Home Hollywood Can Hollywood Make A Patriotic Movie Anymore? – Deadline

Can Hollywood Make A Patriotic Movie Anymore? – Deadline


As our country is increasingly divided, several media gurus ordered Hollywood to owe moviegoers a “feel good America” ​​film on the Fourth of July.something unified and patriotic, like contemporary yankee graffiti dude.

When I did some research, I concluded that they had a point. Aside from those World War II action movies by the numbers, the industry has never mastered patriotism.

So I decided to bite the bullet and rerun this 80-year-old Warner Bros. movie. Instructive: as an old-fashioned cabaret extravaganza, yankee graffiti dude It turned out to be wicked fun. As an exercise in patriotism, however, its message is fringe anarchy.

Perhaps the times then (the early 1940s) were as confusing as they are today. Why Warner Bros and producer Hal Wallis chose gangster superstar James Cagney (public enemy) as a family-loving patriot? Cagney once smashed a grapefruit in the face of a co-star. To confuse things further, the studio then hired a Hungarian (Michael Curtis) to mentor him.

The better-dancing Fred Astaire turned down the role, possibly because the film’s real-life protagonist, George M. Cohan, was portrayed in the script as a Self-centered con man who likes underage girls. He also regularly dances in blackface, and occasionally, when critics blast his show, buys newspaper ads with positive reviews (they are fakes).

In 1942, with jobs still scarce due to the Great Depression, voters were nervous about a two-front war with Germany and Japan. Some of its biggest stars were called to the front.

Cohan knew his career was going downhill as well.Leaving his formula musical, he wrote and starred in a political satire called I’d rather be right than be president This sent his wartime leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Critics hated it, the audience stayed home, and Roosevelt himself sternly ordered Cohan to appear at the White House. Will it be publicly criticized?

Politically savvy Roosevelt decided to give Cohan a big thumbs up, awarding him the Congressional Gold Medal and reminding the public that early in his career Cohan composed patriotic songs like “Over there”, the anthem of World War I song. “Here’s the Yankee” world,” Roosevelt said. “So do it again. “

Unsurprisingly, Cohan immediately became Roosevelt’s biggest fan, and pledged to re-entitle “Home of the Great Old Flag to the Free and the Brave.”

Michael Curtis Walter Houston

(LR) Michael Curtis and Walter Houston on the set of “Yankee Doodle Playboy”

at the same time, yankee graffiti dude It proved to be a much-needed blow for Warner Bros. and even earned Cagney an Oscar.It might have won best picture too, but its competitors are Casablancaalso from Warner Bros. and also produced by the ubiquitous Wallis.

If the film promotes a certain level of goodwill towards the country, that loyalty doesn’t extend to Warner Bros. In accepting his honor, the grumpy Wallis reminded the media that his two films would have been better without the distraction of Jack Warner.Curtis, who has previously made films in German, made it clear that he sees the studio as an authoritarian nation-state and continues to direct similar blood captain and Dodge City elsewhere.

Cagney’s career backed by success yankee doodle, but after the war he came forward as an anti-blacklist freedom activist, not wanting anything to do with John Wayne’s patriotic lobbying. He later changed his mind and supported his old friend Ronald Reagan.

For eight years, no one has worked hard to produce Yankee Doodle Playboy II Or at least try “reimagining”. The title itself has a vaguely tribal undertone. But in the days when it was conceived, society did not scrutinize these connotations. This may be healthier and more united in its own way.

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