Want to know the best James Cagney movies? How about the worst James Cagney movies? Curious about James Cagney box office grosses or which James Cagney movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which James Cagney movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.
RobWrite suggested James Cagney (1899-1986) would be a good subject for one of my movie pages. Here are the few things I knew about Cagney before starting the research for this page…(1) he won the Academy Award® for Best Actor in 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy (2) he was in a ton of gangster movies (3) his last movie was 1981’s Ragtime and (4) he was great as Captain Morton in 1955’s Mister Roberts.
After two months of research on James Cagney, not only I am finally ready to write this page, but I have new found respect for his career. His IMDb page shows 69 acting credits from 1930-1981. This page will rank 61 James Cagney movies from Best to Worst in four different sortable columns of information. Cameos, television appearances, shorts and 4 movies made before he was a star are not included in the rankings.
James Cagney Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table
- Sort James Cagney movies by co-stars of his movies
- Sort James Cagney movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
- Sort James Cagney movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions) *** If domestic and worldwide totals are the same..then worldwide gross is unknown
- Sort James Cagney movies how they were received by critics and audiences. 60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
- Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each James Cagney movie received.
- Sort James Cagney movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score. UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
|CreditRank||Movie (Year)||UMR Co-Star Links||Review %||Oscar Nom / Win||S||UMR Score|
|CreditRank||Movie (Year)||UMR Co-Star Links||Actual B.O. Domestic (mil)||Adj. B.O. Domestic (mil)||Adj. B.O. Worldwide (mil)||B.O. Rank by Year||Review %||Oscar Nom / Win||S||UMR Score|
|1||Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
AA Best Picture Nom
AA Best Actor Win
|Walter Huston||13.50||417.1||584.3||3||84||08 / 03||99.4|
|2||Mister Roberts (1955)
AA Best Picture Nom
|Henry Fonda &
|21.40||369.6||415.7||4||88||03 / 01||99.0|
|3||Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
AA Best Actor Nom
|Humphrey Bogart||6.50||214.5||310.2||16||89||03 / 00||98.1|
|5||Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
AA Best Actor Nom
|Doris Day||11.50||198.9||277.6||22||69||06 / 01||95.1|
|4||Footlight Parade (1933)||Joan Blondell||4.60||178.4||269.2||8||82||00 / 00||95.1|
|6||The Roaring Twenties (1939)||Humphrey Bogart||4.90||156.3||218.2||32||89||00 / 00||94.8|
|7||13 Rue Madeleine (1947)||Richard Conte||7.40||180.2||180.2||34||76||00 / 00||93.6|
|8||White Heat (1949)||Virginia Mayo||6.10||126.8||201.9||37||91||01 / 00||93.1|
|10||The Seven Little Foys (1955)||Bob Hope||11.40||197.1||197.1||25||63||01 / 00||91.3|
|9||The Strawberry Blonde (1941)||Olivia de Havilland &
|4.50||143.6||192.9||38||80||01 / 00||91.3|
Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above James Cagney Table
1. 25 of James Cagney’s movies crossed the magical $100 million mark. That is a percentage of 40.98% of his movies listed. Mister Roberts (1955) was his biggest box office hit.
2. An average James Cagney movie grosses $104.10 million in adjusted box office gross.
3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter. 41 James Cagney movies are rated as good movies…or 67.21% of his movies. White Heat (1939) was his highest rated movie while He Was Her Man (1934) was his lowest rated movie.
4. 19 of James Cagney’s movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 31.14% of his movies.
5. 5 of James Cagney’s movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 8.19% of his movies.
6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00. 42 James Cagney movies scored higher that average….or 68.85% of his movies. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) got the the highest UMR Score while Boy Meets Girl (1938) got the lowest UMR Score
Ten Possibily Interesting Facts About James Cagney
1. His role in 1931’s The Public Enemy(only his 4th film), turned him into a star. The most famous scene in the movie is where Cagney’s character smashes a grapefruit into the face of his co-star Mae Davis.
2. Cagney was one of the first stars to refuse to appear in movie scenes where live ammunition was used, experts would stand off camera and fire the guns near the actors…..sounds pretty safe to me.
3. Cagney was Warner Brothers most profitable actor in the 1930s….his movies returned an average of 42% return on investment. Of the 38 movies he made for Warner Brothers only two did not make money. 1935’s A Midnight Summer’s Dream and 1938’s Boy Meets Girl. On the positive side….1934’s The St. Louis Kid was produced for $80,000 and returned 1.8 million dollars at the box office. Not a bad return on investment.
4. Despite being Warner Brothers most profitable actor….he was one of their least paid stars….this resulted in Cagney walking out on Warner Brothers twice. ….In 1936/37 he successfully sued Warner Brothers…..and starting earning equal money to the other Warner Brother stars.
5. In 1933 Cagney helped establish the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). He served as the President of SAG for two years.
6. Cagney married dancer Frances Willard “Billie” Vernon in 1922, they were married 63 years before Cagney passed away in 1986….pretty impressive for any marriage much less a Hollywood marriage.
7. Cagney was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award® three times……his first nomination was 1938’s Angels With Dirty Faces, his second and only win was 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy and his final nomination was 1955’s Love Me or Leave Me.
8. Cagney’s line “Made it, Ma! Top of the world! from 1949’s White Heat is number 18 on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest movie quotes. …speaking of famous quotes Cagney never said the line….”You dirty rat”….it is one of the greatest misquotes in movie history….the closest he came to saying that was “Mmm, that dirty, double-crossin’ rat,” in 1931’s Blonde Crazy.
9. Cagney appeared in 63 movies in his career….another Warner Brothers star, Pat O Brien co-starred in 9 Cagney movies…..Cagney retired in 1961 after making One, Two, Three….he would make only one more movie….twenty years later ….in 1981’s Ragtime.
10. Here are some of the more famous movie roles Cagney passed on…..Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part 2, The Adventures of Robin Hood (Flynn did pretty good in role), Harry and Tonto Art Carney won Oscar® for this role), Logan’s Run, and My Fair Lady (as Audrey Hepburn’s father).
Check out James Cagney ‘s career compared to current and classic actors. Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.
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