- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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the very best
- George Flucum
Aong with the godfather and goodfellas, this is my favorite movie. Yet, I had never seen or heard of it until I picked it up for $5 about 7 years ago. The late 40s/early 50s ambience, the pacing, the acting, and the story content are all top notch -- one of the most perfect movies. When I first saw White Heat, I had to look at it ten minutes at a time. I could hardly believe how excellent it was. Why is this movie not shown or mentioned anywhere?????
- Dashiell Barnes
The last great gangster film from "Warner Bros." that starred Cagney. Cagney is perfect hamming it-up as a psychotic, mother-obsessed hoodlum, Wycherly & Mayo are great as his mother & wife respectively and O'Brien cannot be ignored either. Director Walsh, along with creating dynamic action scenes, also explores the complexities of psychology. Both a taunt & economical film with an unforgettable ending. I give it a 4.5/5.
"Cody ain't human"
- Jeff Boston
The scene where a piano plays as Virginia Mayo's character skips down the stairs away from Big Ed was clever, for it symbolizes her destiny and that of her fellow low lifes: a quick descent to detainment or death. Edmond O'Brien does a fine job as a super spy among the animals, and the super-sized wedding ring on top of the police car is an indelible image.
Iconic role, superior performances throughout
"White Heat" is a film that even those who aren't fans of this genre can savor. The stars down to the smallest supporting players are carefully chosen, and deliver the crisp dialogue wonderfully as it grabs you and won't let you go. Along with the truly iconic performance from Cagney, and the spot-on support from Mayo and Wycherly and Cochran, I'd like to add a genuine tribute to Edmund O'brien, a fine actor who gets lost in the sheer believeability he imparts to his role. Much as he did in many others of the period, including "The Killers" and "DOA," he contributes admirably to the fiber of the film, and was destined to be an Oscar winner himself.
acting at ti best.
- Helen L Anderson
White Heat is one of James Cagneys best because we see two sides to the character. One side whom he shows the love that he has for his mother and the other side the tougness that he shoes as a leader of the gang. The black and white film brings out the perfect detailing in the background of the street scenes.
Maybe not necessary!
- David Patterson
It may be a waste of time reviewing this film. It is shere perfection, and most movie-watchers have seen it. Everything works. The plot is well developed and intricate enought to be interesting, while palatable at the same time. Margaret Wycherly is amazing as the "Ma Barker" type character. The settings add dramatic effect, one of the best examples being the hide-out cabin where Fred Clark makes a surprising appearence. Also, the car chase is so brilliantly shot, being a slow speed version, with close-ups of Wycherly looking in the rear mirrow and smiling coyly when she loses the cops. So many perfect touches...every time I watch it, I pick something else up. Enjoy!!
- Larry Tebo
Why waste words? Magnificent.
A True Classic!
James Cagney and the stunningly beautiful Viginia Mayo both give oscar worthy performances in this film. Cagney as the deranged psychotic leader of a gang and Mayo the cold and treacherous mobster moll. The film received 1 Oscar for writing, but should have received awards for best actor, best actress, and best picture. I love the way Cagney and Mayo play off each other in the movie. A true classic!
Cagney at his best!
This is one of my favorite Cagney movies. He just nails this role. He should've been nominated for an Academy Award that year........I never tire of watching it, even if I only catch part of it, I'll stay tuned 'til the end. Great job by Virginia Mayo and all the rest. They don't make 'em like this anymore and that's too bad.
White Heat (1949)
- Jay Higgins
Outstanding gangster film, expertly played by James Cagney. Intense, fast pacing and visually impressive. Raoul Walsh's direction is detailed and excellent. This is Virginia Mayo's best performance. Margaret Wycherly stands out as well as Cagney's mother. A true classic with numerous well known scenes.
Thing I love about this movie just how damn tough Cagney plays he role yet he has that certain vulnerablity
Cagney put on one of his better performances in this one
I figured this movie would be good but this movie had me nailed to my seat the whole time
It is amazing that Mr. Cagney only received 1 Oscar. I understand about the gangster movies and how you shouldn't glorify it with awards, oscars, etc. Give me a break, who else gave so much of him in a performance or performances in a number of films Jim made.Between Jimmy Cagney & Humphrey Bogart they should have locked up the 40's with their films & performances. Can you tell who was as powerfull as those 2 guys were in that 10 year period......
Cagney is Hot
Think Tom Powers if he hadn't died in The Public Enemy. Cagney definitely deserved an Oscar nod for this one (and for many others). So many iconic Cagney moments here. One of his best. Virginia Mayo is perfect as his moll and his evil mother is just right.
Cagney Snubbed By Oscar
- Bruce R
I saw it again last night on TCM. This to me is Cagney's all-time best screen performance. He should have been nominated for Best Actor and should have won! It has excellent acting and direction, and an electric intensity that few gangster films of any era have been able to come close to. My two favorite scenes are in the prison mess hall when Cody loses it after hearing that his mother is dead, and of course the final scene on the oil tank when he yells "made it Ma, top of the world!" just before he and the refinery explode in a giant ball of fire. If you have not seen it, I recommend you check it out ASAP, especially if you are a gangster film fan or Cagney fan (which I am both), or even if you aren't.
One of Cagney's best
- Wendy Winkler
Next to Yankee Doodle Dandy, this has to be my favorite James Cagney movie. Not only should Mr. Cagney should have been nominated for an Oscar. But Margaret Whycherly should have been nominated for best supporting actress.