Opening Statement

In a time when American filmmakers were putting in their best efforts to capture the war experience both at home and on the battlefield, Yankee Doodle Dandy is a fine tribute to artists’ legacy in wartime. Wrapped up in Memorial Day weekend it can’t help but work – by Aaron Pinkston, May 30, 2017

In Context: Cagney and Cohan

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a biopic of George M. Cohan, who was sort of the Lin-Manuel Miranda of his time. He was a vaudevillian from a traveling vaudeville family known as "The Four Cohans" who grew up to be one of Broadway’s most enduring and famous writer, actor, singer, and director. But just how accurate is Yankee Doodle Dandy? – by Felicia Elliott, May 31, 2017

Cynicism vs. Patriotism

The sound of those flutes and drums conjure up images of a group of scruffy soldiers fighting against incalculable odds in the Revolutionary War. The song evokes the national origin story hammered into every American since kindergarten. Yankee Doodle Dandy may not carry the same weight as its namesake, but it’s no less successful at burnishing the American narrative – by Alex Moore, June 1, 2017

Capturing the American Spirit

The “American Spirit” of the film is not just embodied by Cohen’s sense of nationalist pride, but also by his strict adherence to the gold standard of the American Dream: that it is within every man’s power to achieve the highest level of success along with a healthy sense of ego and entitlement; the American Spirit does not see arrogance as a hindrance, but as a necessary side effect of enterprise – by Zachary Davis, June 1, 2017

Re-thinking the 15th Academy Awards

If my recent viewing of fantastic Netflix documentary series Five Came Back taught me anything, it was that in 1942-43, Hollywood had war on its mind. With Europe fully in the throes of World War II, film studios and artists were all contemplating the effects of war on the everyday citizen. That idea was definitely fortified by the films represented at the 15th Academy Awards, held on March 4, 1943 – by Aaron Pinkston, June 2, 2017

Related Review: Angels with Dirty Faces

Gangster films were all about the American dream, perhaps by skewed means, but by any means necessary. Four years before making the ultimate showcase of the "American Spirit" Yankee Doodle Dandy, director Michael Curtiz and star James Cagney tackled the American Dream in Angels with Dirty Faces – by Aaron Pinkston, June 2, 2017