5 user 2 critic

James Cagney: Top of the World (1992)

James Cagney was a song-and-dance man who loved animals, supported the underdog and was liked by everybody, but is remembered for his roles as a cold-blooded gangster.


Carl H. Lindahl (as Carl Lindahl)


Bob Waldman, Carl H. Lindahl (as Carl Lindahl)




Complete credited cast:
Michael J. Fox ... Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Casey Cagney Thomas Casey Cagney Thomas ... Self - Daughter
James Cagney ... (archive footage)
Mae Clarke ... Self - Actress
Julius J. Epstein Julius J. Epstein ... Self - Screenwriter (as Julius Epstein)
David Huddleston ... Self - Actor
Burt Kennedy Burt Kennedy ... Self - Director
Jack Lemmon ... Self - Actor
Joan Leslie ... Self - Actress
A.C. Lyles ... Self - Producer
Virginia Mayo ... Self - Actress
Brigid O'Brien Brigid O'Brien ... Self - Daughter
Learn more

More Like This 

The Divine Garbo (TV Movie 1990)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Glenn Close hosts this documentary featuring film clips, still photographs and rare behind-the-scenes footage that reveal how the mysterious legend Greta Garbo's film career reflected her life.

Director: Susan F. Walker
Stars: Glenn Close, Greta Garbo, John Gilbert
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
White Heat (1949)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
All About Eve (1950)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A seemingly timid but secretly ruthless ingénue insinuates herself into the lives of an aging Broadway star and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders


James Cagney was a song-and-dance man who loved animals, supported the underdog and was liked by everybody, but is remembered for his roles as a cold-blooded gangster.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Did You Know?


Cagney puts the record straight on his famous catchphrase, pointing out that at no point in his film career did he call anyone "You dirty rat!". See more »


Herself - Actress: He got into that gangster mould and it just seemed to fit him.
See more »


Features Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) See more »

User Reviews

Terrific actor, fascinating man
15 August 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"James Cagney: Top of the World" is a documentary about the versatile star who could punch you out and then, if necessary, dance over your grave. He is remembered today primarily as a tough guy, but he did many musicals, including "Yankee Doodle Dandy," for which he won an Oscar, and "Footlight Parade." Hosted by Michael J. Fox, the documentary includes interviews with friends and coworkers: Jack Lemmon, Mae Clarke, Pat O'Brien, A.C. Lyles, Cagney's daughter, and others. Clips are shown from many of his films: "Public Enemy," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "White Heat," "A Midsummer's Night Dream," etc., and chronicles the volatile relationship Cagney had with Jack Warner. It also covers Cagney's real love: his farm in Martha's Vineyard, his painting, and his love of horses, all of which he was afforded the opportunity to have and do thanks to the movies.

Author Harold J. Kennedy tells a story in "No Pickle, No Performance" about a small role he had where he burst through a door and announced some big news to Cagney in a film. When they rehearsed it, Cagney was on a bed, very lethargic, just muttering the lines. Kennedy was not prepared for the actual filming, when Cagney jumped up, grabbed him by the collar, and shouted. He was a man who knew how to preserve his energy.

I had a couple of problems with this documentary. One is that there is nothing of his marvelous performance in "Love Me or Leave Me," and, the biggest omission, not enough of the speech he gave when he was honored by the American Film Institute. I remember that speech well - it was beautiful, about the definition of art, and thanking people who helped him through the hard times -- and in saying that, he nearly broke down. It would have been a wonderful addition to this.

In Cagney's day, people followed the stars no matter what. My father, a boy at that time, went to see Midsummer's Night Dream because Jimmy Cagney was in it, and he never missed a Jimmy Cagney film. He kept his fans entertained for many years, but when he was ready to bow out, he did, leaving a great legacy.

As an aside, I saw a contestant on Jeopardy who said he was working in a restaurant when a man wearing an old raincoat came in. He said, "It was James Cagney, and he was the sweetest man I ever met."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

5 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

James Cagney: A világ tetején See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed