Saturday, October 31, 2009

Videos Related to City for Conquest

Clips from City for Conquest:





A video montage about James Cagney's many slugfests, which doesn't really have anything to do with this film but has a few clips from it:

City for Conquest (1940)

I recently just watched the 1940 James Cagney movie City for Conquest, and it was dramatically entertaining. James Cagney was absolutely fantastic as Danny Kenny, a truck driver-turned-professional boxer who turns blind after a bout with a boxer with rosin on his gloves. His performance turned the film from clich├ęd to exciting. To put it simply, he made the film worth watching.

The film also features young actor Elia Kazan, the future director of On the Waterfront (1954) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1954). If it weren't for Elia Kazan, this movie might have been totally obscure. Anthony Quinn was also in this film but I didn't like him; I thought he wasn't a famous actor but I guess I was wrong. Ann Sheridan was also good but she was kind of a crybaby in this movie. No offense, but I thought the film all together was corny—and Ann Sheridan's constant crying drove it right to the edge of corniness. And the kid actors who were supposed to be playing the main characters as children were too much from California to be talking with New York accents. That's my complaint!

Of course, I felt sorry for James Cagney after he became blind (and I especially felt sorry for him when he was getting hit mercilessly in his last fight but did not feel sorry for him when he got a depressing letter from Sheridan about her prolonged tour) but the rest of the characters I did not care about when their dreams didn't come true—even though I had sympathy for Ann Sheridan's future plans.









I didn't really watch the big orchestra number with the orchestra conducted by James Cagney's character's brother because it was a little bit too saccharine. And I didn't really cry at the very ending scene, which is supposed to be a tearjerker, where Ann Sheridan visits James Cagney at the newspaper stand where he now works. Elia Kazan admired James Cagney on set of this film since Cagney was his own pragmatic self and left the set promptly at his own time, no matter if a scene wasn't finished yet. I would recommend this film for James Cagney fans who like watching him in melodramatic films. Again, you folks may comment on this film with your opinions about it, but I'm not forcing you to.

Video Montage Tributes to James Cagney





Birthday Tribute:

All About Cagney

Interesting things about James Cagney that you should know. I copied the text below from my PowerPoint Presentation about the guy. Unfortunately, I won't be able to share the presentation with you guys.




Started his showbiz career in vaudeville and then moved on to Broadway.
— Had one of the longest marriages in Hollywood.
— Grew up in the same neighborhood that the Marx Brothers grew up in, though at different times, just by one decade.
— Had freckles and red hair. His fair complexion was covered by heavy makeup to adapt to heavy lighting.
— Was a modest, shy man in private life.
Had all sorts of talents, so he was useful in all film genres as well as gangster pictures.
— Was adverse to being typecast as a gangster, but unfortunately, the image stuck with him even after he died. So we all know him as a tough guy character.
— Was one of the first actors to rebel against the authoritarian studio system of Hollywood during the 1930s and ‘40s.
— Was President of the Screen Actors’ Guild twice.
— At 5’6, he was short but taller than me. Women were attracted to him, although he wasn’t as hot and sexy as Brad Pitt. (Clark Gable was really the Brad Pitt of the ’30s.)

— Always described himself as a song-and-dance man. There is often a hint of his talented dancing in his gait in some of his films, especially in Angels with Dirty Faces.
— Was quite charming and cute, despite being unhandsome (yes, there’s a difference).
— Had a little-boy quality in him that made you wanna take care of him, despite being abused. (Thank you, Kevin Spacey.)
— Wasn’t as childish as the Marx Brothers (he was almost ten to eight years younger than most of them while being two years older than Zeppo).
— Was quite athletic and muscular, so there’s a reason he has a few sports movies.
— Had a farm in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., which he visited often. Even though he was a city boy, Cagney preferred country life to city life. He also had a farm in upstate New York, which is the farm he died on.
— Was born in the same year as Humphrey Bogart, Charles Boyer, Fred Astaire, etc.
— Cagney did go to Columbia College but withdrew after a semester to help support his family.
— Was the first actor to win the AFI Achievement Award (no wait, that was John Ford).
Born in New York City on July 17, 1899
Was a Cancer just like me!
— His name started with the letter J just like my name
— He is a July baby like me
— His middle name was Francis
— Was of Irish-Norwegian descent.

What Makes James Cagney So Great?

I'm taking a break between James Cagney film reviews to do what seems to be another James Cagney blog. Now I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, what makes James Francis Cagney, Jr. so great? Well, for one thing, it's his amazing ability to do a wide variety of roles; another thing is his amazing charisma and the fact that he could spark up the the screen with his personality and his lightning energy (does that make sense?) Orson Welles once said that "watching James Cagney acting was like watching a bunch of firecrackers going off." James Cagney probably could do every genre possible: drama, war, gangster, musical, crime, comedy, adventure, Western, biopic, epic, film noir, etc. And somehow his proficiency (did I spell that right?) as an actor ranged as far as Shakespeare, which he had no experience in, but conquered (not so well) in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935). (And let me tell that that movie is the only thing do with Shakespeare that I would ever touch.) And it seems ironic that even though we know Jimmy Cagney as a tough guy, he won his only Oscar™ for his portrayal of song-and-dance man George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. So, tell me, folks; what do you think makes James Cagney so great. Please comment w/ your input. Thanx.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cagney & Sheridan Photos

Just felt like making a photo post about Jimmy Cagney and Ann Sheridan. Ann Sheridan isn't exactly my favorite of James Cagney's female co-stars; that honor belongs to Joan Blondell. And as for Jimmy's male co-stars, I can tell that Pat O'Brien is a popular favorite just by looking at the results of the poll on the right; he's my favorite of Jim's male co-stars too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

James Cagney Video Music Montages of Him Dancing

This one is "Ballroom Blitz:"

And this one is "Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go:"

Videos Related to Picture Snatcher

Clips from Picture Snatcher:


Picture Snatcher (1933)

I recently just watched the 1933 James Cagney movie, Picture Snatcher, and it was both fun and dramatic. James Cagney was great as Danny Kean, the jailbird turned tabloid reporter who falls in love with a college student. You enjoy every line he says. Of course, I thought the love story interfered with James Cagney, or maybe that's the jealousy talking because the actress was younger than me (she was younger than me when she made this movie). Ralph Bellamy was great as the hard-drinking newspaper editor. (Note: he was another good friend of James Cagney. I saw him in another newspaper-related [more famous] movie, His Girl Friday, with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.)






The scene where James Cagney sneaks his camera into the electric chair ceremony at Sing-Sing where they were frying a murderess (did I spell that right?) was inspired by a real-life event; a reporter for the New York Daily News snuck his camera into a Sing-Sing frying ceremony the same way James Cagney does in this film—hiding it in his pant leg at the ankle—and probably caused a scandal with the picture (the person who was being friend in the electric chair during that event was also a murdress). I really loved the scene where James Cagney is so bored while hiding out in Ralph Bellamy's girlfriend's apartment while hiding out from the police because of the scandalous photography; it was like something out of my imagination story, only the character would be Bart Simpson! (In a scene preceding this scene, James Cagney gave the newspaper people his account of the frying event in his usual fast-talking way, which I found annoying.)













I also like the scene where James Cagney gives the college journalist students a tour of the newspaper office and makes fun of the nerdy journalist student; it was something I could relate to because I'm a college student. (But again, those hands ! They drive me crazy!) I also found it clever that when James Cagney tries to woo the female college student, he has the typist write messages asking the college student out on the typewriter and using the hot metal thingies as stamps. I also enjoyed the slugfest scenes but was distressed to find out that while filming the slugfest (which is later in the movie) between him and James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy sent the latter flying across the set, causing the poor guy to break a tooth. I also found it funny that James Cagney would hide in the ladies' bathroom from the firefighter whom he stole the picture that made him top dog of the newspaper from.
This film has so many Pre-Code scenes, including the one where Bellamy's girlfriend throws herself onto James Cagney and he tries to wrestle her off of himself. Talk about having a good time and bad intercourse! (They weren't really having intercourse! Sorry if the inappropriateness offends you folks!) I didn't really watch the shootout scene near the end of the film because it was too dramatic. This movie was filmed in 15 days and runs at a breakneck speed which keeps in tone with the story. Fortunately, this obscure James Cagney movie is on DVD, which is what they should be doing with the rest of his obscure movies! I recommend this movie for James Cagney fans who love watching him in comedy/drama movies. Once again, you guys can comment on this movies with your own opinions but you don't have to.

James Cagney Videos Unrelated to Film Posts

Another video montage about the sexual innuendo and double entendres in James Cagney's dialogue (some of them are not that obvious--if u need help with translation, please let me know; but some of them you don't wanna know, some of them I don't know, and some of them I don't think even have sexual implications):

A video montage about the sexual innuendo and double entendres in Cagney's dialogue:

A Cagney video montage (I didn't make this video either):

Video monthage of Cagney (Translated: Video Montage of Cagney.)

A video montage about Warner Bros., with music by Dick Powell (plenty of Cagney to go around):

Another James Cagney video montage which has nothing to do with this movie but has some clips from it:

A video montage of James Cagney being mean which includes clips from this movie, with the song "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Megadeth, not Alice Cooper (Just to let you know, folks, I didn't make this video. Shoulda warned you earlier, I know, but please don't be mad at me for taking credit. The same goes for the other videos I've posted):

Monday, October 26, 2009

Videos Related to The Strawberry Blonde

The trailer for The Strawberry Blonde (I actually uploaded this video from my computer rather than embedding it from YouTube):

Clip from The Strawberry Blonde:

The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

I've recently been watching the 1941 James Cagney movie, The Strawberry Blonde and it is a very delightful romantic comedy. As well as James Cagney, it features other famous stars such as Olivia DeHavilland and Rita Hayworth. I really liked how the film had that turn-of-the-century look and how Rita Hayworth plays the love interest. I always knew that she was a sex queen like Marilyn Monroe—but not as iconic—and this must be the role that established that status. Olivia de Havilland returns as Cagney's girlfriend—she previously played a similar role in The Irish in Us (1935)—even though she doesn't start out that way because she is one of those woman suffragists who were common during the turn of the century and Cagney's character has old-fashioned values.
I found it kind of curious that Cagney was starring that takes place around the time during which he was born (he was born in 1899). What I also noticed about him in this film is that his voice is more high-pitched than normal and that he uses his body more (or maybe the speed of the film was faster than normal). When I first saw this film, I didn't really feel sorry for Cagney when he struggles to win Hayworth's love (even though I've had similar experiences, it's still very cruel of me); however, whenever I watch this film now, I feel sympathy for him, especially when he hears that Rita Hayworth eloped with his rival. (In that same scene, I find the giggling girl who's date of one of Cagney's friends very annoying and weird !)





No matter what, I still found James Cagney terrific as Biff Grimes, a New York corresponding dental student who loves Rita Hayworth but finds himself marrying Olivia de Havilland out of spite against his supposed friend, who he feels is walking over him. I also find it very funny that James Cagney takes his revenge on his rival near the end of the film by pulling out his painful tooth without gas! That could be a legitimate reason for being afraid of going to the dentist: You're paranoid that the dentist could take revenge against you—if he has any reason to. It was also in this film that I've realized how short James Cagney actually is; he seems so dimuinitive compared to his co-stars. (Of course, I'm short myself, so it's no big deal for me. James Cagney was actually taller than I am.)

I'm very sorry if this film review isn't as good as the other film reviews, but I don't know enough about this film, except that the screenplay was written by the Epstein brothers, the same guys who wrote the screenplay for Casablanca. As for the recommendations, I would recommend it for James Cagney fans who love to see the guy in romantic comedies and other versatile roles (as well as being a romantic comedy, this film is also a drama). Once again, comments & opinions on this film are encouraged!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

I've recently been watching the 1941 James Cagney movie, The Strawberry Blonde and it is a very delightful romantic comedy. As well as James Cagney, it features other famous stars such as Olivia DeHavilland and Rita Hayworth.




I really liked how the film had that turn-of-the-century look and how Rita Hayworth plays the love interest. I always knew that she was a sex queen like Marilyn Monroe—but not as iconic—and this must be the role that established that status. Olivia de Havilland returns as Cagney's girlfriend—she previously played a similar role in The Irish in Us (1935)—even though she doesn't start out that way because she is one of those woman suffragists who were common during the turn of the century and Cagney's character has old-fashioned values.




I found it kind of curious that Cagney was starring in a film that takes place around the time during which he was born (he was born in 1899). What I also noticed about him in this film is that his voice is more high-pitched than normal and that he uses his body more (or maybe the speed of the film was faster than normal).




When I first saw this film, I didn't really feel sorry for Cagney when he struggles to win Hayworth's love (even though I've had similar experiences, it's still very cruel of me); however, whenever I watch this film now, I feel sympathy for him, especially when he hears that Rita Hayworth eloped with his rival. (In that same scene, I find the giggling girl who's dating of one of Cagney's friends very annoying and weird !) No matter what, I still found James Cagney terrific as Biff Grimes, a New York corresponding dental student who loves Rita Hayworth but finds himself marrying Olivia de Havilland out of spite against his supposed friend, who he feels is walking over him. I also find it very funny that James Cagney takes his revenge on his rival near the end of the film by pulling out his painful tooth without gas! That could be a legitimate reason for being afraid of going to the dentist: You're paranoid that the dentist could take revenge against you—if he has any reason to.




It was also in this film that I've realized how short James Cagney actually is; he seems so dimuinitive compared to his co-stars. (Of course, I'm short myself, so it's no big deal for me. James Cagney was actually taller than I am.) I'm very sorry if this film review isn't as good as the other film reviews, but I don't know enough about this film, except that the screenplay was written by the Epstein brothers, the same guys who wrote the screenplay for Casablanca. As for the recommendations, I would recommend it for James Cagney fans who love to see the guy in romantic comedies and other versatile roles (as well as being a romantic comedy, this film is also a drama). Once again, comments & opinions on this film are encouraged!

James Cagney: The Oklahoma Kid










































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