John Jones' daughter is rehearsing the Gettysburg Address in preparation for a school elocution when he is called away by an air raid alarm. He sits alone in the evening and contemplates ... See full summary »

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John Jones
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Daughter
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Storyline

John Jones' daughter is rehearsing the Gettysburg Address in preparation for a school elocution when he is called away by an air raid alarm. He sits alone in the evening and contemplates how lucky he is in America, where no bombing occurs. He imagines "his baby" (Margaret O'Brien) suffering in the war-torn nations of England, Greece, China, Yugoslavia, France, and Russia, and thanks god that no harm has come to her. When he returns home, his daughter resumes her recitation of the Gettysburg Address with her parents as audience. Written by Lew Amack

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Short | Drama | War

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Unrated
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14 January 1943 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Included in Warner Home Video's 2-disc DVD release of Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). See more »

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"Ain't It The Beautiful Truth?"
16 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

James Cagney, Ann Sothern and Margaret O'Brien all star in this Mervyn LeRoy-directed "wartime short," as they called them. Cagney plays an aviation worker who comes and sees his young daughter rehearsing the Gettysburg address.

The man ("John Jones" played by Cagney) then gets called out on a security watch. As he sits on his park bench post, he starts talking out loud to God, saying "I don't think there will ever be a raid on the United States of America but people on our side are being bombed somewhere - England, Russia or China. It's just terrible, horrible....but I just want you to know I appreciate that it's not happening here."

God talks back to him, asking him if he truly does appreciate it, and then Cagney sees pictures of what it would be like if he were in England, Greece, China, Yugoslavia, France and other war-torn areas. In each case, we see his daughter (O'Brien playing her) physically harmed or starving.

The man returns home, asks his wife "Mary" (Sheridan) if she's okay, then gets another phone call with an "all-clear" message, goes to the door, looks upward and says "Thanks, God." Their daughter then finishes Lincoln's famous speech.

The father kisses his daughter and adds, "Ain't it the beautiful truth?"

This short was part of the 2-disc special-edition DVD of "Yankee Doodle Dandy."


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