Cleaning Out The DVR: Born Yesterday (dir by George Cukor)


After I watched Goodbye, Mr. Chips, I decided to watch one more film that I had recorded off of TCM.  The movie I chose was Born Yesterday.

This 1950 film was directed by George Cukor and stars three Academy Award winners.  The lead actor was William Holden, who would win best actor three years after the release of Born Yesterday.  The villain was played Broderick Crawford, just a year after playing his Oscar-winning role in All The King’s Men.  Finally, the true star of the film was Judy Holliday, recreating her Broadway role of “dumb intelligent blonde” Billie Dawn.  For playing Billie, Holliday would win the award for best actress of the year.

In Born Yesterday, Billie is the girlfriend of Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford).  The crude and not particularly intelligent Harry has made a fortune as a “junkman” and, though the film never comes out and explicitly says so, it is suggested that Harry may have ties to the Mafia.  Harry has come to Washington, convinced that he can buy his way into political power.  Harry’s lawyer (Howard St. John) suggests that Harry should marry Billie, specifically because a wife cannot be compelled to testify against her husband.

However, there’s a problem.  Billie is uneducated and lacks formal manners.  Of course, Harry is even worse but then again, Harry is a rich white guy and, therefore, he doesn’t have to be polite or know what he’s talking about  After Billie embarrasses him during a meeting with a congressman, Harry hires journalist Paul Verrall (William Holden) to teach Billie how to fit in with Washington society.  At first, Paul refuses but, ultimately, he takes the job because he needs the money.

As Paul teaches Billie, it quickly becomes apparent that Billie is not as dumb as everyone assumes.  In fact, she has an insatiable desire to learn.  When Paul takes her on a tour of Washington, Billie is excited to learn the story behind every monument and to take a look at every historical artifact.  (When Paul shows her the bill of rights, Billie immediately reads the 2nd Amendment and gets Paul to explain it to her.  As Paul explained that it meant that citizens had the right to bear arms, my sister walked through the room and said, “You got that right.”)  Judy Holliday perfectly captures Billie’s excitement as, for the first time in her life, she’s actually treated like someone with a brain.

Billie also starts to fall in love with Paul.  After reading one of Paul’s articles, an obviously impressed Billie tells him, “I think it’s the best thing I ever read.  I didn’t understand a word.”  At the same time, Paul starts to fall for Billie.

Meanwhile, Harry is not falling for anyone but himself.  He continues to bribe congressmen but now, Billie not only realizes what Harry is doing but also understands that it’s illegal and goes against everything that the authors of the Constitution envisioned.  After a rather nasty scene in which she is repeatedly slapped by Harry, Billie goes down to the Lincoln Memorial, hears the voice of old Abe himself, and is finally ready to stand up for herself, for Paul, and for the American way of life.

(“When you steal from the government, you steal from yourself, you dumb ox!” she yells at Harry.)

Born Yesterday was based on a stage play and, with the exception of the scenes where Paul and Billie explore D.C., the entire film takes place in Harry’s hotel suite.  The film never quite escapes its theatrical origins.  Broderick Crawford bellows his lines out to the last row and William Holden feels miscast.  (That same year, he gave a far more interesting performance in Sunset Boulevard.)

But ultimately, Born Yesterday is mostly designed to showcase Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn.  When the film first started, I have to admit that I had my doubts about Holliday’s performance.  Her character was so stereotypically ditzy and spoke in such a nasal whine of a voice that I found myself wishing that the film had been made with either Marilyn Monroe or even Jayne Mansfield in the Billie Dawn role.  But, as the film progresses, I started to better appreciate Holliday’s performance.  I started to notice the sadness and the insecurity lurking underneath the surface.  I discovered that there was unexpected nuance to both the character and the performance.  By the time she was running through the National Archives and asking Paul questions about George Washington, she had totally won me over.

Still, Holliday’s victory for best actress does seem a little strange.  After all, to win the Oscar, Holliday defeated All About Eve‘s Bette Davis and Anne Baxter and Sunset Boulevard‘s Gloria Swanson.  Holliday’s performance definitely deserved a nomination but it’s a bit more difficult to argue that it deserved the Oscar.  Of course, Davis and Baxter played two tough and sarcastic divas, neither one of whom depended on a man for their success.  Swanson, meanwhile, played an older woman who ends up murdering her much younger lover.  Billie, meanwhile, is never without a girlfriend and doesn’t murder anyone.  Perhaps it’s understandable that certain Academy voters would be more comfortable with Billie Dawn than they would with Norma Desmond or Margo Channing.

Born Yesterday was also nominated for best picture but it lost to All About Eve.

Cleaning Out The DVR: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (dir by Sam Wood)


After watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, I watched another old best picture nominee that was sitting on my DVR.  Goodbye, Mr. Chips was nominated for best picture of 1939, a year that many consider to be one of the best cinematic years on record.  Just consider some of the other films that were nominated in that year: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Dark Victory, Ninotchka, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Love Affair, Wuthering Heights, Of Mice and Men, and, of course, Gone With The Wind.  Goodbye, Mr. Chips may not have won best picture but its star, Robert Donat, did win the Oscar for Best Actor, defeating Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Laurence Olivier, and Mickey Rooney.

Robert Donat plays the title character, a British teacher named Charles Edward Chipping (affectionately known as Mr. Chips).  The film follows Mr. Chips over the course of 63 years, from his arrival as a new Latin teacher to the last night of his life.  When he first starts to work at Brookfield Public School, the young and inexperienced Mr. Chips proves himself to be a strict teacher, the type who enforces discipline and may be respected but will never be loved by his students.  It’s only after he falls in love with the outspoken Kathy Bridges (Greer Garson) that Mr. Chips starts to truly enjoy life.

After marrying Kathy, Mr. Chips relaxes.  He becomes a better teacher, one who is capable of inspiring his students as well as teaching them.  After Kathy dies in childbirth, Mr. Chips deals with his sadness by devoting all of his time to his many pupils.

While Mr. Chips deals with both new students and headmasters who view him as being too old-fashioned, the world marches off to war.  When World War I breaks out and there is a shortage of teachers, the elderly Mr. Chips serves as headmaster.  Each Sunday, in the chapel, he reads the names of former students (many of whom he taught) who have been killed in the war.  In perhaps the film’s best scene, he teaches a class while German bombs fall nearby, keeping his students calm and positive by having them translate Julius Caesar’s account of his own battle against the Germans.

The bombing scene is interesting for another reason.  Mr. Chips was filmed and released in 1939, shortly before Britain declared war on Nazi Germany.  Goodbye, Mr. Chips is not just a sentimental tribute to a teacher.  It’s also a tribute to the strength and resilience of the British people.  With the world on the verge of a second great war, Goodbye, Mr. Chips said that it was going to be tough, it was going to be scary, and there was going to be much loss but that the British would survive and ultimately be victorious.

And, as we all know, the film was right.

While the Oscar definitely should have gone to Jimmy Stewart for his performance in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Robert Donat still gives a sweet and touching performance as Mr. Chips.  And the film’s ending brought very real tears to my mismatched eyes.  Goodbye, Mr. Chips may be sentimental but it’s sentimental in the best possible way.

Film Review: The Encounter: Paradise Lost (2012, dir. David A.R. White)


Update: I don’t like to change my old reviews because good or bad, they reflect where I was at the time. However, since writing this review, I have been assured by Sean Paul Murphy who wrote and edited the film, that it was not directed by David A.R. White. He has told me that it is a pseudonym, but just not for White. It was a DGA issue. I’m going to take his word for it unless something else comes up, in which case I will obviously update this again.

You may have noticed that I credit this film as being directed by David A.R. White instead of Bobby Smyth as it is listed on IMDb. I have looked at numerous reviews and I can’t find anyone else that seems to have noticed this is an obvious pseudonym for David A.R. White. Let me explain.

David A.R. White is credited as directing the first Encounter movie. Do you really think he would entrust the sequel to someone who has absolutely no other credits to their name?

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Of course he wouldn’t. He would helm it himself, or maybe co-direct it the same way he did with Me Again (2012).

The next bit is the name itself. The last name Smyth sure sounded familiar to me. It should sound familiar if you are a Baptist or have studied religion. John Smyth was one of the founders of the Baptists churches. He is also particularly noted for reconciling with the Mennonites near the end of his life.

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According to the bio for David A.R. White, written by his own company Pure Flix Entertainment on IMDb, he grew up in a small Mennonite farming community outside of Dodge City, Kansas. Also, Smyth is a variation on Smith. The infamous pseudonym used over the years by many people is Alan Smithee.

The Bobby part is probably two-fold. First, it’s not Alan, which would be way too obvious. Second, the real star of this movie is an actor named Robert Miano. Miano has been in numerous Pure Flix films. That’s most likely where he got Bobby from.

Another thing takes us back to the movie Me Again. In that film, Bruce McGill plays a character named Big Earl. Big Earl is an anagram for Gabriel. As in the archangel Gabriel. So this kind of thing is in David A.R. White’s wheelhouse.

Finally, the movie has the same problems as The Encounter as well as another David A.R. White film called Redeemed (2014). It has his signature on this movie, which is especially noticeable because The Encounter and this film had different cinematographers. To me that says the director told them to shoot it this way, which means a common director between the two movies. There are also other little things as well. Unless someone actually called Bobby Smyth turns up, then it’s a pseudonym for who I can only conclude must have been White himself.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the film.



Before giving us the title card, the movie gives us a little background information on the 2004 tsunami. This is another reason I’m sure it’s a pseudonym. The Mennonite’s have a thing called the Mennonite Central Committee. They responded to the tsunami by sending millions of dollars in aid. That tsunami is sort of a thing in the movie. Kind of. Just a minor plot point, but important enough that it gets a couple of title cards at the start.

Now we have to explain a little more. This is a bit like a Godfrey Ho movie. There is a Movie A and a Movie B that are spliced together. Not clumsily like Ho would do, but it is enough that it really is appropriate to discuss them as if they are two separate films.

Movie A:


Movie A opens up with DEA Agent Rik Caperna (David A.R. White) showing up in Thailand 7 years after the tsunami hit the region. He is itching to take down a drug kingpin named Bruno Mingarelli (Robert Miano).


Luckily, he spots him just as he pulls up in his car and Rik calls his boss. Since Bruno isn’t actually holding any suitcases or anything that could be holding drugs, his boss says to hold back. Rik doesn’t like that at all. He is given orders to stay in his car, which is exactly why he leaves his car to follow Bruno.

Now one of the parts that sort of connects the two stories together happens.


Jesus, played by Bruce Marchiano, appears, looks at Bruno, then disappears. To be honest, it’s a little weird. It’s something you would expect a slasher movie character to do before he finally gets down to the killing. Of course, that is exactly what Jesus is doing here except he is making these brief appearances to allude that Movie B is eventually going to happen.


Bruno has a bodyguard of sorts named Charlie Doles played by Gary Daniels.

Now we get a strange flashback that isn’t clear it’s a flashback. It’s of a little girl that we will find out later is, or represents, Rik’s sister who died when he was a kid because of drugs. It’s this lousy indication of when something is real or a flashback that was also present in Redeemed, which David A.R. White is explicitly credited as having directed.

Next we meet Bruno’s boss, and guess who?


It’s Kass Connors here to make barely an appearance just to let you know the Devil is around here somewhere.

Bruno is here to tell him that this will be his last shipment, but soon Rik is spotted outside, and the chase is on.


These scenes are actually shot reasonably well. Almost as if White is familiar with these kinds of movies so he had an idea of how to shoot these properly. These action oriented outdoor scenes are not a part of Movie B, and weren’t in the first film. Movie B and the first film are all close quarters dialogue heavy films. In other words, films like My Dinner With Andre (1981), Persona (1966), and the dialogue heavy works of Eric Rohmer. Or to put it even simpler, they are foreign films, but shot like they were done by someone who isn’t exactly familiar with those kinds of movies.

Getting back to the story of Movie A now, Rik catches up with Bruno and takes him into custody. One problem, he actually has no evidence whatsoever. As a result, the police show up and let Bruno go. Then Rik flips out, attacks the cops, and is taken into custody himself.


Now we go to meet Bruno’s drug addicted wife Mimi Mingarelli (Ammy Chanicha). Think of her as the nice girl who picked up the runaway from the first movie, except she’s a drug addict in this one.


Now we cut back to Rik in jail, and hey Rik!


Jesus, Man!

Look, if David wasn’t going to put in that priceless one-liner somewhere, than I had too. If you don’t know what that’s from, then here’s The Cinema Snob review of Second Glance (1992), which David A.R. White was in.

Now what you expect happens. By that, I mean Rik is let out of jail by his boss, and immediately goes to see the Devil.


After passing him a copy of the script for God’s Not Dead (2014), the Devil also gives him a gun and tells him to go after Bruno with his blessing.


I have no idea how he knew exactly where the Devil was. One minute he’s in jail being told he’s suspended by his boss, then he’s suddenly walking into the conveniently lit with red hallway to the room where the Devil is waiting.

Now the Devil places a call to Charlie telling him to let Rik kill Bruno, then to kill Rik.


Oh, and Jesus is out there in the ocean standing on the water. You know, as you do. Actually, I am glad they put some of these things in after the first film. I mean you have a character that is literally supposed to be Jesus. Let the man do his thing.


Rik catches up with Charlie, Bruno, and Mimi. He engages in a gun battle, but is taken hostage. Rik eventually breaks free, and Bruno is killed in the crossfire between Rik and Charlie.


Rik chases down Charlie and fights him. Rik nearly drowns Charlie to death, but decides not to, and instead bring him in properly so he can be tried for his crimes.


The last we see of Rik is him sitting on a beach being told by his boss that Bruno kept good records so they are going to be busy for a long time.

Movie A has come to an end. Time for Movie B!

Movie B:

Movie B opens up in 2004 with a black couple and their son Timothy (Steven Clarke). They are kind of like the black couple from the first one in that they are married, black, and the wife will end up wanting a divorce, but that’s really all they have in common with them. The wife wanting a divorce was ambiguous and kind of offensive in the first film. Here, we completely understand. She (Shelley Robertson) has every reason for wanting out of this situation the husband (Rif Hutton) has dug himself into and doesn’t appear to be emerging from anytime soon no matter what she does. The couple runs a resort in Thailand. Now Dad goes to sit down and talk with his son.


His son spent 4 years in pre-med, then decided to abandon it to become what they call a “doctor of divinity”. It’s kind of a wishy washy honorary theology type degree. The point is, he wants to help people by actually being a Christian and what they are supposed to embody. The father is a little perplexed as I would be myself. That is a lot of work to be tossed aside. Also, being a real medical doctor doesn’t preclude doing what he wants to do. In fact, he could do even more good being an MD that is willing to do things like Doctors Without Borders and Christian type aid programs. However, of course it’s his decision to make. His father seems to respect it even if he doesn’t completely understand it. Sadly, the son is killed by a 24 style countdown and a title card.


Next we see the father 7 years later ruminating about his son’s death. He also talks to him like he’s there, which he is because this is a Christian movie.


You can tell by the stink eye his son is giving him that he isn’t too happy with his Dad’s plan here. Neither is his wife happy with his inability to move on instead of not only digging a hole so deep that he’ll never get out but also dragging her into it as well. He is also so far gone that he doesn’t even want to evacuate as a new storm is approaching. That’s when Dad walks out into the water so David can try and fix the gun clip goof from the first Encounter movie.


In the first Encounter movie Jesus recounts a tale of how he saved the runaway girl from killing herself. He caused her abusive father to stumble so he would take the clip out of the gun he was carrying. The point being that when she picked up the gun it wouldn’t have any bullets in it. The problem was that the father set the clip right next to the gun, but then it disappeared when the camera cut to her coming into the room. That left me saying, “Thanks Jesus, but who moved the clip?” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who noticed that mistake in the film. This is basically a repeat of that scene except you can see that the red dot is on indicating the safety is off. That isn’t just one quick shot either. They really make sure you get a good look at that gun to make sure you see the dot. It’s also there to build up some tension till Jesus tells him to put down the gun. Think that scene is going to go anywhere? Nope!


The next thing we see is Rik pulling up in a boat, the father putting the gun in his belt, and then Dad taking Rik away to show him the place. Now the gun battle breaks out and everyone in the story is taken hostage by Bruno and Charlie. That means the drug addicted wife, the married couple, and Rik tied to a chair in a room at the resort. Thus begins the Encounter as Jesus appears outside their window.


I must be right up front and say that despite the problems in this part of the film, Jesus is way more like Jesus than he was in the first film. In that one he was like someone selling a time share in Heaven or damnation just down the road. That said, let’s take a look at this part.


Jesus sits down next to the drug addicted wife. Of course he knows everyone’s name. They ask him what his name is and he doesn’t just come right out with Jesus. Again, he’s much more like a kind person in this then in the first movie. He doesn’t immediately dump the Jesus and believe in me stuff on them. He tends to talk to them like he’s just a person there who wants to defuse this otherwise deadly situation. In fact, he doesn’t say his name until he is explicitly asked by Bruno.

In this situation you can think of Charlie as the businessman in the first film. However, as Movie A shows, he isn’t sent to eternal damnation. He is given a chance to pay for his crimes in prison. Much better than the first film in this regard.

The next part that is worth mentioning is when Jesus takes some potshots at Buddhism. Mimi grew up in a monastery before ending up becoming addicted to drugs. She was then bought by Bruno who couldn’t stand seeing her the way she was, but also fell in love with her on sight. I could have done without that. It’s that whole teams thing. It’s not necessary in religion any more than gender. In fact, it’s not needed anywhere, but in sports where we emphasize having good sportsmanship.

She is the first person he tries to help. You can say he preys on her because she’s the weakest point. There’s something to that, but it also makes sense to start with her since she’s the easiest to fix. It also makes sense to start with her because aside from the married couple, the other’s lives revolve around victims like herself. Still, instead of working through her pre-existing religion, he tries to directly contradict it and convert her.

Throughout this there are problems with focus and other camera issues. Here’s an example.


The camera really doesn’t seem to know where to focus, tries to focus on Jesus after Bruno passes in front of him, then just quickly cuts away. There was a similar shot in the first film where the camera was changing from a background character to one in the foreground, but then just suddenly cut away.

Here’s another example.


Late in Movie B, Jesus reaches out and takes Rik by the hand. The focus, framing, and who is talking don’t come together properly in the shot. The hand holding is too low to really be a focal point. The focus leaves just about everything out of focus, but the hands. Yet, despite the hands being in focus, Jesus is the one doing the talking and is all blurry. This is the kind of thing that needed some work.

The next major plot point is that we find out the husband did some shady business deals to buy the hotel in the paradise of Thailand. Also, that while the mother never really believed her son was gone forever, he did, and his wife taking comfort in her beliefs drove him to the brink of suicide.

Oh, and then he heals Mimi.


Again, while Jesus does have his “join me” lines, he really is more like a good psychologist who just wants to help. Can’t tell you how refreshing that was after the first film, which was arduous to sit through, much less write about.

Another problem is that some times the camera spends so much time with a couple of the characters that the suspension of disbelief that all of the actors are actually in the room begins to wear thin. I don’t remember feeling that in the first film. This time around, I kept wondering if David A.R. White as Rik or Gary Daniels as Charlie were even around anymore. You’ll also see this shot…


several times where the camera pans as if to remind the audience of who is there and the layout of the room. That shouldn’t have had to be done if there was better camerawork that didn’t explicitly need this kind reorientation.

Oh, and just like several other elements are recycled from the first film, we get the equivalent of the two ladies in the bathroom scene. This time around, they are in the kitchen.

Let’s cut to the chase now. Jesus heals Mimi literally. Jesus brings the married couple around. Rik breaks free. Rik tries to shoot Charlie, but Bruno jumps in front of him to die for Charlie’s, or all of their sins if you will. That’s when Jesus opens the imaging chamber door…


and the two of them leave.

That’s where movie A picks up.

Oh, there is one final bit.



You didn’t really think you’d get away without some sequel baiting, did you? They did it at the end of the first film too. They are talking about Rik here who is sitting on the beach near them.

My final thoughts on this are that it feels like an aborted experiment. It feels like the movie was supposed to be about Rik and his journey while Jesus and the Devil fight for how he will deal with Bruno and Charlie. All the while, the two of them also fighting for the hearts and minds of Bruno and Charlie. However, for whatever reason, they had to toss that idea out the window after certain footage was already filmed and just go with a far less preachy and contradiction filled version of the first film. Too bad. I might have enjoyed that film better than I did this one. If you must see one of the Encounter films, then this is the better of the two. I doubt we will get another sequel till the God’s Not Dead gravy train ends for Pure Flix. Then they’ll probably take another crack at this franchise.

Somebody’s Watching Me: Jane Fonda in KLUTE (Warner Brothers 1971)

cracked rear viewer

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

I was going to post on KLUTE last week, but between my Internet service going on the fritz and getting swept up in Oscar Fever, I never got around to it. Better late than never though, and KLUTE is definitely a film worth your time. It’s a neo-noir directed by that master of 70’s paranoia, Alan J. Pakula, who’s also responsible for THE PARALLAX VIEW, ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN, and SOPHIE’S CHOICE. KLUTE is both an intense thriller and character study, with an Oscar-winning performance by Jane Fonda.

PI John Klute is sent to New York City to investigate the disappearance of his friend, Tom Gruneman. Seems Gruneman has been sending obscene letters to Bree Daniels, a call girl he met there. Klute sets up shop in her apartment building, shadowing her and tapping her phone. When he finally goes to question her, Bree says she doesn’t remember Gruneman, but it’s possible he could…

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Cleaning Out The DVR: Yankee Doodle Dandy (dir by Michael Curtiz)


So, today, I got off work so that I could vote in Texas’s Super Tuesday primary.  After I cast my vote (and don’t ask me who I voted for because it’s a secret ballot for a reason!), I came home and I turned on the TV and I discovered that, as a result of spending February recording countless films off of Lifetime and TCM, I only had 9 hours of space left on my DVR.  As a result, the DVR was threatening to erase my recordings of Bend It Like Beckham, Jesus Christ Superstar, American Anthem, an episode of The Bachelor from 2011, and the entire series of Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

“Acgk!” I exclaimed in terror.

So, I immediately sat down and started the process of cleaning out the DVR.  I started things out by watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, a film from 1942.

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a biopic of a songwriter, signer, and dancer named George M. Cohan.  I have to admit, that when the film started, I had absolutely no idea who George M. Cohan was.  Imagine my surprise as I watched the film and I discovered that Cohan had written all of the old-fashioned patriotic songs that are played by the Richardson Symphony Orchestra whenever I go to see the 4th of July fireworks show at Breckenridge Park.  He wrote You’re A Grand Old Flag, The Yankee Doodle Boy, and Over There.  Though I may not have heard of him, Cohan was an American institution during the first half of the 20th Century.  Even if I hadn’t read that on Wikipedia, I would have been able to guess from watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, which, at times, seems to be making a case for sainthood.

And that’s not meant to be a complaint!  74 years after it was originally released, Yankee Doodle Dandy is still a terrifically entertaining film.  It opens with George (played by James Cagney) accepting a Congressional Gold Medal from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  (We only see Roosevelt from behind and needless to say, the President did not play himself.  Instead, Captain Jack Young sat in a chair while FDR’s voice was provided by impressionist Art Gilmore.)  Cohan proceeds to tell Roosevelt his life story, starting with his birth on the 4th of July.  Cohan tells how he was born into a showbiz family and a major theme of the film is how Cohan took care of his family even after becoming famous.

The other major theme is patriotism.  As portrayed in this biopic, Cohan is perhaps the most patriotic man who ever lived.  That may sound corny but Cagney pulls it off.  When we see him sitting at the piano and coming up with the lyrics for another song extolling the greatness of America, we never doubt his sincerity.  In fact, he’s so sincere that he makes us believe as well.  Watching Yankee Doodle Dandy, I found myself regretting that I have to live in such an overwhelmingly cynical time.  If George M. Cohan was alive today, he’d punch out anyone who called this country “Murica.”

Yankee Doodle Dandy is an amazingly positive film.  There are a few scenes where Cohan has to deal with a few Broadway types who are jealous of his talent and his confidence but, otherwise, it’s pretty much one triumph after another for Cohan.  Normally, of course, there’s nothing more annoying than listening to someone talk about how great his life is but fortunately, Cohan is played by James Cagney and Cagney gives one of the best performance of all time in the role.

Cagney, of course, is best remembered for playing gangsters but he got his start as a dancer.  In Yankee Doodle Dandy, Cagney is so energetic and so happy and such a complete and totally showman that you can’t help but get caught up in his story.  When he says that, as a result of his success, things have never been better, you don’t resent him for it.  Instead, you’re happy for him because he’s amazingly talented and deserve the best!

Seriously, watch him below:

James Cagney won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance here.  Yankee Doodle Dandy was also nominated for best picture but lost to Mrs. Miniver.

I’m really glad that I watched Yankee Doodle Dandy today.  In this time of overwhelming negativity, it was just what I needed!

It’s Super Tuesday!

It’s Super Tuesday.  In 12 states and one U.S. territory, citizens are exercising their right vote in the primary of their party of choice.  Hopefully, these classic paperback covers will inspire you to feel good about going down to your local polling place and casting your ballot.

By Robert Bonfils

By Robert Bonfils

By Paul Rader

By Paul Rader

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

By Emmett Watson

By Emmett Watson

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist

Unknown Artist