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Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition)

4.8 out of 5 stars 642 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Yankee Doodle Dandy: Special Edition (Dbl DVD)

A nostalgic view of the golden era of show business and the man who made it glitter--George M. Cohan. His early days, triumphs, songs, musicals and romances.


Additional Features

Two 45-minute documentaries highlight the Yankee Doodle Dandy two-DVD set. Michael J. Fox hosts James Cagney: Top of the World, a 1992 biography of the film's star that incorporates a rare audio interview with footage and photos from his film and stage career. Let Freedom Sing! The Story of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is a 2003 exploration of the film itself, including George M. Cohan's tight control over the project (he wanted Fred Astaire to play him) and profiles of the cast and crew (Joan Leslie, who played Cohan's wife, is interviewed and still looks lovely over 60 years later). Of course some material overlaps both documentaries, such as how a Communist accusation compelled Cagney to pursue this ultra-patriotic project, and how news of Pearl Harbor arrived during filming. Other significant features are historian Rudy Behlmer's trivia-laden commentary track and the nightmarish 1943 short "You, John Jones," in which Cagney is forced to envision his daughter (a pre-Meet Me in St. Louis Margaret O'Brien) suffering in wartime conditions around the world. The transfer isn't as eye-popping as on some of Warner's classics, but of course the chief reason to celebrate is that a great musical is finally available on DVD with plenty of interesting features. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • All-new transfer from restored picture and audio elements
  • Warner Night at the Movies, 1942 introduced by Leonard Maltin including trailers, newsreel, musical short subject and cartoon "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid"
  • James Cagney trailer gallery
  • "James Cagney: Top of the World" documentary (1992)
  • "Let Freedom Sing! The Story of Yankee Doodle Dandy" documentary (2003)
  • John Travolta Remembers Jimmy Cagney
  • "You, John Jones" short (1943)
  • Audio vault: outtakes and rehearsals, 10/19/42 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Show
  • Waving the Flag galleries: George M. Cohan sheet music, dressed set stills, scene concept stills, publicity and posters
  • Looney Tunes: "Yankee Doodle Daffy," "Yankee Doodle Bugs"

Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning
  • Directors: Michael Curtiz
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 5, 2005
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (642 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKS8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,591 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Yankee Doodle Dandy (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M J Heilbron Jr. VINE VOICE on January 25, 2005
Format: DVD
Oh what an out-and-out joy is this film!

As you know by now, the amazing James Cagney sings, dances and acts his way through this rousing biopic of George M. Cohan. He's directed by Michael Curtiz, a director who apparently could work in any genre of movie, and produce masterpieces. Pull up his name on imdb and you'll see what I mean.

Anyways, the film traces his life from his infant vaudevillian beginnings to his conquering of Broadway. After seeing this, you'll know why there's a statue of Cohan in Times Square.

The acting, as expected, is top-notch, with the sweet Joan Leslie as his love interest Mary, Walter Huston as his dad; Cagney's sister plays Cagney's sister...but what will bring you to see this movie again and again are the musical interludes.

Cagney is simply spectacular. He is a comet, bouncing around the Broadway stage. His dancing often flirts with straight-out levitation. I swear there are times when his feet fly across the screen...

Then consider the songs..."Yankee Doodle Dandy", "Mary", "Give My Regards to Broadway" and the most patriotic song I've ever heard, "Over There."

That song was written for the troops of WW I, and this film was being made when Pearl Harbor was attacked. The way this one song is used in this film, I guarantee, will stay with you forever. And knowing that this movie was made during that time only enhances your experience...but I didn't know it until afterwards, and it made no difference.

And that leads to the one thing I feel is overlooked in most reviews of this film: the script. It's has a strong story, great lines, terrific set-pieces and delightful twists. It's funny as all-get-out, and heart-wrenching when you least expect it.
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Format: VHS Tape
GREAT FILM! And making it to the top 100 (for the 100 best movies ever made), this musical starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan is about the life of Cohan and the 4 Cohan's. George Cohan, wrote songs such as "The Yankee Doodle Boy", "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Overthere", "You're a Grand Old Flag", "Mary", "Off The Record", "H.A.R.R.I.G.A.N." etc....
In this movie playing his sister (Josie Cohan), is really his real sister (Jeanne Cagney). And on the set, Eddie Foy was played by a son of his (Eddie Foy Jr.). At the ending when James Cagney is walking down the stairs, then is tap dancing was not in the script. Originally Cagney was to just walk down, the rest he improvised.
If you're interested in musicals with good stories to tell and song & dances numbers (that were first done by Cohan when the plays first came out and were a big hit.), this would be a good movie to get for your classic musical collection.
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Format: VHS Tape
Although he will always be well known for his gangster roles, James Cagney's only Academy Award for Best Actor came for his role as George M. Cohan, the hoofer, singer, dancer, actor and playwright portrayed in "Yankee Doodle Dandy". One might suspect that Cagney only won the Oscar because the Academy would never have given it to one of his gangster roles. Or maybe, it was because this film was just what the country needed in the early days of World War II. Or maybe, the academy actually was recognizing Cagney's abilities as an actor. Whatever the reason, Jimmy deserved the award. Who ever knew he could do that kind of footwork and even sing!
Now, let's get to George Cohan, who's "A good friend of my Uncle Sam" and was "Born on the Fourth of July". Because of this, Cohan was immensely patriotic and wrote many flag waving tunes. Many of you are still stumped about his name, but you would probably know his songs if you heard them: "Mary", "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Harrigan", "45 Minutes from Broadway", "Over There" and, of course, "Yankee Doodle Dandy".
The music numbers, since they are stage productions, lack the Hollywoodized touch that's in "Singin' in the Rain". Nevertheless, they are still exciting enough. A great supporting cast assists Cagney, including Walter Huston, Joan Leslie, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary De Camp, Eddie Foy Jr. and Jeanne Cagney (His own sister!). The film's direction was helmed by Michael Curtiz, responsible for such classics as "Casablanca", "The Adventures of Robin Hood" and Cagney in "Angels With Dirty Faces". Curtiz puts into the movie his traditional blend of thrills and fast pace.
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Format: DVD
Jimmy Cagney does it all in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, the exuberant biography of patriotic song-and-dance man George M. Cohan. I don't know much about Cohan beyond what I've learned from the film and Rudy Behlmer's commentary and I don't trust that the movie was aiming at a wart's-and-all portrayal, or much cared about historical accuracy. According to Behlmer Cohan had been married twice and neither wife was named Mary, although sweet Joan Leslie plays Mary Cohan, the film Cohan's one and only wife. Hollywood's Golden Age bio-pics didn't often stop for the facts, so I guess you can't fault this one for twisting things to fit the story. Cohan wrote the hit `Mary's A Grand Old Name,' Behlmer tells us, for his daughter. It fit the movie that Cagney/Cohan wrote it for his then fiancée.

Cagney won an Oscar for his role in this movie and he pretty much owns the show. His pleasure is evident in every frame and it's hard not to get caught up in his enthusiasm. For anyone (like me) who's used to Cagney as a gun-toting gangster YANKEE DOODLE DANDY will come as something of a revelation. Jimmy can sing (well, he sings no worse than Fred Astaire, anyway) and he can dance. The highlight of the movie for me were the vaudeville routines and the many production numbers, including `You're a Grand Old Flag,' `Give My Regards to Broadway,' the anthem of World War I `Over There,' and, of course, `The Yankee Doodle Boy.' YANKEE DOODLE DANDY was just beginning filming when Pearl Harbor was attacked, which may account for some of its strong-to-overpowering patriotism. Still, watching Cagney tap dance down the White House stairs is a treat not to be missed.
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