There aren't too many movies that I'd say are pretty near perfect...but this is one of them!
I've seen it a dozen times, and I'm always amazed at how the movie doesn't fail to hold your interest the entire time. It's rousing, it's stirring, it's high energy, all the time!
I've not seen the colorized version, but the black and white is so appropriate to its time, I'm satisfied with the movie as it.
As many reviewers have mentioned, James Cagney is so perfect in this role, you can't imagine anyone else in it! He always considered himself a song-and-dance man, though you wouldn't know it if you were a fan of his many gangster flicks. Fred Astaire turned down the role, if you believe the many stories. And, as much as I love Astaire, the film would have suffered for it. The manic energy Cagney displays in the highlight musical numbers just brings his role to perfection.
If you are looking for a classic, never-to-be-topped movie about a songwriter, Broadway, great, rousing music, 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' is your film.
VERY HIGHLY Recommended! One of the top films of all time. (The American Film Institute lists it at 100th place, but it should be moved up much higher!)