Saturday, July 17, 2010

Happy Birthday James Cagney!


My all-time favorite actor was born on this day in 1899!

I think Cagney more than any other star of his era defined and shaped "acting" as it applied to motion pictures. He brought an energy and physicality to the medium that had never been seen at the time and has never been equalled since.

Jimmy gave an unforgettable performance as mother-fixated psychopath Cody Jarret in Warner Bros "White Heat", 1949 - directed by the great Roul Walsh. It is absolute must-see Cagney!!!

"SCHLEMMMMERRRRR!"

In Billy Wilder's outrageous "One, Two, Three" Cagney, age 62, exudes the energy of 10 men half his age!

Cagney as George M. Cohan, his quintessential non-tough-guy role. If ever there was a part an actor was born to play, hell yeah this is it!

"You're a smart lawyer Frasier....very smart...only dont get smart with me!"

If I had to pick only one Cagney film I could watch for the rest of my days "Angels with Dirty Faces" would be the one. Friggin' awesome movie, period!

Did Rocky really turn Yellah?

No Fucking way man!!!

"Hey, lets ask da Fadduh!"

Cagney with Ann Sheridan and lifelong friend Pat O'Brien

For anyone who might be interested, last year I did a guest blog about Cagney at Raquelle's excellent "Out of the past" classic film blog. I really enjoyed writing that piece, brought back a lot of memories!

8 comments:

Lotus Flower said...

Nice post, love the pics. He was truly one of a kind. I never knew how versatile an actor he was until I saw him in Footlight Parade. I was delightfully shocked.

Pixie Drive-In said...

Happy birthday, Jimmy! I liked him a lot in White Heat too. Such a great actor!

Artman2112 said...

Lotus - I'm sure audiences were shocked back then too! glad you enjoyed the post.

Francy - Have you seen "Angels with Dirty Faces"? if not, you MUST!!!another must see is the lesser-known "Ladykiller", real fast paced, great cast and pokes a lot of fun at Hollywood!

emma wallace said...

Only film I've ever seen Cagney in is "Yankee Doodle Dandy!" He's got so much fantastic energy.

Lemmy Caution said...

Seriously doesn't get much better than Jimmy. Great pics! Top of the world ma!

Avalon76 said...

He brought an energy and physicality to the medium that had never been seen at the time and has never been equalled since.

That's for damned sure! Happy Birthday Jimmy! ^_^

Patti said...

I am looking through your back posts.

So James Cagney is your all-time favorite actor, huh? He is one of my 6 "beloveds." I quite adore him!

I read his autobiography last summer, and I came away from it more enamored of him than ever.

He was an amazingly brilliant actor...one of the best ever!

A blog called The Movie Projector is having a James Cagney blogathon in April. You might want to get involved in that. (I'll be reviewing The Public Enemy).

Artman2112 said...

Patti, i actually have NO bio's on cagney at all, it doesnt seem possible! i need to get his auto bio and i really need to add a nice signed photo of him to my collection someday *sigh*