7.8/10
11,865
106 user 44 critic

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Musical | 6 June 1942 (USA)
The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

White Heat (1949)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart
Swing Time (1936)
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Sergeant York (1941)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A marksman is drafted in World War I and ends up becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Richard Whorf ...
...
...
...
...
...
Singer - Nora
...
...
...
...
...
...
Edit

Storyline

A musical portrait of composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan. From his early days as a child-star in his family's vaudeville show up to the time of his comeback at which he received a medal from the president for his special contributions to the US, this is the life- story of George M. Cohan, who produced, directed, wrote and starred in his own musical shows for which he composed his famous songs. Written by Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Get ready to Laugh, to Sing, to Shout! ...For here comes Uncle Sam's Star Spangled Yankee Doodle Dandy! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Triunfo supremo  »

Box Office

Gross:

$11,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

George M. Cohan died of cancer shortly before the film was released. However, he got a private screening. His comment on the film (and James Cagney playing him) was "I wouldn't want to follow that act." See more »

Goofs

Jerry Cohan is shown announcing his and Nellie's retirement at his 62nd birthday party, following the New Year's 1912 scene. Jerry turned 62 in February 1910. Jerry and Nellie left the stage in 1913 shortly after his 65th birthday. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Critic #1: I call it a hit. What'll your review say?
Critic #2: I like it too, so I guess I'll pan it.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in South Park: Erection Day (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Yankee Doodle Boy
(1904) (uncredited)
from the Broadway Show "Little Johnny Jones"
Written by George M. Cohan
Played during the opening credits
Sung and Danced by James Cagney and Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Red White and Blue, Cagney for You
29 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

James Cagney won his only Oscar for his recreation of George M. Cohgan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. Already terminally ill, Cohan lived long enough to see the film and no doubt he would have approved of it because it sure is how he would like to have been remembered.

In 1942 when Yankee Doodle Dandy premiered there was a whole generations of people left alive who saw George M. Cohan perform. Watching the film today Cohan is like a figure from antiquity. But Warner Brothers was lucky to have James Cagney with the studio who's dancing style closely paralleled Cohan's. If it is ever run on Turner Classic Movies, make sure you see George M. Cohan's sound film The Phantom President. You will be astonished to see how closely Cagney captured his style. In the same way that Philip Seymour Hoffman captured Truman Capote and Joaquin Phoenix became Johnny Cash.

Cohan's contemporaries are also like names from antiquity. But a century ago when Cohan was just hitting the big time performers like Fay Templeton, Nora Bayes, and Eddie Foy were very big stars and in 1942 plenty of people saw them also. I wish we had some film of them to see how Irene Manning, Frances Langford, and Eddie Foy, Jr. did in their recreations. I'm sure Foy, Jr. did a smashing job with his Dad.

The background stuff is true enough. Cohan was born to a pair of vaudeville performers Jerry and Nellie Cohan played here by Walter Huston and Rosemary DeCamp. Later on a sister was added to the Cohan family and here Josie Cohan is played by Jeanne Cagney. They did do all the towns, big and small, in America. Cagney meets wife Joan Leslie at Shea's Theater in Buffalo, New York and Shea's survives to this day. And his first real success was Little Johnny Jones which score included American classics, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Give My Regards to Broadway.

What's left out is the fact Cohan had two wives. His second wife survived him and died in the early Seventies. As his songs became popular in patriotic/rightwing circles, Cohan's personal politics reflected that. He fought hard and lost in the battle for Actors Equity. Cohan thought a union of players was tantamount to Communism. But such was his standing among performers that Cohan was granted the unique privilege of being allowed to appear on stage without having to join Equity once the union was recognized as the bargaining agent for players.

Cohan is shown in Yankee Doodle Dandy as gracefully having retired when other trends in popular music took over. Far from it, he was a very bitter man and when he did that final comeback in I'd Rather Be Right he fought with Kaufman and Hart over the book and Rodgers and Hart over the songs.

But Yankee Doodle Dandy presents the public musical face of George M. Cohan and does it very well. To this day, some forty years after first seeing Yankee Doodle Dandy on television, I love the recreations of Yankee Doodle Dandy, Give My Regards to Broadway, and You're a Grand Old Flag as they were first seen on stage. Plus some of the snatches of the lesser known Cohan songs as performed by the players portraying the Cohan family and others.

When all is said and done, George M. Cohan was a great force of nature in the American musical theater. And we thank his father, mother, and sister, and George M. himself for what he left us.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?