Random Movie Review


Title - Yankee Doodle Dandy

Why - I have loved this movie since I was a kid. Every year on the Fourth of July while I was waiting for it to get dark so we could light fireworks I would watch this movie. Finally I decided since they don't show it on TV I'd just buy the DVD. I ordered it a week in advance, but then I got a notice that it wouldn't ship until the 6th but randomly it shipped on the second and I got it on the third.

Previews - None  But the DVD I bought has tons of cool extras including Yankee Doodle Bugs a WB cartoon starring Bugs Bunny.

Music - Lots of great musical type music and of course some of the great patriotic tunes which make it perfect for the holiday and any day really.

General - It starts out when he is acting in a musical and playing the president. He gets  summons to come to the White House and meet the president. While there the president asks him about his life and he tells the president his life story, starting with his birth on the Fourth of July.

He goes on to talk about his life touring with his family The Four Cohans. James Cagney's sister plays his little sister in the film Josie Cohan. As George grows up he has quite  a great opinion of himself and makes it near impossible for the rest of his family to find work because he's such a pain.

When a grown up George finds this out he pretends that he has sold a show and encourages his family to take one of the bookings they've been offered. While in  bar a short time later he over hears a man, Sam Harris, who would later become his partner trying to sell a melodrama. The backer doesn't want a melodrama, he wants a musical. So George goes over to the man and acts like they're partners and have a great musical that they've already promised to another backer.

Harris picks up on what George is doing and when George says he wants Harris to hear some changes to a song they've done they 'let' the backer hear the song and then allow themselves to be 'convinced' to let this backer finance they're play. Of course the play is a great hit and the rest is history.

Then the unthinkable happens. George writes a bad play. A really really bad play. He places an ad in all the New York papers telling people how awful the play is and that they should all ignore it. As they're coming out of the telegraph office the papers are showing a special edition. The Lusitania has been sunk and America is at war.  George tries to enlist, but he's 39 deemed too old for war. George goes to the theater and writes a song called Over There which becomes the World War One victory hymn.

Lots more stuff happens to George and his family  his sister gets married and his parents go live on a farm, life goes on and such. Then George retires to travel the world with Mary his wife and eventually to live on the farm.

One day some young kids come by the farm to get water for their car and they he no idea who he is and aren't impressed with him because he's never made movies. That day his wife Mary tells him that Sam needs him to come out of retirement and play the lead in a new show he's doing called I'd rather be right than be president. So George comes out of retirement and does the role and the president asks to see him and we come full circle to the presidents office.

The president gives George a congressional medal of honor for all the contributions he's made to keeping morale up and keeping patriotism high.

As George is leaving the White House he sees soldiers marching. The soldiers are singing Over There. He begins to march alongside the soldiers and one of them says to him "What's the matter old-timer? Don't you remember this song?"

George: It seems to me I do.

Soldier: Well I don't hear anything.

So of course he starts singing along and that's how the movie ends with him marching along with the soldiers off to fight in World War Two. I gotta tell you, that scene still makes me all teary eyed even with all the times I've seen it.

Best Line - It seems it always happens. Whenever we get too high-hat and too sophisticated for flag-waving, some thug nation decides we're a push over all ready to be blackjacked. And it isn't too long before we're looking up mighty anxiously to be sure the flags still waving over us.

2nd Best Line - My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you.

Random Personal Note -  This is the best movie ever to watch on the Fourth of July or any day really you're feeling patriotic. I used to watch this every Fourth when I was a kid, but then they just stopped showing it for some reason. Of course since I broke down and bought the DVD it ended up being on TV yesterday.

2nd Random Personal Note - I did a show once where the finale was the song Grand Old Flag which is in this movie. It was pretty cool.



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