No one, with the possible exception of Bruce Lee, conveyed as much onscreen energy as Jimmy Cagney, and this musical biopic of George M. Cohan has that in spades, culminating in a dance down the White House stairs that is unforgettable. [03 Apr 2020, p.E1]
There may be no American movie more patriotic than Yankee Doodle Dandy, a jingoistic biopic of famed Broadway star George M. Cohan that transcends its innumerable genre clichés through the sheer willpower of its star.
If you can push past the flag-waving, this Warner Brothers effort from 1942 is a superior entry in a dubious genre, the musical biography. Michael Curtiz's direction is supple and intelligent, but what makes the movie is James Cagney's manic blur of a performance.