|OpenFlix > Something to Sing About|
Jimmy Cagney boisterously portrays a "hoofer, not an actor" in this cheesy but still undeniably loveable musical. Having just gotten his big break in Hollywood, Cagney must leave behind the loves of his life -- his beautiful songbird fiancee and his job as the orchestra leader at a hoppin' New York club -- to pursue his dream of singing and dancing his way to stardom in a major motion picture. The plotline is more or less predictable but Cagney fans won't be disappointed by the smile-inducing fancy footwork and surprisingly lovely songs that make up for any bits of story telling that could use refinement.
QUICK TAKE: $$$$$ Fair price
Considering this movie was made in the 30s, the quality is pretty darn good. But compared to modern films, this dvd doesn't have all the usual bells and whistles which is why I gave it only four stars. Had the studio gone to the trouble of adding at least a smattering of goodies, I certainly would have been tempted to raise it five stars.
VERDICT: ***** Buy it!
If you're a Cagney fan -- or simply a fan of old school musicals -- it's definitely worth every penny to add it to your collection.
Sure, the plot is nothing to sing about, but this film is to be watched for Cagney alone.
He has several hilarious episodes as he enters Hollywood as a small time bandleader from NY. He is measured, analyzed and critiqued by a voice coach, hair dresser and tailor, and his reactions to all the poking and prodding show him as one of the underrated but awesome comedic actors. (Anyone who doesn't recognize Cagney as a great comedic actor hasn't seen enough of his films.)
Another great scene is when he does some great Vaudevillian slapstick facial pantomimes of "the take, the double take, and the double take with the fade-away."
Now the dancing! Cagney, who always billed himself as a song and dance man, never danced enough in his movies. But this has four great scenes of him him at his best -- a combination of down-to-earth hoofing and ballet. He does one scene with Johnny Boyle and Harland Dixon, the former who danced for George M. Cohan and helped Cag choreograph dancing sequences for "Yankee Doodle Dandy." Much of Cagney's dancing style is taken from Boyle.
No one could say that Cagney is the greatest dancer, but he injected a street attitude into his dancing along with exquisite grace that made him incomparable.
A must see!
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