"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birthday Today - Jimmy Cagney

Cagney, born today in 1899, is, of course, one of America's greatest acting personalities.  I don't say "actors," because he, like so many of the great stars, never seemed to play anyone but himself.   I'd put Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, etc., into this category.   They are great on screen because they have magnetic personalities... one assume that they'd be just as magnetic offscreen as on.   Call it charisma or whatever... they had it.

Cagney is also, of course, known as one of America's great tap dancers, with a style so idiosyncratic that it's never really been duplicated.   Here he is with Bob Hope, who is also a very good tap dancer, but it's obvious that Cagney is far superior (look at how controlled his upper body and hands are).

No comments:

Post a Comment