Biography and 15 the Best James Cagney Movies

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15.Love Me or Leave Me

Love Me or Leave Me is a 1955 biographical romantic musical drama film which tells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star. It stars Doris Day as Etting, James Cagney as gangster Martin “Moe the Gimp” Snyder, her first husband and manager, and Cameron Mitchell as pianist/ arranger Myrl Alderman, her second husband. It was written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel

14.The Strawberry Blonde

Rita Hayworth, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1941

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

Strawberry Blonde is a 1941 Warner Bros. feature film directed by Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland, and featuring Rita Hayworth, Alan Hale, Jack Carson and

13.One, Two, Three

James Cagney, Red Buttons

Released: 1961

Directed by: Billy Wilder

One, Two, Three is a 1961 American comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. It is based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play Egy, kettő, három by

12.The Fighting 69th

James Cagney, George Reeves

Released: 1940

Directed by: William Keighley

The Fighting 69th is an American war film starring James Cagney, Pat O’Brien, and George Brent. The plot is based upon the actual exploits of New York City’s 69th Infantry Regiment

11.Blonde Crazy

James Cagney, Joan Blondell

Released: 1931

Directed by: Roy Del Ruth

Blonde Crazy is a 1931 film by Roy Del Ruth, starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Louis Calhern, Ray Milland, and Guy Kibbee famous for Cagney’s line, “That dirty, double-crossin’ rat!

10.The Roaring Twenties

Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

Released: 1939

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

The Roaring Twenties is a 1939 crime thriller starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart and Gladys George. The epic movie, spanning the periods between 1919 and 1933, was directed by..

9.White Heat

James Cagney, Edmond O’Brien

Released: 1949

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

White Heat is a 1949 film noir starring James Cagney, Virginia Mayo and Edmond O’Brien and featuring Margaret Wycherly and Steve Cochran. Directed by Raoul Walsh from the Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts..

8.The Public Enemy

Jean Harlow, James Cagney

Released: 1931

Directed by: William A. Wellman

The Public Enemy is a 1931 American all-talking pre-code crime film produced and distributed by Warner Brothers. The film was directed by William A. Wellman and stars James Cagney, Jean Harlow,.

7.Yankee Doodle Dandy

James Cagney, Joan Leslie

Released: 1942

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as “The Man Who Owned Broadway”. It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and Richard Whorf,.

6.Angels with Dirty Faces

Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney

Released: 1938

Directed by: Michael Curtiz

Angels with Dirty Faces is a 1938 American gangster film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring James Cagney, the Dead End Kids and Humphrey Bogart, along with Ann Sheridan and George Bancroft. The..

 

5.The Crowd Roars

James Cagney, Joan Blondell

Released: 1932

Directed by: Howard Hawks

The Crowd Roars is a 1932 film directed by Howard Hawks starring James Cagney and featuring Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, Eric Linden, Guy Kibbee, and Frank McHugh. The driver in the film’s auto racing..

 

4.Mister Roberts

Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon

Released: 1955

Directed by: Mervyn LeRoy, John Ford, Joshua Logan

Mister Roberts is a 1955 American Warnercolor in CinemaScope comedy-drama film directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy and features an all-star cast including Henry Fonda as Mister Roberts, James..

3.Something to Sing About

James Cagney, William Frawley

Released: 1937

Directed by: Victor Schertzinger

Something to Sing About, re-released in 1947 as Battling Hoofer, is the second and final film James Cagney made for Grand National Pictures – the first being Great Guy – before mending relations with..

2.The Time of Your Life

James Cagney, Ward Bond

Released: 1948

Directed by: H. C. Potter

The Time of Your Life is a 1948 film starring James Cagney adapted from the 1939 William Saroyan play of the same title. A Cagney Production, The Time of Your Life was produced by Cagney’s brother..

AND IN THE FIRST PLACE OF THIS SCALE IS FILM

1.Footlight Parade (1933)

James Cagney, Joan Blondell

Released: 1933

Directed by: Busby Berkeley, Lloyd Bacon

Footlight Parade is a 1933 American musical film starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell and featuring Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Hugh Herbert and Ruth Donnelly. The movie..

James Cagney, in full James Francis Cagney, Jr., (born July 17, 1899, New York, New York, U.S.—died March 30, 1986, Stanfordville, New York), American actor who was noted for his versatility in musicals, comedies, and crime dramas. He was one of the top movie stars from the 1930s through the ’50s, known for his jaunty manner and explosive energy. Cagney excelled at playing tough guys but was equally adept at comedy and as a song-and-dance man.

 

Cagney, the son of an Irish bartender, grew up in the rough Lower East Side of New York City. He toured in vaudeville as a song-and-dance man with his wife, Frances, in the 1920s and scored his first major success opposite Joan Blondell in the Broadway musical Penny Arcade (1929). He made his film debut in the movie adaptation of the play, entitled Sinners’ Holiday (1930), and his well-received performance resulted in a contract with WARNER BROS studios. After taking on a few supporting roles, Cagney became a star with his chilling portrayal of gangster Tom Powers in William Wellman’s The Public Enemy (1931). Thereafter he was typecast as a sneering, explosive “tough guy” in several films, including Taxi (1931) and Lady Killer (1933), but he occasionally worked in musicals—he demonstrated considerable skill as a dancer in Footlight Parade (1933)—and he even had a Shakespearean role, as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935). He was on the right side of the law in the popular ‘G’ Men (1935), whereas such films as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938; OSCAR nomination for best actor), Each Dawn I Die (1939), and The Roaring Twenties (1939) featured Cagney in increasingly complex studies of criminal pathology. Cagney’s repertoire during this period also included westerns (The Oklahoma Kid, 1939), comedies (The Bride Came C.O.D., 1941), and melodramas (The Strawberry Blonde, 1941).
Cagney’s uniqueness as an actor lay in his ability to convey emotional extremes in a manner that was both broad and natural. He exuded a tremendous energy that rendered any character larger-than-life, yet his innate grasp of the subtleties of the script ensured that his performances were multidimensional and credible. Although he eschewed an internal “method” approach to acting, his perennially pugnacious screen persona was a natural extension of his real-life character, formed in part during his pugilistic youth among Irish street gangs. Cagney’s philosophy of acting, revealed in his autobiography, Cagney by Cagney (1975), was simple, direct, and sagacious: “Plant yourself, look the other fellow in the eye and tell the truth.”
Although specializing in charismatic criminals for much of his career, Cagney’s best-known role is that of the legendary Broadway song-and-dance man George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Exhibiting the same brash charm in his dancing style that he brought to his portrayals of street toughs, Cagney’s tour-de-force as Cohan earned him an Academy Award for best actor. After this film, Cagney devoted his energies to entertaining troops overseas, serving as president of the Screen Actors Guild (an organization he helped found in the early 1930s), and, with his brother, establishing William Cagney Productions, a company that was moderately successful for several years, producing such noteworthy films as an adaptation of William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life (1948). Cagney ended the 1940s with his portrayal of Cody Jarrett, perhaps the most pathologically Oedipal criminal in screen history, in the B-film classic White Heat (1949). His legendary performance climaxed with one of the cinema’s most indelible images, that of the cornered Jarrett atop an oil refinery tank, screaming “Made it, Ma! Top of the world!” as he unloads his gun into the tank and perishes in the ensuing inferno.
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