Y is for Fave Film #63 – Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Blogging from A-Z

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Cast-James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Oscar winner for Best Lead Actor (Cagney), Best Music, Best Sound Recording

A biopic film of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan, from his start in his family’s vaudeville act to his success on Broadway.  A true American success story.

Why I love it- I love musicals and I love Broadway so this movie is a perfect fit for me.  The choreography and music of the stage shows is based on the original Cohan productions and are showstoppers.  It feels like getting a behind the scenes looks at a way of life few get to experience and knowing Cohan was a real person makes it all that more enjoyable.

The music and story will make you feel proud to be an American without that theme seeming heavy-handed.  This is the story of America before and during the two World Wars and patriotism is inherent to the time.

This is the only movie I’ve ever seen James Cagney in and I’ve read it’s considered his best.  A few fun trivia facts for those who have seen the movie (or plan to), the woman who played his sister was really his sister and the woman who played his mother was actually 12 years younger than him.

This is on the AFI Best 100 movie list which is why I first saw it.  Both Jason and I were surprised at how much we liked it.  There’s singing and dancing, laugh-out-loud moments and tearful goodbyes.  The time in history makes this story of the American dream shine.


Check out the rest of my 100 favorite movies.