too. 

Opening with a parade would be less effective. It's best to tell the story about Cohen and work in the patriotism throughout the story. It illustrates why the troops are fighting, it's to protect the American families so they can follow their dreams. Showing Cohen talking to the president in the White House shows how the American way of life means anyone who wasn't born rich could pursue their dreams and it's even possible to have a chat with the president. Again, that "American Way" is what the troops were fighting for.

 

 

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1. Promotion of American values can be seen in that it begins IN the White House.  No government building in the world is as synonymous with its country as the White House, except maybe Buckingham Palace and the Queen but then that's not a government bldg. Paintings of past presidents, (especially prominent George Washington) and paintings of various war ships in the presidential office along with the American flag beside the fireplace promote American values.  Next the FAMILIES present at the 4th/July parade and all the flag waving in what looks to be small town America is definitely what America was about.

2. What a way to boost morale by showing a biopic of a proud American (who was actually born on July 3rd not the 4th but it adds to better story line and patriotism) who proudly wore his patriotism on his sleeve.  The character George M. Cohan describes America on the day/year of his birth as one having "not so many stars on the flag...but folks knew more were coming."  He also speaks of the country being "optimistic, happy, expectant" which described America just prior to WWII and the optimistic/expectant/hopeful during WWII. He describes himself as a regular Yankee Doodle Dandy (a term from the Revolutionary War) "always carrying a flag in a parade or following one!"  There's also an appeal to the immigrants to rise up for love of their new homeland when the character FDR references Irish Americans who "always carry love of country like a flag..."

3.  Opening scene taking place in the White House with the fireplace in the background (think FDR fireside chats) lends a sense of authenticity, seriousness and subtly 'this is a message from your president' with regards to the patriotic and patriotism theme of this movie. Then segue into the 4th of July celebration validates the message of supporting your country; followed by the vaudeville scene - we are now ready to be entertained  with the seed of patriotism planted in our subconscious.

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Daily Dose #5 Yankee Doodle Dandy 1942-43

Waving flags, parades & off to war...I'm sure the laughter ended quickly once they entered war. Hemingway was criticized for glorifying war...this reminds me of the M*A*S*H episode  (Depressing News)? where Hawkeye (Alan Alda) builds a monument to stupidity ...build of tongue depressors after the military sent about 5000,000 of them to the medical unit. He then blows it to smithereens to prevent it being used as a recruitment tool by the military. He is saying do not glorify war & send more bodies to be put back together again after being mangled by he war machine. Another M*A*S*H episode  (Dear Uncle Abdul) Father Mulcahy composed a war ditty which turns out to be very sad indeed...'what were we ever laughing for' is the end of the song.   "War, war, war, war, what is it good for...the Bruce Springsteen song comes to mind also...

What does this have to do w/ the clip Yankee Doodle Dandy?...everything

They are being patriotic & we do have reasons for going to war...we were drawn into a world war & they were giving the military personnel a good send off showing support w/ parades, songs, movies & flag waving

The clip has Cohan (Cagney) & Butler (Rosemond) & Roosevelt (Clark) they give a lot of patriotic talk but  Cohan says 'no he does not know it all' & the pictures on the walls of former presidents look important & this is an important office to be invited into...a visit w/ the president of the United States during war time or soon to be war time.  

NOTE:  I'll have to stop here & re-watch the clip & return to this later...my apologies 

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Found the way that President Roosevelt uses the phrase "You Irish Americans" to be somewhat off-putting.  Another categorization that is unnecessary if you're trying to make an "All-American" type of film.  And the stereotypes go on and on at that time in Hollywood.  "Cabin in the Sky" is entertaining but chock-full. 

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  1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.
    • In the opening scene, you see Cohan walking up stairs in which the wall is lined with portraits of the presidents.  He then enters what could be the Oval Office.  The parade scene is filled with everyone waving American flags with a band. 
  2. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.
    • Throughout the dialogue, the stream of anything referring to politics is endless.  There are many references to patriotic songs, name dropping of political party members, politics, and deliberate statements of being proud.  For example, as Cohan and the butler walk up the stairs, the butler recounts how when he first encountered Cohan he was in the box seat with Teddy Roosevelt to watch George Washington Jr, dancing to "Grand Ol' Flag."  While in the office with F.D.Roosevelt, FDR quotes the Harold saying Cohan would be a better president, to which Cohan remarks it's a Republican paper.  Cohan calls himself an a "regular yankee doodle dandy.  Always carrying a flag in a parade, or following one."  FDR mentions Cohan being an Irish-American, which I feel is a strong pull to unite everyone, no matter their heritage.  They are no longer Irish, Italian, French, but Irish-AMERICAN.  Cohan makes reference to his father running away to the Civil War at 13, and that he was the "proudest kid in Massachusetts," to which FDR replies, "So you spent your life telling the other 47 states what a GREAT country it is." The remark of the Civil War shows pride in how the country has fought before and the pride that comes from supporting what you believe in, and FDR's comment is practically a campaign slogan.  These are just a few examples in the first 2 minutes of how much the dialogue promotes American morale. 
  3. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer.
    • Had the opening scene been the 4th of July parade, I think it would have set the musical up to look to be more of a backstage musical from the 30s, rather than being the War Time musical that it is.  Although there were flags waving on a 4th of July, it would seem less important.  Having the present time scene of being with FDR and putting the audience in the social climate of the times, it gives the parade and all that it encompasses a stronger meaning.

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The parade at the beginning of the movie was a flashback of a 4th of July parade, not of soldiers going off to war.  Since Cohan was born in 1878 (approx 30 yrs before WWI) my guess is the soldiers in the parade were from the civil war. It was an Independence Day celebration.  In regards to "happy..." when the film was in pre-production, the USA had not yet entered the war.  The economy was slowly turning around and the reference to the Horatio Alger Age was still alive (belief in the 'rags-to-riches' story and following the American Dream).  Yes, once we entered the war, happiness gave way fear and uncertainty but I still feel Americans were optimistic and expectant.  Their hard work (especially the Rosie Riveters i.e. increasingly more women in the workforce outside the home) showed American determination and hope. That is one thing they had to cling to hope.  

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The clip has lots of references to Americanism. Cohen is wearing a flag in his lapel, the pictures on the stairway remind viewers of past American patriots. People at the parade are cheering for marching soldiers and waving flags enthusiastically. Taking viewers back to 1878 reminds them that being patriot is a long standing American tradition 

 

president Roosevelt commends Cohen for “weRing his patriotism on his sleeve.”

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I have a question in regard to your point number 3.  Since this project was conceived before the actual commencement of hostilities, was the “framing story” added or expanded in reply to Pearl Harbor?  The film as a bio-pic works either way.  But as an homage to patriotic values and a wartime motivator, the use of the visit to the White House is extremely effective.  Do we know if this was in the original script?

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Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. Going up the stairs, you saw portraits of past Presidents, you saw flags throughout the room. The talk of parades and shows gave the true patriotic American feeling. 

Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response. There was a sense of optimism as both men spoke, especially about parades. Cohan mentioned that he or his father never missed a show or a parade. 


Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. I don't think it would have gone over quite as well if it had started with the parade scene instead of the Oval Office. The scene in the Oval Office gave some of the backstory to why or how the Cohan family never missed a parade. 

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  1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.

The movie showcases the wall of Presidents as Cohan ascends the stairs to meet FDR in his private office.  The parade is loaded with flags and patriotic music, people cheering and celebrating the birth of the United States.

  1. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.

So much of the dialogue reinforces the American morale, Cohan tells FDR that he is awestruck in meeting him, the President of the United States.  Cohan also mentions about how proud his father was that he joined the military when he was 13 years old to fight in the Civil War, showing the long tradition of the supporting America.

  1.  
  2. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. 
  3.  
  4. If this movie would not have had the same effect by opening up with the parade scene in Rhode Island.  By starting with the older Cohan reflecting about his start in the business with FDR, it creates the scene for the original Yankee Doodle Dandy.  The movie is more reflective rather than a growing up movie about George M. Cohen and the music that he created.

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In the Daily Dose for Yankee Doodle Dandy, the heavy use of American flags during the parade were obviously meant to bolster people's enthusiasm for the country. This along with all the people in the crowd at the parade being excited and acting patriotic. When Cohan is talking to the President in the beginning, he says his sense of patriotism was "inherited" from his father, who loved America so much he joined the war effort at age 13. So the patriotism isn't only something felt by Americans born in the country, but those who left their homelands to make American their second home as well. 

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The opening scenes in Yankee Doodle Dandy set a patriotic tone by having George M. Cohan, a successful actor know for patriotism, being escorted in to see the President in the White House.As he ascends the stairs he passes large portraits of previous presidents, a subtle reminder of the country’s history. The fact that the butler stays late to be there when Mr. Cohan arrives gives the feeling that all Americans are important, and that it crosses class lines. They talk together as equals, just as Cohan and Roosevelt do. The idea that “all men are created equal”as established by the founding fathers is represented in this short scene.

The dialogue makes constant reference to patriotism, whether it is Cohan and the President talking amiably about who the “better Presidents” was, or references to the melting pot that makes up the United States. Cohan referring to himself as a real “Yankee Doodle Dandy” from the time he was quite young is another. 

The opening scene would not be as effective if it had begun with the parade. By starting with an older George M. Cohan and reflecting back, it allows the the audience to see that patriotism had been a part of Cohan’s whole life. It was a nice connection to have the reflection begin with a parade and have the end of the movie show the older Cohan join the parade with soldiers who were heading off to war. The opening of the movie in the White House also demonstrated how everyone had a part to play in the war effort, not just those young men who were fighting the enemy.

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1. Describe how the scenes in today’s Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer.

That long walk up the stairway with the presidential portraits set the scene. Cagney demonstrated his awe of being overwhelmed at being in such a great place. Once Cagney started to reminisce you could see the multitude of American flags and the banners hanging on the stores.

2. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what ways does the dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response.

Roosevelt’s descriptions of Irish Americans was interesting. Cagney implied his father’s patriotism by stating that he enlisted in the Civil War at a very young age.

3. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you feel this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July Parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer.

Starting in the White House with the older Cohan made it easier to build the story. If they had started with the parade, they would have needed a vehicle to explain the purpose of the story. Perhaps title cards explaining why this story was being told. When I first saw the film in the sixties, we still knew something of George M. Cohan. I wonder how younger audiences would view it now. Would they know that this was a biographical film (sort of) or just a vehicle for James Cagney?

 

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