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It starts out with Cohan Meeting FDR and then reflects back to the 4th of July parade with the flag waving. 

In the scene you see FDR rememnising about the four Cohan's and how the newspapers say that Cohan knows as much about what is going on as does FDR.  Also the valet that shows Cohan into the president's office talks about the Cohan's back in WW I.

I don't think it would have made as much of a impact on the audience.

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The African American butler chats with George Cohan up the stairs to FDR's room commenting on Teddy Roosevelt's singing a patriotic song in the bathtub.  This man's loyalty to the White House presidents' spans generations.  FDR comments on the patriotism of the Irish.  George reveals his grandfather volunteered for Massachusetts in the Civil War when he was thirteen. Massachusetts taught the rest of the country.  Now there is a pressing need for the Cohans to rally the country once again.  

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In producing Yankee Doodle Dandy Warner's could create a patriotic film but something different from contemporary support-the-troop romances or entertainer performances.  While the film highlights Cohan's better-known patriotic songs (Grand Old Flag, Yankee Doodle Boy, Over There), it also features other well-known songs from his stage shows, including standard I-love-you themes, or Irish-focused songs.  Here's a list someone compiled of some of Cohan's songs.

Yankee Doodle Dandy seems in part a nostalgia musical for the earlier pre-war days, highlighting  vaudeville (as was For Me and My Gal).  As a composer biography it has an emphasis on Cohan's family and how it changed, bridging the story to the present with the car of kids driving past Cohan's farm and Cohan playing FDR in "I'd Rather Be Right". 

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The opening of Yankee Doodle Dandy (YDD) sets up the plot of th movie. Pres Roosevelt asks Cohan to tell his family’s story in show business and their patriotism.  At the end of the movie, FDR enlists Cohan’s help to continue the patriotism for the war effort.   So, the White House scenes open the story and wrap it up. I noticed that in the background in FDR’s office, it is decorated with paintings of ships and a model ship on the mantel. FDR was a huge supporter of the Navy  was served in the in the Navy Dept during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency.  That is a bit of realism. I need to do some research on FDR’s White House decor. 

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