Wednesday, March 13, 2024

A Look Back At James Cagney In 'Mr. Roberts' And 'One, Two, Three'

In a previous post, I wrote about one of my favorite actors, the late, great actor James Cagney, in his gangster roles. 

I’d also like to comment on James Cagney in his later roles in two classic comedies. 

In addition to being fine song and dance man, and a tough guy mobster, Cagney also had serious comedy chops.  

James Cagney played a strong supporting role in 1955’s Mr. Roberts. 

The film, starring Henry Fonda and directed by Navy veteran John Ford, was a comedy-drama about an officer, Mr. Roberts, who wanted off a relatively safe Navy cargo ship in WWII. He wanted to serve on a warship and engage in active combat in the great war. 

His ambition was thwarted by the ship’s prick captain, portrayed by Cagney, who wanted Roberts, a fine officer, to stay aboard the cargo ship and help Cagney be promoted. 

Cagney was great as the ship's captain, as were the other supporting actors, such as Jack Lemon, William Powell, Ward Bond, and even John Wayne’s young son, Patrick Wayne.  

As a sailor who served in the Navy in a later war in Vietnam on an aircraft carrier, I love this film and I’ve rewatched many times. 

You can watch the film via the below link:

 Bing Videos

Another fine comedy James Cagney appeared in was 1961’s One, Two Three. This lessor known Cagney film was directed by Billy Wilder and stars Cagney as the Coca Cola executive in West Germany during the height of the Cold War. 

Cagney is terrific as a madcap, excitable boss in the film. 

The ending is great, but I won’t disclose it here.

You can watch the film via the below link:  

And you read my previous post on James Cagney as a mobster via the blow link:

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