70+ James Cagney Quotes That You Just Cannot Miss

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James Cagney popular quotes

James Cagney quotes that you just cannot miss. There are so many James Cagney quotes that can help you when you are tired of being in the same old rut, and all you need is a little push, a little inspiration, a smile on the face, change of mood, bring you out of the banality of life, make you laugh a little, or may even make you cry a bit, and these James Cagney quotes exists just do that.

James Cagney is a very famous actor and dancer, and he has performed on stage and also in film and is well-known for his energetic performances, deadpan comic timing, and distinctive vocal style. James Cagney had earned a lot of acclaim and awards for his works. James Cagney is remembered for playing a lot of tough guys in movies like Taxi! (1932), The Public Enemy (1931), The Roaring Twenties (1939), Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), and also, White Heat (1949).

James Cagney had then walked out on Warner Bros. a lot of times during his course of the career, and every time, he had returned with improved personal and artistic terms. In the year, 1935 James Cagney had sued Warner for breach of contract, and he had won.

We have dug up these James Cagney quotes from the depths of the internet and brought together best of these sayings in a single article. This post is probably the biggest database of James Cagney Sayings in a single place. These famous James Cagney quotes have the power to change your life by giving a novel outlook about the way you observe different aspects of your life. Hence, these popular James Cagney quotes should be read with caution and proper understanding of the context. Here are tons of James Cagney quotes that will open a treasure chest of Wisdom and experiences:

“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”

James Cagney best quotes

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“Find your mark, look the other fellow in the eye, and tell the truth.”

James Cagney famous quotes

“Don’t cry, there is enough water in the goulash already”

James Cagney popular quotes “‘Morning, gentlemen. Nice day for a murder.”

James Cagney quotes

“You dirty, double-crossing rat.”

James Cagney saying

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“You dirty rat…”

“I hate the word superstar”. I have never been able to think in those terms. They are overstatements. You don`t hear them speak of Shakespeare as a superpoet. You don`t hear them call Michelangelo a superpainter. They only apply the word to this mundane market”

“I`m sick of carrying guns and beating up women.”

“My childhood was surrounded by trouble, illness, and my dad’s alcoholism, but as I said, we just didn’t have the time to be impressed by all those misfortunes. I have an idea that the Irish possess a built-in don’t-give-a-damn that helps them through all the stress.”

“Where once was a vertebrae is now a tangle, from constant kissing at an awkward angle.”

“those days, some stores sold broken chips of Nabisco cream crackers at a penny a bag. Quite a bargain. Bill got a sack of these chips with one of his pennies, and my sweet tooth”

“Perhaps people, and kids especially, are spoiled today, because all the kids today have cars, it seems. When I was young you were lucky to have a bike.”

“Absorption in things other than self is the secret of a happy life.”

“My childhood was surrounded by trouble, illness, and my dad’s alcoholism, but as I said, we just didn’t have the time to be impressed by all those misfortunes. I have an idea that the Irish possess a built-in don’t-give-a-damn that helps them through all the stress.”

“Learn your lines… plant your feet… look the other actor in the eye… say the words… mean them.”

“Outside of my family, the prime concern of my life has been nature and its order, and how we have been savagely altering that order.”

“Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man. Those few words tell as much about me professionally as there is to tell.”

“There’s not much to say about acting but this. Never settle back on your heels. Never relax. If you relax, the audience relaxes. And always mean everything you say.”

“I never had the slightest difficulty with a fellow actor. Not until One, Two, Three. In that picture, Horst Buchholz tried all sorts of scene-stealing didoes. I came close to knocking him on his ass.”

“You know, the period of World War I and the Roaring Twenties were really just about the same as today. You worked, and you made a living if you could, and you tired to make the best of things. For an actor or a dancer, it was no different then than today. It was a struggle.”

“I got a part as a chorus girl in a show called Every Sailor and I had fun doing it. Mother didn’t really approve of it, through.”

“You don’t psych yourself up for these things, you do them… I’m acting for the audience, not for myself, and I do it as directly as I can.”

“I`m sick of carrying guns and beating up women.”

“Though I soon became typecast in Hollywood as a gangster and hoodlum, I was originally a dancer, an Irish hoofer, trained in vaudeville tap dance. I always leapt at the opportunity to dance in films later on.”

“The Postman Always RingsTwice.”

“I never said, ‘MMMmmm, you dirty rat!”

“New Orleans is 5 feet below sea level, which means that holes dug in the ground immediately fill with water. Coffins were punctured and sunk with weights, which didn’t stop them from floating up out of the cemeteries and down the streets of the French Quarter on stormy nights. The solution was to bury people above ground, in what are called vaults.”

“My father was totally Irish, and so I went to Ireland once. I found it to be very much like New York, for it was a beautiful country, and both the women and men were good-looking.”

“If he isn’t sold and should in any way suspect that you’re on a double mission, if he does make his break and tries to follow you, you’re going to shoot him.”

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“Say your prayers, mugs.”

“You’ll slap me? You slap me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.”

“Look, I know you’re a smart lawyer – very smart – but don’t get smart with me.”

“Aw, don’t be a sucker!”

“Alright, Frazier. It’s my rap and I’ll take it. But it’s my hundred grand and I’ll take that too, the day that I get out.”

“It’s like a barber chair. And when they ask me, you got anything to say, I’ll say, ‘sure, give me a haircut, a shave, and a massage, with one of those nice new electric massages’.”

“No! I don’t want to die! Oh, please! I don’t want to die! Oh, please! Don’t make me burn in hell. Oh, please let go of me! Please don’t kill me! Oh, don’t kill me, please!”

“I uh, I guess a little kiss is harmless if it’s all in fun.”

“Well, your mother’s a bloomer girl. You’re a nicotine fiend. Are there any more at home like you?”

“I wish you’d tie a can to yourself and beat it.”

“My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you.”
His wife Mary, (played by Joan Leslie): “George, I didn’t know you could yodel.”

“Learned it on the farm. Nothing but pig callin’ with frost on it.”

“Whaddya want – a medal?”

“A copper, a copper, how do you like that boys? A copper and his name is Fallon. And we went for it, I went for it. Treated him like a kid brother. And I was gonna split fifty-fifty with a copper!”

“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”

“I’m the collection agency. I’ve come to collect my wife.”

“The kind of fellows I play, pretty girls don’t write to.”

“(In character of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre, to his estranged wife, played by Dorothy Malone) What’s the matter, Cleva? Still afraid of freaks?”

“There’s not much to say about acting but this. Never settle back on your heels. Never relax. If you relax, the audience relaxes. And always mean everything
you say.”

“All I try to do is to realise the man I’m playing fully, then put as much into my acting as I know how. To do it, I draw upon all that I’ve ever known,
heard, seen or remember.”

“My biggest concern is that doing a rough-and-tumble scene I might hurt someone accidentally.”

“[in the early 1960s] In this business you need enthusiasm. I don’t have enthusiasm for acting anymore. Acting is not the beginning and end of everything.”

“They need you. Without you, they have an empty screen. So, when you get on there, just do what you think is right and stick with it.”

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“Where I come from, if there’s a buck to be made, you don’t ask questions, you go ahead and make it.”

“With me, a career was the simple matter of putting groceries on the table.”

“Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man. Those few words tell as much about me professionally as there is to tell.”

“I hate the word “superstar”. I have never been able to think in those terms. They are overstatements. You don’t hear them speak of [William Shakespeare] as a superpoet. You don’t hear them call Michelangelo a superpainter. They only apply the word to this mundane market.”

“You know, the period of World War I and the Roaring Twenties were really just about the same as today. You worked, and you made a living if you could, and
you tried to make the best of things. For an actor or a dancer, it was no different then than today. It was a struggle.”

“My father was totally Irish, and so I went to Ireland once. I found it to be very much like New York, for it was a beautiful country, and both the women and
men were good-looking.”

“[about his most famous misquoted line] I never actually said, “Nnng-you dirty ra-at!” What I actually said was [imitating Cary Grant] “Judy! Judy! Judy!”

“Learn your lines, find your mark, look ’em in the eye and tell ’em the truth.”

“[about The Public Enemy (1931)] What not many people know is that right up to two days before shooting started, I was going to play the good guy, the pal.
Edward Woods played it in the end.”

“Learn your lines … plant your feet … look the other actor in the eye … say the words … mean them.”

“The lovers of hate, born in fear – Find no release from tension – They spend their lives in a permanent state – Of miserable apprehension.”

“When I was younger, if someone had told me I had only two years to live, I’d have gone to an island that was really country–and just rocked it out by
myself. But if someone told me the same thing today, I believe I’d probably travel–just to get away from all the noise and nonsense we are surrounded with.”

“The things the world most needs are simplicity, honesty and decency–and you find them more often in the country than in the city. My feeling for the country goes beyond sense. I don’t like to be in the cities at all. I like to be where animals are–and thing growing.”

“[Telegram sent to House Ways and Means Committee regarding No Runways on Vacation Isle – 1969] For more than 30 years I have watched Martha’s Vineyard go
downhill as a place of natural wonder and peaceful haven. Now they are talking of runways for jets. Is there to be no end to the destruction of all that is
natural and worthwhile? Please give it some thought.”

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“[in 1931] I’m sick of guns and beating up women. Movies should be entertaining, not bloodbaths.”

“I still think of myself essentially as a vaudevillian, as a song and dance man. The vaudevillians I knew by and large were marvelous people. Ninety percent
of them had no schooling, but they had a vivid something or other about them that absolutely riveted an audience’s attention. Those vaudevillians knew
something that ultimately I came to understand and believe – that audiences are the ones who determine material. They buy the tickets.”

“[on his Hollywood arrival] I came out here on a three week guarantee, and I stayed, to my absolute amazement, for thirty-one years.”

“The thing is to try to give the audience something to take away with them. That’s what I always wanted to do.”

“My father was totally Irish, and so I went to Ireland once. I found it to be very much like New York, for it was a beautiful country, and both the women and men were good-looking.”

“Perhaps people, and kids especially, are spoiled today, because all the kids today have cars, it seems. When I was young you were lucky to have a bike.”

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