One of the Greatest Scenes in Film. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" I love this film and have seen it dozens of times
Near the very end of the film Cagney's character (George M. Cohan) bids farewell to the President and leaves the room. There is a long, open staircase he starts walking down. As he walks you sense a bit of a bounce beginning to take over his step.....one that quickly gives way to an awesome dance as he navigates the stairway. Many will not note, but this dance was a fantastic achievement,it was done in one "take"...that is, the camera never stopped; the scene never "cut." The camera stays with him in one shot all the way through. Second, Mr. Cagney improvised "ad-libbed" the whole tap dancing down the stairs. The script called for him to simply, walk down the steps.