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I love Yankee Doodle Dandy

What movie am I going to watch this 4th of July? Do you even need to ask?

I always had pretty unique tastes as a kid when it came to film. I mostly blame my mom for that because she had me watching the classic Hollywood movies from a very early age. And the one I always see on Independence Day? Yankee Doodle Dandy. It’s really the one movie I have to watch on this holiday, and I absolutely love it. I still remember choosing to do a project in junior high on George M. Cohan. No one got why I was so excited to research some songwriter from a billion years ago (aka the 20’s).

How can you not love James Cagney in this role? Here’s an actor best known for playing jerks and pushing a grapefruit into some broad’s face, and yet the way he dances is inspired. I only wish he would have done more musicals … it was a talent he sorely underused on screen.

More than Cagney’s dancing, I love the film because it’s about a man who had some amazing highs and some truly awful lows. He was passionate and impulsive and often even foolish, but he was also incredibly hard-working, ambitious and tenacious. And he loved America and everything it stood for … and hopefully stands for. Whether you agree with his patriotism or not, you can’t help but admire his passion for his country. I can’t think of a better movie to watch today.

For those of you with Turner Classic Movies, Yankee Doodle Dandy will be on tonight at 8 PM EST. And if this is one of your favorites, go over to the “Favorite movie of 4th of July” poll and vote for it.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

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