FIlms in 2013—#138 Yankee Doodle Dandy (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
Posts tagged james cagney.
Angels with Dirty Faces (Michael Curtiz, 1938)
July 4th, 1982—An 82-year-old James Cagney is unflaggingly patriotic at his Dutchess County farm in New York.
James Cagney……………………………..The Public Enemy (1931)
The Public Enemy, 1931
James Cagney II.
With the release of The Public Enemy, in 1931, a new brand of idol emerged: the anti-hero. When James Cagney squashed a half-grapefruit into the whining face of Mae Clarke, gasps were heard in movie houses around the world. The Cagney style of woman-mauling brought cheers from men, but, at first, disapproval from women, whose taste inexorably ruled the screen. Through that simple, yet forceful, gesture with the grapefruit, the imprudent, red-haired young actor came an overnight sensation; he was the screen’s most dynamic actor. He treated most things with contempt, including women, but there was enough charm in his grin to reach the last row in the balcony. Thus a “new realism” was born out of Depression-ridden America, and audiences soon relished every move Cagney made as he rebelled against a society he not only did not help create, but felt compelled to challenge. Cagney represented the perfect portrait of the American urban man and boy — in all his complexities — whose life was so insecure in the Thirties. This was apparent in his every gesture: his walk, his nervous fists, his abrupt silences and his steadily mounting rage. Not surprisingly, his fast-talking, finger-jabbing traits became trademarks, and mimics had a field day. The fact that he conveyed every emotion with his entire body, not just his face or voice, added immeasurably to his persuasiveness. Moviegoers were fascinated by him.