Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) Michael Curtiz

This is the fourth of seven entries I am writing for the Musical Countdown being hosted by WONDERS IN THE DARK. Here is the link.


5 comments on “Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) Michael Curtiz

  1. ClassicBecky says:

    John, I’ve really been enjoying these posts. Yankee Doodle Dandy may be moldy and jingoistic, but I love it. I can be very fond of corny and sentimental! Cagney was, as you said, in the forefront of the whole cast. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the number Grand Old Flag done, when the stage suddenly was full of people and flags — it was so stunning.

    How odd that they received news about Pearl Harbor during the making. The movie could not have been released at a better, more needed time for the country being pulled into war.

    My other favorite number was “Harrigan”, done so well and Irish-cocky by the ultimate Irishman

    Good job, John..


    • John Greco says:

      “My other favorite number was “Harrigan”, done so well and Irish-cocky by the ultimate Irishman” I like that!

      Many of the production numbers are excellent, wonderful stuff.The film must have been a morale booster for the country, I’m sure.

      “Harrigan” was one of those songs that would be performed all the time on those TV variety shows that were always on in the 60’s and 70’s. I vaguely remember Gene Kelly and someone else doing a duet.


  2. Judy says:

    Hi John, I left you a comment over on WITD a few days ago but not sure if you saw it, so here is a repeat!;)

    I agree with you, John, that Cagney’s amazing performance is what really makes this movie – this is one of the first films I saw him in, and it is one where his charisma really comes across. I like the evocation of vaudeville in the early scenes, tracing Cohan’s childhood, but will admit I am occasionally tempted to skip these and get straight to Cagney. Fred Astaire was offered the role first and turned it down – somehow I can’t really imagine him playing it!

    I’ll agree with you that the film is sentimental and sometimes jingoistic, but I love it all the same, mainly for Cagney. Must disagree with you and R.D. on Joan Leslie – I like her in this, finding her warm rather than dull, and it is amazing to think that she was only 17. She was only 16 when she made ‘Sergeant York’ opposite Gary Cooper, and I think she is really good in that. Fine piece, John!


    • John Greco says:

      I am sorry Judy, I remember reading your post over at WitD and somehow thought I responded. I am getting old and forgetful (LOL).

      Anyway, we seem to be mostly in agreement here, except for Miss Leslie. Cagney was just such a great entertainer, more than just an actor, as this film proves. You just can’t take your eyes off him, Thanks so much and I do apologize!


      • Judy says:

        No worries, John, just wanted you to know I liked your post.:) I agree it is impossible to take your eyes off Cagney – I’ve often tried to focus on other actors in a scene with him, but it is very difficult to do so!


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