How Could I Have Missed This One?

  • Our first dog’s name was Cagney.
  • My password for many years included some version of Cagney.
  • One of my all-time favorite movies, Yankee Doodle Dandy, starred James Cagney.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cagney by Cagney, his autobiography.

Hopefully, you get the point, I am a big fan of the talented James “Jimmy” Cagney.

(And by the way, I’m not alone in my admiration of Mr. Cagney. Orson Welles described Cagney as “maybe the greatest actor who ever appeared in front of a camera”. And In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked him eighth among its list of greatest male stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.)

I always thought that there should have been a movie of his life, and I already had the actor picked out who was going to play him – Michael J. Fox – who was also a big fan of Mr. Cagney.

But sadly, there never was such a movie.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that five years ago there was a play on Broadway titled Cagney: The Musical.

Now I don’t get to Broadway often, but you can bet I would have been there for this one.

Unfortunately, the play ended its run, and it is not currently on tour anywhere.

But I will be sure to keep my eyes open for this one.

And I have to be more vigilant about what’s playing on Broadway.

Who knows, maybe Springsteen will be in a play on Broadway someday… ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a video clip of scenes from Cagney: The Musical. The star, Robert Creighton, bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Cagney…

and I can’t resist this 30-second clip from Yankee Doodle Dandy:

15 thoughts on “How Could I Have Missed This One?

  1. Wouldn’t that be nice, to routinely tapdance down the stairs, and then be handed your coat, hat, and cane? Reminds me of a pseudonym W.C. Fields once used: Mahatma Kane Jeeves (for, my hat, my cane, Jeeves).

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  2. At a time when Hollywood was dominated by west coast actors, Cagney was a breath of New York air, full of energy and grit. What I remember most about him is his devotion to performing with the USO during the war. Efforts that eventually won him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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  3. I knew who you meant when you said James Cagney. I would have seen him in movies when I was much, much younger. I don’t recall his being a favourite though. Looks like I might have been the odd one out.

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  4. I wonder how many people had bad outcomes trying to tap dance on the stairs like Cagney or Shirley Temple and Bill Bojangles Robinson. โ˜บI tried it as a kid a few times and was lucky to escape injury. Tap dancing on stairs must have been a real thing back n the day..

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