Something to Sing About (Hal Roach Studios)
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Top Customer Reviews
Sure, the plot is nothing to sing about, but this film is to be watched for Cagney alone.
He has several hilarious episodes as he enters Hollywood as a small time bandleader from NY. He is measured, analyzed and critiqued by a voice coach, hair dresser and tailor, and his reactions to all the poking and prodding show him as one of the underrated but awesome comedic actors. (Anyone who doesn't recognize Cagney as a great comedic actor hasn't seen enough of his films.)
Another great scene is when he does some great Vaudevillian slapstick facial pantomimes of "the take, the double take, and the double take with the fade-away."
Now the dancing! Cagney, who always billed himself as a song and dance man, never danced enough in his movies. But this has four great scenes of him him at his best -- a combination of down-to-earth hoofing and ballet. He does one scene with Johnny Boyle and Harland Dixon, the former who danced for George M. Cohan and helped Cag choreograph dancing sequences for "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Much of Cagney's dancing style is taken from Boyle.
No one could say that Cagney is the greatest dancer, but he injected a street attitude into his dancing along with exquisite grace that made him incomparable.
A must see!
The film has been in the public domain for a long time and the print is mediocre. The DVD contains no extras.
Watch him dance across faux piano keys and you'll believe he's actually making them sing! His foot work is mesmerizing. It is especially gratifying to watch when you consider that Cagney always considered himself a "song and dance man" first and foremost. You'll agree when you watch this.
When the film starts, we meet Terry Rooney (Cagney) whose real name is Thadeus McGillicuddy as we eventually find out. Terry and his band play music in a fine nightclub and they're happy as clams about it. Terry's girlfriend Rita Wyatt (Evelyn Daw) sings with the band and that rounds out the happy mood for the opening of the film. Then the action starts--Terry is going to Hollywood to make a film even though he thinks he won't be much of a success; and when the studio head Bennett O. 'B.O.' Regan (Gene Lockhart) instructs the cast and crew to tell Terry he stinks in a plot to fool him into a lower paying long term contract, it all works a little too well! The film wows audiences and the studio wants more films with Terry playing the lead opposite snooty star Stephanie 'Steffie' Hajos (Mona Barrie); but in the meanwhile Terry calls his girlfriend Rita, has her fly out to San Francisco where they made the film and then the two marry and go off on a South Seas voyage.Read more ›
As for the movie, it's a trite storyline, but there's a great Cagney dance sequence in the beginning and all of his charisma is on full display throughout. True fans will enjoy seeing a rare look at his considerable comedic talent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cagney is always a delight. This has a linklater early days feel to it.cagney's wife is a looker tooPublished 12 hours ago by Amazon Customer
A corny b&w film about making it in The movies. But it's Cagney! I am old enough to remember him. I always loved his dancing and that is why I watched this oldie.Published 1 month ago by Jacquelyn L. Larson
JAMS CAGNEY singing and dancing!! what more needs to be said????Published 1 month ago by Dominick Conforti
One of the few examples of Cagney's dancing! An incredible performance!Published 1 month ago by Bob D
Studio logo cropped...looks like a VHS print with poor quality...other than that a fine filmPublished 4 months ago by Martin Fox 14
Enjoyable. Too bad James Cagney wasn't able to do musicals before getting type cast as a bad guy. He really was talented song and dance man.Published 5 months ago by T.A.G.
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