Let Freedom Sing! The Story of Yankee Doodle Dandy (2003)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Nice 30+ minute documentary about the history and making of YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, the classic film that got James Cagney his only Best Actor Oscar. The film tells the story of George M. Cohan and we start off hearing about his life and how he got into the business. From here we learn that he was worried about his legacy and felt that a movie about his life would be the best thing for it and at the same time Cagney was needing to help is image over a controversy so the two sides came together. Film historians Robert Osborne, Rudy Behlmer and Bob Thomas are joined by the likes of John Travolta, John McCabe, Joan Leslie, Patrick McGilligan and Joel Grey as they discuss the film and its legacy. Fans of the film are really going to enjoy hearing the stories about the production including all the power that Warner actually gave Cohan, which included him having to give his approval for the final product. I am curious to know what would have happened had Cohan not approved the film. Other stories told includes a heartbreaking one from Leslie as she talks about the day on the set when they learned that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. Overall, this is a very impressive feature as it really gives you a clear idea of everything in the production from the hiring of the cast to the photography and of course it's release.
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