Yankee Doodle Dandy

From Spanking Art

Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owns Broadway". The movie was directed by Michael Curtiz.


Synopsis[edit]

Spoiler warning


In the early days of World War II, Cohan comes out of retirement to star as US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a show "I'd Rather Be Right'. On the first night, he's summoned to meet the President at the White House, who presents him with a Congressional Gold Medal (in fact, this happened several years previously). Cohan is overcome, and chats with Roosevelt, recalling his early days on the stage. The film flashes back to his birth on July 4, whilst his father is performing on the vaudeville stage.

Cohan and his sister join the family act as soon as they can learn to dance, and soon The Four Cohans are performing successfully. But George gets too cocky as he grows up and is blacklisted by theatrical producers for being troublesome. He leaves the act and hawks his songs unsuccessfully around producers. In partnership with another struggling writer, Sam Harris, he finally interests a producer and they are on the road to success. He also marries Mary, a young singer/dancer.

As his star ascends, he persuades his now struggling parents to join his act, eventually vesting some of his valuable theatrical properties in their name.

Cohan retires, but returns to the stage several times, culminating in the role of the US President. As he leaves the White House, he performs a dance step down the stairs (which Cagney thought up before the scene was filmed and performed with no rehearsal). Outside, he joins a military parade, where the soldiers are singing 'Over There'. Not knowing that he's the composer, they jokingly invite Cohan to join in, which he does.

The spanking scene[edit]

George, born in 1878 in Rhode Island to Irish Catholic parents Nellie (Rosemary DeCamp) and Jerry (Walter Huston), performs as a child actor together with his parents and his sister Josie on vaudeville stages throughout the U.S. under the name "The Four Cohans". George is highly talented but rather cocky as a boy.

At the age of 13, George (Douglas Croft) has the main role in the performance of Peck's Bad Boy. Backstage after the successful show, George demonstrates smug airs and graces and Nellie says "Jerry, the time has come for George's first spanking".

Dialog:

19:12 Jerry, the time has come for George's first spanking.
19:16 That's right. I'll hold him, you hit him.
19:18 Not me. I don't hit hard enough to make an impression.
19:22 I can't do it. He'd think I'm jealous because he got more laughs.
19:25 Don't think I'm not, either.

A few minutes later, Ed Albee (Minor Watson), partner of the stage manager, sees the Cohans, which means the chance of a big deal. George is ushered behind the woman's dressing curtain and instructed to remain hidden and quiet. Albee, a cigar-smoking show-biz promoter, proposes them for an engagement in Philadelphia, doubling their salary. At this moment, to his parent's horror, George bursts from behind the curtain. Demonstrating most insolent behavior, he insults Albee, who hurriedly exits. The big deal is broken.

George is long overdue for corporal punishment, yet he mustn't be rapped on the hand ("he has to play the violin") or slapped across the mouth ("he has to sing"), according to Nellie. So Jerry turns his ill-mannered son over his lap for a spanking: "Here's one place without any talent!" (M/m).

Dialog:

24:50 You see what happens because you wouldn't lay a hand on him?
24:54 A mother doesn't do any punishing. She gives her permission.
24:57 Have I your permission?
25:00 You certainly have.
25:03 Shouldn't you get my permission too?
25:05 Not on the hand, he has to play the violin!
25:07 All right, not on the hand.
25:10 Not on the mouth, he has to sing!
25:12 All right, not on the mouth. Come here.
25:17 Here's one place without any talent!

See also[edit]

Links[edit]

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