Monday, December 7, 2009

Poll Winner Cagney Sez: "Dig Me Up, Coach, I'm Ready To Play!"

The results are in for this week's Monkey Movie poll, Which of these Katie nominees for best actor of 1930-31 would make the biggest splash if he were in his prime today? Arguments could be made for each of the contenders, James Cagney, Charles Chaplin and Edward G. Robinson, but for the twenty participants who voted, the issue was never in doubt.

"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" crowed the exuberant Cagney at an afternoon press conference. "My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you!"

The margin of Cagney's win was as startling as it was decisive: 20 votes for Cagney, zero for Chaplin, zero for Robinson. That's right, 20-to-nothing. Those are the sort of numbers you'd expect to see in a petty dictator's plebiscite.

Allegations of voter intimidation and poll fraud were promptly dismissed with a couple of slaps across the kisser.

"Asking questions again, huh?" snarled Cagney. "Listen, someday you're gonna stick your nose in, you're gonna get something in it. You been reading a lot of stuff about 'Crime don't pay,'" he added. "Don't be a sucker! That's for yaps and small-timers on shoestrings. Not for people like us. Never steal anything small, I say!"

Cagney was exhumed from his final resting place as soon as the poll closed, breathing his first air above ground in more than twenty years.

"Those dirty rats!" he said without hesitation when asked what he disliked most about being dead. "I mean, sure, there's bugs, decomposition, the worm that doth corrupt—and just try getting a table at La Botte! But those dirty rats are the worst."

While sometimes hard to handle, Cagney admitted death had its moments. "They paid tribute to a bad man," he said, "by electing me the mayor of hell, winner take all. Everyone in that torrid zone knew me as Jimmy the Gent," he said, "even the seven little Foys, and though each dawn I died, it was something of a sinner's holiday, the time of my life."

Married forty-four years in life, Cagney was a lady killer in death, making time for other men's women, and even becoming involved with a strawberry blonde. "I was her man," he said, "just boy meets girl, and it was something to sing about until I found out the bride came C.O.D. I told her, 'Love me or leave me.' So she left.

"After that, I went a little blonde crazy—now she was a midsummer night's dream!"

When not chasing women, Cagney made powerful friends in the afterlife. "My advice?" he said. "At the doorway to hell, shake hands with the devil. Otherwise, run for cover!"

Attempts to work Yankee Doodle Dandy and Arizona Bushwhackers into his victory speech proved unsuitable for a family-friendly blog and were dropped.

After the poll results were announced, a subdued Edward G. Robinson said, "Mother of mercy! Is this the end of Rico?" then spent another ten minutes trying to explain who "Rico" was. Charlie Chaplin just twitched his moustache, doffed his hat and walked off into the sunset.

Legendary director Martin Scorsese immediately signed Cagney to a three-picture deal worth in excess of $60 million, by far the biggest payday of Cagney's career. "In terms of talent," Scorsese said, "Jimmy buries the competition."

"I'm ripe for a comeback!" said a beaming, if somewhat dazed and gamey Cagney. "I smell—Oscar, that is!"


Maggie said...

Eeewww. I didn't know that he was coming back to collect his award.
Say, did he happen to mention Errol at all?

BTW: When's Carole Lombard going to crash this party?

Mythical Monkey said...

BTW: When's Carole Lombard going to crash this party?

Well, let's see. Actually, she started appearing in movies in 1921 at the ripe old age of 13, which I admit, I didn't know. So she could actually start appearing any time. But she definitely has to be mentioned in connection with Twentieth Century from 1934, My Man Godfrey in 1936 and To Be Or Not To Be, her last performance in 1942.

I'll post a picture of her tomorrow in your honor. How's that?

As for Errol Flynn, turns out he never made a movie with either Cagney or Lombard. Well, a couple of documentary shorts and promotional films, but no actual movies. I get the impression that Cagney and Flynn were as about as different as two guys could get. Cagney was a quiet family man and Flynn was a thrill-seeking hellion. Although that's pretty much me and Mister Muleboy in a nutshell, respectively, and we've been friends for twenty-plus years. So you never know ...

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

At the doorway to hell, shake hands with the devil. Otherwise, run for cover!

Finally, some celebrity advice i can use!

What a great post. Thanks Myth.

And thanks thingy, for planting the Carole Lombard seed ... :-)

Douglas Fairbanks said...

Hey -- I tried to come back, and you wouldn't LET me!!!


By that I mean "I can't win one more fucking award so that I can come back?!?"