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Favorite James Cagney Film


Sinatra
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Hi Everyone. I just joined and thought it would be great to get to know everyone by asking what (if any) is your favorite James Cagney Film and Or Role. I think he was the best and most versatile of actors from his generation. He could and did anythin on film. Comedy, Drama and Musicals. By the way did You know he was the first actor to win an Acadenmy Award for best actor in a Musical.

 

Anyway would love too hear your opinions. Oh yea my favorite is White Heat.

 

MADE IT MATOP OF THEWORLD

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Hi Sinatra, I think there's already a thread on this matter but, who cares, I love Cagney too. As always, it's hard to single out a favourite film, I usually go with favourites films of any performer. There's a lot of dialogue about Cagney in different threads; the most recent that I've contributed to is in the Pre-Code forum under the heading 'Smack-off.' But to answer your question, my favourite Cagney film, if I did have to single out one, would probably be Picture Snatcher, a wonderful, snappy, racy film full of wickedly hilarious dialogue and situations. A close runner-up might be The Strawberry Blonde.

 

Johnny

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Hey Johnny ,

 

Love Picture Snatcher also. Great early Cagney film. If not seen then you have to watch Taxi with Loretta Young. This is the film where he said somewhat close to you dirty rat. He actually said "You yellow bellied double crossing rat . Come out and take it like a man " .

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I fell in love with James Cagney after seeing him in "Footlight Parade." It was pure magic when he did that "Shanghai Lil" number with Ruby Keeler. Before that movie I had only known him for his gangster characters (all good), but it was "Footlight Parade" that made me a true fan.

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He was very good. Very few actors covered as many genres as he did. I agree with one of the others that "The Strawberry Blonde" was quite good. If you want to see him really stretch get hold of "Man Of A Thousand Faces". He plays Lon Chaney, Sr. Quite off track for him but he does a wonderful job.

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I agree....Man of a Thousand Faces was a fantastic film but Cagney really gave it his all.. He was just brillant .It is a shame that he was over looked so many times for other films that he was great in. Example :

 

Man of a Thosand Faces

White Heat

One Two Three

Shake Hands with the Devil

Love Me or Leave Me

 

By the way if you think Man was good you should really see him in Shake Hands with the Devil. He was OUTSTANDING !

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How to pick....

 

White Heat- come on, he made a very mean person likeable. There aren't very many actors who can/could make you feel for "the bad guy." When he reacted to news of his mother's death, you sympathized. When someone in the car trunk said he needed air & Cagney's character shot bullet holes into it, you laughed.

 

Yankee Doodle Dandy- It was so touching & I had no idea he could do that! I'd only seen him in gangster type movies. Moved me to tears when he received his award from the President & said "my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you."

 

I could watch his films all day and never get bored. He was so real.

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  • 4 months later...

This a great idea for a thread. . .and an impossible task to complete for any real Cagney fan. I guess it would have to depend on what mood I'm in. If I want to see Jimmy at his hard-boiled best, then it's got to be White Heat. If I want to see him with great chemistry with another actress, then it has to be City for Conquest and Torrid Zone (My favorite actress is Ann Sheridan, and boy were they great together). If, as a fellow native New Yorker, I want to see him at his New York-roots best, then it has to be Angels with Dirty Faces and The Roaring Twenties. Then for sheer entertainment throw in Yankee Doodle Dandy, One. . .Two. . .Three. . . and oh, well, you get the picture. All I can say is, Cagney was the first actor I came to love as a kid growing up learning about old movies, and nobody but nobody could ever rise above his material the way he could. He was always fun and fascinating to watch, no matter what the movie was like.

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I concur with Rick. There's just so many great ones. TORRID ZONE is heavily under-rated, and while WHITE HEAT, PUBLIC ENEMY, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES are usually going be the favorites, he's done so many good ones it's hard to chose just one.

 

If you liked him YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, try him in SOMETHING TO SING ABOUT(another great Musical).

 

He's good in just about everything he's been in.

 

I even enjoyed watching him in MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES where he played Lon Chaney. A much more complex role for Jimmy.

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There are a lot of great films. The trouble is not too many of them are shown. Other than the obvious ones there are quite a few from the early 30s and through the 50s that someone is hanging on to. "Smart Money" with Edward G. Robinson is interesting for their pairing. "Footlight Parade" is another chance to watch him dance. Also, his cameo in Bob Hope's "The Seven Little Foys" is nice but it comes rather deep into the movie. Another good one is "Each Dawn I Die".

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Has everyone forgotten The big Cagney man in "Mr. Roberts", I'm not saying those others mentioned weren't great also, because they were. I'm just saying how could you not include that one with all the other great movies Jimmy Boy did.

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I was thinking of his less well known films that someone might look for. You are quite right to point out "Mr. Roberts" He was quite good in a very unsympathetic role. I like the scene where he meets Lemmon and discovers he's been on the ship for a year or so only to have not seen him before. I believe the movie is just out on DVD.

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I know, that scene was unbelievable, both of their reactions were hilarious. I like when he realizes that Mr. Roberts probably threw that palm tree overboard and when they're inside his office discussing very loudly. "You stabbed me in the back, ... You stabbed me in the back."

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I can never tire of watching "Yankee Doodle Dandy". It lifts my spirits every time.

People always get pleasently surprised to see James Cagney in a musical.

I felt the same way on seeing Ernest Borgnine sing and dance in "The Best Things In Life Are Free".

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I saw "The Bride Came COD" last fall and it was as fun as I remember it. Light and breezy and they played well together. It's too bad Davis didn't like the movie but I thought she did a fine job.

 

I haven't seen it in years but I think "The Strawberry Blonde" was fun in the same manner as "Bride..".

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