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I need a little help with a project I?m working on. I wish to pick the brains of TCM message board members (I know some of you have brains ? don?t try to deny it).

 

I need a list of ?Classic? (with a capital C) James Cagney movies. The films with the classic dialog ? ?You dirty rat!? etc. The films with the classic scenes. Being blown to hell in ?White Heat?. The grapefruit in the kisser from ?The Public Enemy? etc. I want the legendary, memorable, iconic stuff. The movies that defined James Cagney the actor.

 

I only need movies made prior to 1950 ? unless you feel that there is a particularly important Cagney movie made after 1950 that is worthy of mention.

 

I know James Cagney?s movies are listed in such places as IMDB etc. But that doesn?t help me sort the wheat from the chaff. I need expert opinion.

 

You can offer your suggestions in the form of a ?Top-Ten? list.

 

Anyone can reply. In fact, the more the merrier. Then I can draw a consensus.

 

Remember ? only the very ?Best? Cagney movies.

 

Thanks in advance

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He says he never really said "you dirty rat" so you're going to have trouble there.

 

If the other links didn't show them you can include "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "The Roaring Twenties." "Angels With Dirty Faces." Jimmy himself might want you to see "Captains of the Clouds" or "The Strawberry Blonde" but that really won't fit your criteria.

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He didn?t? Damn.

 

I?ll guess I?ll throw that one on the same pile with ?Play it again Sam.? and ?Judy, Judy, Judy.?

 

If you have any favorite dialog or scenes from any Cagney movies. I?ll take those as well.

 

Thanks to all of you for your contributions. A good start.

 

Best wishes

Metairie Road

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You surely should include Angels with Dirty Faces with its classic Cagney ending...

 

....and White Heat with ITS classic Cagney ending! :)

 

Message was edited by: MissGoddess

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I like Cagney in Mr. Roberts. Now I think it was made past 1950 so that is one strike against it and perhaps it isn't in keeping with the standard tough or iconic role that Cagney is known for like tough guys. That to me is why I recommend it it is such a departure for Cagney. As a matter of fact I had seen it several times before I noticed it was Cagney who was indeed playing this stuff shirt and ditzy captain. It is after all Henry Fonda's movie with a very strong sprinkling of supporting characters-Lemmon, Powell, and those other seamen who were a hoot. For a distinctive line I like it when Cagney's character is going Mister or more like Mmmmiissttter over and over again or his clipped way of speaking to Mr. Roberts. However to veer off subject a bit my favorite scene from Mr. Roberts is when the doc is coming to attend the captain slowly but surely and dragging on a smoke how hilarious.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry for the late response, but I have been having on going problems with posting comments and replies. My favorite Cagney film, and I believe an important film, is The Strawberry Blonde 1941. This film shows Cagney's range of talents and he spoofs his "tough guy" image.

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About a month or two ago, I taped both Angels with Dirty Faces and Roaring Twenties. I was going back and forth, watching both of them and I was absolutely amazed when I noticed that there was the same scene in both of them: a man (with his back to the camera) carrying a box with X's (Bootlegged Liquor) on it.

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*I was absolutely amazed when I noticed that there was the same scene in both of them: a man (with his back to the camera) carrying a box with X's (Bootlegged Liquor) on it.*

 

Coop,

 

It was common practise at Warner Brothers to re-use footage like that. I'm guessing it was to save costs.

 

If you watch *Captain Blood* and *The Sea Hawk* (with Errol Flynn) back to back, you will see much of the same battle footage used in both films.

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*Coop,*

 

*It was common practise at Warner Brothers to re-use footage like that. I'm guessing it was to save costs.*

 

*If you watch Captain Blood and The Sea Hawk (with Errol Flynn) back to back, you will see much of the same battle footage used in both films.*

 

Izcutter,

 

That sounds reasonable. I know that once the color process for films started, there were a lot of films that were done in black and white, instead of color, to save money.

 

Thanks!!

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Don't forget "Roaring 20's" where Cagney delivers one of his best performances and Bogie is terrific in one of his best roles before hitting the big time, with Priscilla Lane quite good and Gladys George is great in her tough speakeasy owner, she delivers the classic last line of the film "He use to be a Big Shot". Through out the film is the strains of "Melancholy Baby" In some way I think this is a better film the "Public Enemy"But at the same time It almost feels like a sequel in that Cagney's Eddie Barlett is an older Tom Powers if Powers hadn't been knocked off in "Enemy". Produced with care by Mark Hellinger and directed by the great Raoul Walsh this is a terrific gangster film and with Walsh re teaming with Cagney 10 years later to make "White Heat" to close out the 40's with a great gangster film as he did in 1939 to close out the 30's,,,,,,

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Perhaps, but it was a tough year to pick just one performance:

 

Frank Sinatra in *The Man With the Golden Arm*

James Dean in *East of Eden*

Spencer Tracy in *Bad Day at Black Rock* (I imagine he and Cagney may have canceled each other out).

 

Hard to go wrong with any of those five. The real shame is that Doris Day didn't even get nominated for arguably the best work she ever did.

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