Monday, November 30, 2009

Movie Legends-David Niven



      The video was put up by basilnelson on You Tube.  The music on the video is an Overture called 'The Marriage of Figaro' played by James Last and his Orchestra.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yul Brynner And Deborah Kerr (The King And I)



The clip is from the 'The King And I' with Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. This video was put up on You Tube by dfactoryusa.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pink Panther-The Scarlet Pinkernel



     Okay, so I am a little kid at heart. I loved watching the Pink Panther when I was a kid and had to take a trip down memory lane.

     By the way there is a moral to this particular cartoon. "No good deed goes unpunished." Enjoy the cartoon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Perry Mason Moments


     I made this video of a few Perry Mason Moments from the old TV series. The clips are from the episodes of 'The Antic Angel', 'The Festive Felon', and 'The Shifty Shoebox'. The song on the video is 'Eyes Without A Face' sung by Billy Idol. 

     For those of you who rather just hear the words instead of music, you can listen to the video below. Just words. No Music. The videos are the clips I put in the music ones.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

James Cagney-Death


     James Cagney died of a heart attack at the age of 86. He is buried at the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven in Hawthorne, New York. Ronald Reagan, who was president at the time, gave the eulogy at Cagney's funeral. His pallbearers were boxer Floyd Patterson, Mikhail Baryshnikov, actor Ralph Bellamy, and director Milos Forman.

Monday, November 16, 2009

James Cagney-Political Views

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Image via Wikipedia


     Though Cagney claimed in his autobiography he had no political view when he was younger, the Fanzines in the 1930's says he views were radical. The view was exaggerated by his wranglings with Warners at the time, his joining of the Screen Actors Guild, and his revolt against the Merriam tax.

     Cagney supported the Thomas Moody's defense fund but he was repelled by the behavior of some of Mooney's supporters at the rally. During the Spanish Civil War, Cagney gave money for the Spanish Republican Army ambulance. Cagney also became involved with a liberal along with Ronald Reagan however both quit the same night.

     Cagney was accused of being a Communist sympathizer in 1934, and again in 1940. The 1934 accusation came about form a letter from a local communist official found by police alleging that Cagney would new members to meetings. Cagney denied the accusation. Lincoln Steffens backed him up saying the money he gave was to help striking cotton workers in San Joaquin Valley. The 1940 accusation was about the donated money for the striking cotton workers. Cagney was cleared of the charges.

     Cagney became President of the Screen Actors Guild in 1942. He took an active role in the Guild's work against the Mafia. Around this time the Mafia had taken an active interest in the movie industry. Because the Mafia couldn't scare Cagney and the Guild off, they called Billie to tell her Cagney was a dead man. Cagney said they did send a hit man to kill him by dropping a heavy light onto his head. Upon hearing about the rumor of the hit, George Raft canceled the hit.

     During World War 2, Cagney took part in raising war bonds in racing exhibitions at the Roosevelt Raceway and sold seats for the premiere of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy. He even let the Army practice maneuvers at his Martha's Vineyard farm. After the war, Cagney got involved with the presidential campaigns. Cagney supported Ronald Reagan's campaign. 

     As Cagney got older, he became more and more conservative. Cagney regarded the move totally natural because of the undisciplined elements in our country referring to the hippies and their mind set.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

James Cagney-Personal Life

screenshot of James Cagney from the film White...

Image via Wikipedia


     James Cagney married Frances Willard "Billie" Vernon on September 28, 1922. They met on the chorus line of 'Pitter Patter'. In 1941, they adopted a boy and named him James Cagney Jr. They had a daughter, Cathleen "Casey" Cagney. While Cagney was willing to give press interviews, he still remain a private man. He also remained out of the public eye during his private times.

     When Cagney was a young man became interested in farming, do to a soil conservation he attended. During his first walk out from Warner Brothers, he bought a farm in Martha's Vineyard. The house on the farm was run down but Cagney loved it but Billie was reluctant at first to live in the house. As time moved on, Billie grew to love the place. Cagney began to spread a rumor that he was going to hire a gunman after he got inundated by movie fans. The ruse was so good that when Spencer Tracy came to visit, the cab driver wouldn't go up the drive way to the house. The cab driver told Tracy. "I hear they shoot!" Tracy ended up walking up the driveway.

     In 1955, Cagney bought a farm in Duchess County, New York. He named the farm Verney Farm, taking the first syllable from Billie's maiden name and the second syllable from his own surname. Cagney turned the farm back into working order. He expanded the farm over the years to a 750 acre site. Cagney's enthusiasm for farming got him an honorary degree from Rollins College. He surprised the staff by writing a paper on soil conservation because he didn't want to "turning up with Ava Gardner on my arm" was the way Cagney put it.

     Cagney was a sailor. He own boats on both the east and west coast of the U.S.A. Cagney enjoyed painting. Cagney only sold one of his paintings which was to Johnny Carson to benefit a charity.   

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

James Cagney-Retirement

Cropped screenshot of James Cagney from the tr...

Image via Wikipedia


     Cagney retired from show biz in 1961 and remained so for a little over twenty years. He made few public appearance. He preferred to spend winter in Los Angeles and summers either at his Martha's Vineyard farm or at Verney Farms in New York. When spending time in New York, Cagney and Billie had numerous parties at a restaurant called Silver Horn. both got to know the proprietress of the restaurant, Marge Zimmerman.

     Cagney was diagnosed with glaucoma and was taking eye drops for it but continued have problems with his eyes. Zimmerman recommended Cagney seeing another doctor. Cagney went to the different doctor and found out he was misdiagnosed. His problem was diabetes not glaucoma. Zimmerman took it upon herself to prepare Cagney's meals to help bring down his blood triglyceride level. She succeeded in bringing Cagney's blood triglyceride level down that he had lost 20 pounds and his vision improved before he made a rare appearance at Lifetime Achievement Award's ceremony.

     Many Hollywood stars attended the ceremony that it was said if a bomb went off in the room it would have been the end of the movie industry. During Cagney's acceptance speech of an award, he lightly chastised impressionist Frank Gorshin by saying "Oh, Frankie, I never said 'Mmmm, you dirty rat!' What I said was 'Judy, Judy, Judy!'." 

     In 1977, Cagney had a minor stroke. He spent two weeks in the hospital. Zimmerman became his full-time carer, traveling with Cagney and Billie.

     Cagney wasn't able to undertake many of his favorite pastimes. He became depressed. To help Cagney get over his depression, Billie and Zimmerman encouraged him to accept an offer to star in the film 'Ragtime'. Cagney accepted the offer.

     The film was shot at the Shepperton Studios in London. Cagney got a warm welcome from the British as soon as his ship dock. The officials said they had never seen anything like it even though they had experienced past visits from Marlon Brando and Robert Redford.

     During the filming, Cagney's sciatica worsened but he kept going. Cagney and co-star Pat O'Brien appeared on the Parkinson talk show. Cagney even made a surprise appearance at the Queen Mother's birthday performance. Cagney's appearance on stage prompted the Queen Mother to rise to her feet. It was the only time the Queen Mother did during the whole show. Later, she went backstage to speak with Cagney.

     In 1984, Cagney made a rare TV appearance in 'Terrible Joe Moran'. Afterward he completely retired.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

James Cagney-Films


The Doorway to Hell
Sinners' Holiday

How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 11: 'Practice Shots'
Blonde Crazy
Smart Money
The Millionaire
The Public Enemy
Other Men's Women

Winner Take All
The Crowd Roars

Lady Killer
Footlight Parade
The Mayor of Hell
Picture Snatcher
Hard to Handle

The St. Louis Kid
The Hollywood Gad-About
Here Comes the Navy
He Was Her Man
Jimmy the Gent

Mutiny on the Bounty
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Irish in Us
G Men
Devil Dogs of the Air
Trip Thru a Hollywood Studio
A Dream Comes True
Frisco Kid

Great Guy
Ceiling Zero

Something to Sing About

Angels with Dirty Faces
Boy Meets Girl
For Auld Lang Syne

The Roaring Twenties
Each Dawn I Die
Hollywood Hobbies
The Oklahoma Kid

City for Conquest
Torrid Zone
The Fighting 69th

The Bride Came C.O.D.
The Strawberry Blonde

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Captains of the Clouds

Johnny Come Lately
You, John Jones!

Battle Stations

Blood on the Sun

13 Rue Madeleine

The Time of Your Life

White Heat

The West Point Story
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Come Fill the Cup

What Price Glory?

A Lion Is in the Streets

Mister Roberts
The Seven Little Foys
Love Me or Leave Me
Run for Cover

These Wilder Years
Tribute to a Bad Man

Short-Cut to Hell
Man of a Thousand Faces

Shake Hands with the Devil
Never Steal Anything Small

The Gallant Hours
Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.

One, Two, Three

Arizona Bushwhackers


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

James Cagney-Early Career In Show Biz

keeler and cagney

     Cagney had learned from a colleague of a role in a upcoming production called 'Every Sailor'. It was a war time play in which the chorus is made up of servicemen dressed as women. He got the role. Cagney description of the role was: "For there I am not myself. I am not the fellow, Jim Cagney, at all. I certainly lost consciousness of him when I put on skirts, wig, paint, powder, feathers, and spangles."

     If Cagney's mother had her way, Cagney would of gone back to college instead of performing. She was proud of her son's performances but thought getting an education was more important. In deference to his mother's worries, Cagney got a job as a brokerage house runner. It didn't stop him from looking for more stage work. Cagney successfully audition for a chorus part in 'Pitter Patter'. 'Pitter Patter' wasn't successful but it did good enough to run 32 weeks. It allowed Cagney to join the vaudeville circuit.

     One of the troupers that Cagney joined was Parker, Rand, and Leach, taking over the latter position when Archie Leach left. (Archie Leach would later change his name to Cary Grant.)

     In 1924, Cagney moved to Hawthorne, California with his new wife, Frances Wilford "Billie" Vernon, to investigate the possibility of breaking into the movies and to meet his mother-in-law. They weren't very successful at first. Cagney had set up a dance studio with a few clients but it folded. After a while, Cagney and his wife decided to move back to New York. They went the way of Chicago to Milwaukee in hopes of making money along the way but failed in the attempt.

     In 1925, Cagney got his first non-dancing role in a play called 'Outside Looking In' as a tough guy. The play got good reviews. After the play ran its course, Cagney went back to vaudeville for a couple of years. He received varied success. During this period, Cagney met George M. Cohen, who he would later portray in 'Yankee Doodle Dandy'.

     Cagney later secured the lead role in the play 'Broadway'. The show's management insisted he copy Broadway's lead Lee Tracy. Cagney was uncomfortable doing. When the play headed for England, Cagney got replaced. Cagney was devastated and decided he was quitting show biz.

     Cagney didn't quit show biz for long. The Cagney's were doing run-by-the-play contracts. they were doing chorus lines. During this time, Cagney established a dance school for professionals, which got him appointed the choreographer in 'Grand Street Follies of 1928', Cagney got a part in 'Maggie the Magnificent'. The critics didn't like the play but did love Cagney's performance.

     Joan Blondell played opposite of Cagney in 'Maggie the Magnificent' then would star again with him a few months later in 'Penny Arcade'. Al Jolson sensing a potential film success with 'Penny Arcade', bought the rights for $20,000. He then sold it to Warner Brothers with the stipulation that Cagney and Blondell be cast in the film version. The film version was retitled 'Sinners' Holiday'. The studio liked Cagney so much they gave him a three week contract which turned into a seven year contract.      

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

James Cagney-Early Life

James Cagney Taxi

     James Cagney was born on July 17, 1899 in New York City, New York to James Sr. and Carolyn. He was the second born of seven children. Two of Cagney's siblings died with months of being born Cagney, himself, was sick at a young age that his mother thought he wouldn't make it before he was baptized. Cagney later attributed it to the poverty he grew up in.

     After graduating from high school in 1918, Cagney went to Columbia College. He intended to major in art but quit after the first semester up the death of his father.

     Cagney had a range of jobs in his life from bellhop to copy boy. All his earnings went to help his family.

     Cagney learned to tap dace as a boy. he got the nickname 'Cellar Door Cagney' from his habit of dancing on slanted cellar doors. Cagney was a good street fighter. He once defended his older brother, Harry, against all comers. Cagney engaged in amateur boxing. He was a runner up in the New York State lightweight title. He was encouraged to become a professional boxer but his mother wouldn't let him. Cagney also had entertained a dream of becoming a professional baseball player. He once played for a local team in semi-professional baseball.

     When visiting an aunt in Brooklyn, who lived opposite of Vitagraph Studios, Cagney would go and watch the filming of John Bunny films. He became involved in amateur dramatics. He started out as a scenery boy for a Chinese pantomime at the London Hill Settlement House. His brother, Harry, performed there. Cagney enjoyed working behind the scenes until on night Harry became ill. Because Cagney had helped his brother rehearse his lines, he ended up filling in for his brother. Afterwards, Cagney joined a number of companies as a performer. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tribute To James Cagney




James Francis Cagney, Jr.
July 17, 1899(1899-07-17)

New York City, New York, U.S.

March 30, 1986 (aged 86)
Stanford, New York, U.S.



Links To Learn More About James Cagney

James Cagney (Wikipedia)

James Cagney (Virtual History Films)

James Cagney (Biography)

James Cagney (


Have Gun Will Travel-Citizen Soldier



I have been wanting to do some more music videos on some old time TV series, old movies, and stars I enjoyed when I was younger. This is one of those TV series I enjoyed. The clips are from the episode 'Three Bells to Perdido'. The song on the vid is 'Citizen Soldier' by 3 Doors Down.

Monday, November 2, 2009