Trivia: While James Cagney was a fine and spirited dancer in his own right, known for spontaneously "ad-libbing" dance steps on stage, Cagney insisted that Warner Brothers hire choreographer Johnny Boyle for "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to teach Cagney the precise dancing style of George M. Cohan. Boyle was an expert imitator of famous dancers and their routines, and he had worked with and choreographed Cohan on stage many years earlier. Under Boyle's instruction, James Cagney delivered a near-perfect impression of George M. Cohan's eccentric, stiff-legged, marionette-like dancing style in this movie. Unfortunately, during rehearsals for the film, Johnny Boyle broke his ankle, and the injury effectively ended his dancing career.
George M. Cohan: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you.
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