James Cagney

James Cagney

Highest Rated: 100% The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

Lowest Rated: 43% Johnny Come Lately (Johnny Vagabond) (1943)

Birthday: Jul 17, 1899

Birthplace: New York, New York, USA

With his raspy voice, and staccato vocal inflections James Cagney was one of the brightest stars in American cinema history. The son of an Irish father and a Norwegian mother who lived and worked in New York's Lower Eastside, Cagney did a variety of odd jobs to help support his family, including working as a waiter, and a poolroom racker, and even a female impersonator in a Yorkville revue. This humble beginning led to joining the chorus in the Broadway show Pitter-Patter, followed by a vaudeville tour with his wife Francis. By 1925, Cagney had begun to play Broadway leads; he was particularly successful in the musical Penny Arcade, which lead him to be cast in the Hollywood version, renamed Sinner's Holiday (1930). Within a year, Cagney had been signed by Warner Bros., where, in his fifth movie role, he played the ruthless gangster in Public Enemy, the 1931 film that made him a star. Cagney was a small, rather plain looking man, and had few of the external qualities usually associated with the traditional Hollywood leading man during the '30s. Yet, inside, he was a dynamo, able to project a contentious and arrogant confidence that made him the ideal Hollywood tough guy, the role in which he is best remembered. Of Cagney's energetic acting style, Will Rogers once said, "Every time I see him work, it looks to me like a bunch of firecrackers going off all at once." But Cagney was not content to simply play one type of role, and soon proved his range and versatility by appearing in musicals (Yankee Doodle Dandy [1942], for which he won an Oscar for his portrayal of George M. Cohen); Shakespearean drama (as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream [1935]); and satire (as a gung-ho American businessman in One, Two, Three[1961]). Cagney even tried directing with Short Cut to Hell a remake of This Gun for Hire, but it was not a commercial success. He retired afterward -- publishing his autobiography, Cagney by Cagney in 1975 -- although continued to receive respect and adulation from his peers and the public. Fifteen years after retiring, Cagney was the first actor to receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. In 1980, he earned a similar award from Kennedy Center. And, in 1984, he received the U.S. government's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. Already suffering from diabetes, circulatory problems, and recurring strokes, Cagney's health began rapidly deteriorating in retirement. Although he had been refusing movie offers for years, his doctors finally convinced him that a little work would do him good. He made his critically acclaimed 1981 comeback playing a small, but crucial role in Milos Forman's Ragtime. This encouraged the aging actor to appear as a grumpy ex-prizefighter in a television movie Terrible Joe Moran in 1984. It was his final film; two years later, Cagney died of a heart attack on his isolated farm in upstate New York. At his funeral, longtime friend and colleague President Ronald Reagan delivered the eulogy, noting that "America lost one of her finest artists."

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet Amérique, notre histoire Actor 2006
No Score Yet The Great American Songbook Actor 2003
No Score Yet James Cagney Scrapbook Actor 1998
No Score Yet That's Dancing! Actor 1985
No Score Yet Dealers in Death: Murder and Mayhem in America Actor 1984
92% Ragtime Rheinlander Waldo 1981
No Score Yet James Cagney: That Yankee Doodle Dandy Actor 1981
No Score Yet Arizona Bushwhackers Narrator 1967
95% One, Two, Three C.R. MacNamara 1961
No Score Yet The Gallant Hours Producer Fleet Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr. 1960
67% Shake Hands With the Devil Sean Lenihan 1959
No Score Yet Never Steal Anything Small Jake MacIllaney 1959
88% Man of a Thousand Faces Lon Chaney 1957
No Score Yet Short Cut to Hell Director 1957
No Score Yet These Wilder Years Steve Bradford 1956
No Score Yet Tribute to a Bad Man Jeremy Rodock 1956
92% Mister Roberts Capt. Morton 1955
No Score Yet The Seven Little Foys George M. Cohan 1955
67% Love Me Or Leave Me Marty Snyder 1955
No Score Yet Run for Cover (Colorado) Matt Dow 1955
No Score Yet The Christophers Professor Graham 1955
No Score Yet A Lion Is In The Streets Actor 1953
No Score Yet A Lion Is in the Streets Hank Martin 1953
57% What Price Glory? Capt. Flagg 1952
No Score Yet Starlift Guest Star 1951
No Score Yet Come Fill the Cup Lew Marsh 1951
No Score Yet The West Point Story Elwin 'Bix' Bixby 1950
No Score Yet Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye Ralph Cotter 1950
97% White Heat Arthur Cody Jarrett 1949
No Score Yet The Time of Your Life Joseph T. (who observes people) 1948
83% 13 Rue Madeleine Robert Emmett 'Bob' Sharkey 1947
No Score Yet Blood on the Sun Nick Condon 1945
43% Johnny Come Lately (Johnny Vagabond) Tom Richards 1943
No Score Yet Great Guy Johnny 'Red' Cave 1942
93% Yankee Doodle Dandy George M. Cohan 1942
No Score Yet Captains of the Clouds Brian MacLean 1942
100% The Strawberry Blonde Biff Grimes 1941
No Score Yet The Bride Came C.O.D. Steve Collins 1941
80% City for Conquest Danny Kenny 1940
No Score Yet Torrid Zone Nick Butler 1940
67% The Fighting 69th Pvt. Jerry Plunkett 1940
No Score Yet Each Dawn I Die Frank Ross 1939
100% The Roaring Twenties Eddie Bartlett 1939
No Score Yet The Oklahoma Kid Jim Kincaid 1939
70% Boy Meets Girl Robert Law 1938
100% Angels with Dirty Faces Rocky Sullivan 1938
83% Something to Sing About Terry Rooney 1937
100% Ceiling Zero Dizzy Davis 1936
No Score Yet Frisco Kid Bat Morgan 1935
93% Mutiny on the Bounty Extra 1935
91% A Midsummer Night's Dream Bottom 1935
No Score Yet The Irish in Us Danny O'Hara 1935
No Score Yet G-Men 'Brick' Davis 1935
No Score Yet Devil Dogs of the Air Thomas Jefferson 'Tommy' O'Toole 1935
No Score Yet The St. Louis Kid Eddie Kennedy 1934
80% Here Comes the Navy Chesty O'Connor 1934
No Score Yet He Was Her Man Flicker Hayes 1934
No Score Yet Jimmy the Gent 'Jimmy' Corrigan 1934
100% Footlight Parade Chester Kent 1933
No Score Yet The Mayor of Hell Patsy Gargan 1933
No Score Yet Picture Snatcher Danny Kean 1933
No Score Yet Hard to Handle Myron C. 'Lefty' Merrill 1933
No Score Yet Lady Killer Dan Quigley 1933
No Score Yet Taxi! Matt Nolan 1932
80% The Crowd Roars Joe Greer 1932
No Score Yet Smart Money Jack 1931
No Score Yet The Millionaire Schofield, Insurance Salesman 1931
100% The Public Enemy Tom Powers 1931
No Score Yet Other Men's Women Ed 'Eddie' Bailey 1931
No Score Yet Blonde Crazy Bert Harris 1931
No Score Yet Doorway to Hell Steve Mileaway 1930
No Score Yet Busby Berkeley - The Busby Berkeley Disc Actor

QUOTES FROM James Cagney CHARACTERS

C.R. MacNamara says: Where's Scarlett?

Phyllis MacNamara says: Who knows? Gone with the wind.

Rocky Sullivan says: Good afternoon, gentlemen. Nice day for murder.

Rocky Sullivan says: Like sittin' in a barber chair. They're gonna ask me, "Got anything to say?" and I say, "Sure. Give me a haircut, a shave and a massage. One of those nice, new electric massages. Heh heh."

George M. Cohan says: My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.

Arthur Cody Jarrett says: Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

Arthur Cody Jarrett says: A copper! A copper!! And I treated him like a kid brother......and I was going to go 50-50 with a copper!!

Arthur Cody Jarrett says: A copper! A copper! And I treated him like a kid brother... and I was going to go 50-50 with a copper!

Rocky Sullivan says: "What did you hear? What do you say?"

Rocky Sullivan says: What did you hear? What do you say?

George M. Cohan says: It seems it always happens. Whenever we get too high-hat and too sophisticated for flag-waving, some thug nation decides we're a push-over all ready to be blackjacked.

Tom Powers says: Nuts to that stuff (breakfast)! Ain't ya got a drink in the house?

Eddie Bartlett says: He can't be more than fifteen.

George Hally says: He'll never be sixteen. (after shooting a young German soldier)

George Hally says: He'll never be sixteen. [after shooting a young German soldier]

Brian MacLean says: Take my advice, keep away from the airforce.

Brian MacLean says: We're too old.

Brian MacLean says: Nice little white wings. I thought they were very becoming.

Brian MacLean says: So you're the new boss... following me around? (to Johnny in the R.A.F.)

Brian MacLean says: So you're the new boss... following me around? [to Johnny in the R.A.F.]

Brian MacLean says: Look at Tiny, he didn't like me, now he hates me.

Brian MacLean says: What were you worried about? You worked up enough lather to shave all of Montreal.

Tiny Murphy says: You're muscling in on Emily,.

Emily Foster says: Just because I'll marry Johnny,what's that got to do with you and me?

Brian MacLean says: answer: just about everything.

Brian MacLean says: The sight of money always makes me feel good.

Johnny Dutton says: I wish I had a hole in my head! (Brian was having a bone removed from his head)

Johnny Dutton says: I wish I had a hole in my head! [Brian was having a bone removed from his head]

Johnny Dutton says: Tiny, take good care of the doc, we may need him! (refering to Emily and Johnny wedding)

Johnny Dutton says: Tiny, take good care of the doc, we may need him! [refering to Emily and Johnny wedding]

Brian MacLean says: In a few more weeks I'll be shaking hands with myself (bored with living in the woods).

Brian MacLean says: In a few more weeks I'll be shaking hands with myself. [bored with living in the woods]

Brian MacLean says: Nobody but a chump would talk to a girl when he's kissing her.

Brian MacLean says: Either a fellow has it or he hasn't (kisses Emily)

Brian MacLean says: Either a fellow has it or he hasn't [kisses Emily]

Johnny Dutton says: The guy is nuts! (about Brian)

Johnny Dutton says: The guy is nuts!

Brian MacLean says: You're all wet in case you didn't know it.

Tiny Murphy says: All he did is nick his gourd.(about Brian falling)

Tiny Murphy says: All he did is nick his gourd.

Brian MacLean says: Get this straight, he's no friend of mine! (about Brian).

Brian MacLean says: Get this straight, he's no friend of mine!

Brian MacLean says: I guess its all right if you don't mind wearing a chute (a parachute).

Brian MacLean says: I guess its all right if you don't mind wearing a chute. [a parachute]

Brian MacLean says: Take a good hold, he's coming straight at us. (fellow bush pilots try to ground Brian from the air).

Brian MacLean says: Take a good hold, he's coming straight at us. [fellow bush pilots try to ground Brian from the air]

Brian MacLean says: OH you don't know me, I have a whim of iron. (he came back to Emily on a "whim".)

Brian MacLean says: OH you don't know me, I have a whim of iron. [he came back to Emily on a 'whim']

Tiny Murphy says: I hate to lose that propeller, I just paid it off.

Johnny Dutton says: He won't get away this time (after Brian).

Johnny Dutton says: He won't get away this time. [after Brian]

Emily Foster says: HEY, you're a sick man! (after Brian grabbed at her).

Emily Foster says: HEY, you're a sick man! [after Brian grabbed at her]

Blimp Lebec says: I do not wish to meet the price of a burgler (cagney flew for 25 dollars less)

Blimp Lebec says: I do not wish to meet the price of a burgler [cagney flew for 25 dollars less]

Johnny Dutton says: He won't be hauling cheaper after I catch up to him (cagney stole his customer)

Johnny Dutton says: He won't be hauling cheaper after I catch up to him [cagney stole his customer]

Tiny Murphy says: He's all over the place and we can't catch up with him.

Brian MacLean says: The name is not Johnny, never was Johnny.

Brian MacLean says: I always seem like somebody else.

Brian MacLean says: Lets see if you are as practical as beautiful.

Emily Foster says: The pleasures all yours.

Tom Powers says: Hiding behind Ma's skirts, like always.

Mike Powers says: Better than hiding behind a machine gun.

Matt Doyle says: Gee, she's a honey. I could go for her myself.

Tom Powers says: Whatdya mean, you could go for her yourself? You could go for an eighty year old chick with rheumatism.

Tom Powers says: Hello baby. What are you gonna have?

Kitty says: Anything you say, big boy.

Tom Powers says: You're a swell dish. I think I'm going to go for you.

Tom Powers says: Hey, stoop, that's got gears. That ain't no Ford.

Tom Powers says: Why that dirty, no good, yellow-bellied stool. I'm gonna give it to him right in the head the first time I see him.

Putty Nose says: Are you alone?

Tom Powers says: I'm always alone when I'm with Matt.

Tom Powers says: I ain't so tough.

Bert Harris says: That dirty, double-crossin' rat!

Arthur Cody Jarrett says: Made it, Ma! Top of the world!

George M. Cohan says: My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you.