IMDb > AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Cagney (1974) (TV)

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Cagney (1974) (TV) More at IMDbPro »The American Film Institute Salute to James Cagney (original title)


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Release Date:
18 March 1974 (USA) See more »
Actor James Cagney receives the Second Annual AFI Lifetime Achievment Award as co-workers pay tribute and clips from his films are shown. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Cagney and the "dirty rat" line.... See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)

James Cagney ... Himself / honoree

Frank Sinatra ... Himself - Host

Mae Clarke ... Herself

Doris Day ... Herself

Kirk Douglas ... Himself

Frank Gorshin ... Himself

Charlton Heston ... Himself

Bob Hope ... Himself

Jack Lemmon ... Himself

Shirley MacLaine ... Herself

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (also archive footage) (as Governor Reagan)

George C. Scott ... Himself

George Segal ... Himself

Cicely Tyson ... Herself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Bancroft ... Actor 'Each Dawn I Die' (archive footage)

Jane Bryan ... Actress 'Each Dawn I Die' (archive footage)
Donald Cook ... Actor 'Public Enemy' (archive footage)

Bette Davis ... Actress 'Bride Came C.O.D.' (archive footage)

Olivia de Havilland ... Actress 'Strawberry Blonde' (archive footage)
Rosemary DeCamp ... Actress 'Yankee Doodle Dady' (archive footage)

Gladys George ... Actress 'The Roaring Twenties' (archive sound)

Walter Huston ... Actor 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' (archive footage)
Beryl Mercer ... Actress 'Public Enemy' (archive footage)

Cameron Mitchell ... Actor 'Love Me or Leave Me' (archive footage)

Edmond O'Brien ... Actor 'White Heat' (archive footage)

Pat O'Brien ... Actor 'Angels with Dirty Faces' (archive footage)
Barbara Payton ... Actress 'Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye' (archive sound)
George Reed ... Actor 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' (archive footage)
Jim Thorpe ... Actor 'White Heat' (archive footage)
Margaret Wycherly ... Actress 'White Heat' (archive footage)

Ralph Bellamy ... Himself (table bow) (uncredited)

Joan Blondell ... Herself (table bow) (uncredited)
Tom Bradley ... Himself (uncredited)
Frances Cagney ... Herself (table bow) (uncredited)

Clint Eastwood ... Himself (uncredited)

Mick Jagger ... Himself (uncredited)

Allen Jenkins ... Himself (table bow) (uncredited)

Danny Kaye ... Himself (uncredited)

Gene Kelly ... Himself (uncredited)

John Lennon ... Himself (uncredited)

A.C. Lyles ... Himself (table bow) (uncredited)

Ali MacGraw ... Herself (uncredited)
Frank McHugh ... Himself (table boe) (uncredited)

Steve McQueen ... Himself (uncredited)

Paul Newman ... Himself (uncredited)

Carroll O'Connor ... Himself (uncredited)
May Pang ... Herself (uncredited)

George Raft ... Himself (table bow) (uncredited)

Nancy Reagan ... Herself (uncredited)

George Stevens Jr. ... Himself - speaker (uncredited)

John Wayne ... Himself (uncredited)

Joanne Woodward ... Herself (uncredited)

Directed by
Bill Foster 
Produced by
Rita Burton .... producer
Paul Keyes .... producer
George Stevens Jr. .... producer
Film Editing by
Allan Holzman 
Makeup Department
Jim Gillespie .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Marshall King .... sound mixer
Camera and Electrical Department
Roger Sandler .... still photographer
Other crew
Tony Csiki .... stage manager (as Anthony Chickey)
Bob Lally .... associate director

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The American Film Institute Salute to James Cagney" - USA (original title)
See more »
USA:75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Although longtime Cagney friend and co-star Pat O'Brien did not attend, his wife did.See more »
James Cagney:[Jokingly to Frank Sinatra] Oh, Frank, just in passing... I never said, 'You Dirty Rat." What I did say was 'Judy, Judy, Judy!'See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Each Dawn I Die (1939)See more »
I'm Forever Blowing BubblesSee more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Cagney and the "dirty rat" line...., 21 December 2004
Author: gigisvin from Indiana, United States

After a thirteen-year absence from the screen, James Cagney proved again what a great entertainment talent he was. At the 1974 AFI Salute to him, his acceptance speech began with laughter and ended with laughter. His performance at the Salute was perfect - well-paced, witty, sardonic, heartfelt, and memorable. In spite of his fame as a movie tough guy, he preferred comedy and made some really funny films. Don't miss the gem, "Jimmy the Gent," with Bette Davis. Regarding the famous line attributed to him -- "You dirty rat," it's true that he did not say those exact words. However, in both "Blonde Crazy" and Taxi," he said variations of that line: In the final scene of "Blonde Crazy," Cagney says to Joan Blondell, "Why, the dirty, double-crossing rat, I'd like to get my hooks on him, I'd tear him to pieces." In the next to the last scene of "Taxi," Cagney finally corners his brother's killer. As he aims his gun at the closed closet door, he says, "Come out and take it, you dirty yellow-bellied rat or I'll give it to you through the door." He closed his 1974 AFI acceptance speech by saying, "And, just in passing, I never said, 'Hmmm, you dirty rat.' What I did say was, 'Judy, Judy, Judy!'" (For those who don't know, that's a reference to Cary Grant.)

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