One-Minute Book Reviews

July 4, 2009

The Ultimate Fourth of July Movie – Pauline Kael on ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’

Filed under: News — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 12:15 am
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Pauline Kael calls Yankee Doodle Dandy “a big, enjoyable musical biography” starring “the astonishingly versatile James Cagney as the actor-playwright-songwriter George M. Cohan.” She adds in 5001 Nights at the Movies (Holt, 1991), a wonderful collection of thousands of capsule reviews adapted from her film criticism for The New Yorker:

“Made during the Second World War, it’s packed with jingoistic Americanism, but this ties in with Cohan’s own attitudes and the unself-conscious sentimentality of his songs, and Cagney’s stiff-backed hoofing is so spirited that the moldly plot turns hardly bother one. … It’s quite possible that he has more electricity than Cohan himself had.”

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