A Yankee Doodle Dandy! by Rich Paschall
One of my favorite films is Yankee Doodle Dandy starring James Cagney. In the movies, Cagney was known as a tough guy having played a variety of gangster roles since his movie debut in 1930. Most moviegoers did not know that Cagney had a vaudeville background and could sing and dance as well. In 1942 he delighted audiences with his portrayal of Broadway showman, George M. Cohan. As writer, producer, performer Cohan ruled the stage in the early 20th Century. He wrote a number of patriotic tunes and was a real Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Cagney picked up the Academy Award for this performance. It was the only Oscar of his long and illustrious career. The film has become a fourth of July favorite and the Movies channel should be running it a lot this month.
If you can’t wait until the end of the movie, we will show you how you dance your way down the stairs. Don’t try this at home. Cagney was a dancer and an actor.