Nice superficial overview of the career of Cagney.
This is a retrospective of the career of James Cagney along with a bit of a biography thrown in to the mix. If you are looking more for a biography, this isn't the film to see. Like a typical Turner Classics production, it is top-notch in quality and quite watchable. The film consists of narration by Michael J. Fox, a few interviews (though, unfortunately, by 1992 most associated with Cagney were dead--so the interviews were more limited than in many films), some audio clips of Cagney and film clips. Naturally, the film tended to focus on his career at Warner Brothers--as he made most of his films there and because TCM owns the prints of the originals. However, his appearances in films by First National and other studios were included as well.
I have only two complaints. One is a minor one, and that's having Fox do the narration. Other than being a short actor (like Cagney), I couldn't see the connection. Usually, there is some reason why a certain actor or actress is chosen to narrate--such as their past association with the subject of the retrospective or similarity of roles. Fox, on the other hand, didn't seem to have any connection other than having briefly met him. Not a serious problem--just an odd choice. Second, and this is more serious, is that the film is only 46 minutes long--so it makes it all a bit superficial. I would have liked more depth--making the show seem a little less sketchy in places.
Still, being James Cagney, a very electrifying actor, any sort of film about him is exceptionally interesting and worth seeing.
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