James Cagney Appreciation Day

From Peter Bogdanovich’s marvelous book, Who the Hell’s in It: Conversations with Hollywood’s Legendary Actors:

The year before I had run for Orson Welles a 16mm print of Raoul Walsh’s devastating gangster film starring Cagney, White Heat (1949); Welles had never seen it and was a very enthusiastic admirer of both Cagney’s and Walsh’s, so we looked at it one night. Afterwards, Orson got to musing on the absurdity of all those theoretical writings about the supposedly huge difference between movie acting and stage acting. “Look at Cagney!” Orson exclaimed. “Everything he does is big — and yet it’s never for a moment unbelievable — because it’s real, it’s true! He’s a great movie actor and his performances are in no way modulated for the camera — he never scaled anything down.”

This entry was posted in Actors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to James Cagney Appreciation Day

  1. qualityg says:

    Ms. Sheila,

    Thanks for the memories, as a kid in Detroit there was a TV show called Bill Kennedy’s Showtime. Each weekday he would show classic movies from the 30s and 40s. Kennedy was a “B Actor” and would talk about the movie playing on each break with an actor that was in the movie or his own research.

    The best part of all was when he did his movie week starring one star. Cagney, Flynn, Bogart, Muni, Wayne, Davis, Garfield, O’Brien, Tracy, Hepburn, Gable, and on and on… I would fake sickness so I could stay home when the greats were on for a week.

    “What ya Hear, What ya Say?” and “Peg you will always be my girl, won’t ya?”

    I look forward to you writing about some of the supporting/character actors from that era –> McHugh (what a laugh), Jenkins, Hale, Bond, etc.

    My favorite Rocky? – “Rocky Sullivan” – Angels with Dirty Faces (1938).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.