Yankee Doodle Dandy

Director: Michael Curtiz
Year Released: 1942
Rating: 1.5

War Propaganda poorly disguised as a biography of George M. Cohan: Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, self-promoting blowhard and accomplished songsmith. James Cagney plays the man with great aplomb and hyped-up footwork - it wouldn't surprise me if Jimmy C. needed a ventilator in-between takes - even though the picture's dramatic episodes are flimsy. Cohan's mouth gets him in trouble but the tragedies don't seem to affect him: he's unfazed because he's his own biggest fan and so optimistic he makes Norman Vincent Peale seem like Vincent Van Gogh. The FDR character's statement at the end that making 'inspiring art' is a valid form of patriotism is still a nice sentiment.