- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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love me or leave me
- kevin sellers
Except for the hole in the screenplay that I will discuss later, this is a good, fast paced musical. First film I've seen from Charles Vidor (Come on, admit it. You thought he was King's kid brother too, before you looked it up) and I definitely intend to see more. Anyone who can coax this kind of a performance from a lox like Doris Day deserves some kudos. The scene where she coldly nails James Cagney's second rate hood, Marty Schneider ("Who are you, Marty? What have you ever accomplished?") is pitch perfect acting. As for Cagney this is the final notch on his belt of unforgettable, creepy, needy, psychopathic gangsters. I also liked Harry Bellaver (of "Naked City" TV fame) as Cagney's long suffering sidekick. Now, about that script problem. One of the previous reviewers alluded to it (surprised only one reviewer thought it worth mentioning) and speculated it might have been due to censorship. I certainly hope so, for writers Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart's sake. I'm talking, of course, about the scene where Cagney almost rapes Doris Day and then we cut to a news headline about their impending marriage! I mean, whoa there, guys. Can we please have some explication here? Otherwise it makes Ruth Etting look extremely spineless and passive, and I don't think that was the film's intent. For this reason, as well as making Etting's love interest, played by the usually capable Cameron Mitchell, insipidly dull, I have to consign this film to B plus status.
Watch This Film
First rate job all the way around. The screen play fits the players very well. Add in an excellent, vibrant score, and you have a truly enjoyable film.
Cagney and Day are great in Love Me Or Leave Me
This is a very good movie. A different Doris Day. Her singing is wonderful and her acting is superb. Cagney as always is at the top of his game. Both deserved Oscars for this movie. The songs are lovely.
Love Me Or Leave Me
- Lesley G
This is a wonderful movie. The music is superb and Doris Day looks fantastic. James Cagney is phenomenal as Marty. He plays a gangster who is obsessed with a singer and is able to make a vicious man seem vulnerable. He can be downright nasty but for some reason you actually want their marriage to work. You have to credit his performance for showing a vulnerable side to a man who has no redeeming qualities other than giving everything to make her career work. The entire supporting cast fit in perfectly. I love this movie.
Love Me or Leave me
A great musical drama about singer Ruth Etting. Day deserved an Oscar nomination as Etting, a singer whose career is dominated by Cagney's gangster, a role that earned him his final Oscar nomination. The story was honored with an Academy Award, the songs are well sung and is matched in power by the dramatic scenes. An engrossing and amazing biopic. I give it a 4/5.
I'd like to say at the outset that I cannot abide Doris Day films, even though I admire her activism in real life and I admire her very much! I find most of her films sugary and her acting horrid. There is always an exception and this film is it. It is without a doubt Doris Day's finest performance and her interpretations of Ruth Etting's songs are just fabulous. For the most part, the film echoes Etting's sad life. Day's chemistry with Cagney is very real and casting Cagney as the Svengali mobster that Etting married was sheer genius. There are 15 songs in this film and the score was nominated for an Oscar. There isn't a bad song in the bunch! Cagney wanted Doris Day in this film and the studio acquiesced, even though Ava Gardner and Jane Russell both wanted this role very badly. Thank heaven Cagney prevailed, as Doris Day is perfect in this role! If nothing else, watch this film just to hear the terrific songs Ruth Etting made popular in the Roaring 20s. They are truly great! Eight Academy Award nominations here!
- Jeff Boston
Like co-star James Cagney was (and deservedly so), Doris Day should have been nominated for an Oscar. Her performance as the real-life torch singer Ruth Etting in "Love Me or Leave Me" is that good. And when it comes to Doris Day, the #1 female box office star in the history of Hollywood, I need no one to convince me that she deserves to be remembered as one of the all-time greats. To borrow a line from the film: "You don't have to sell me. I'm sold."
Doris Day and James Cagney at their best...
I won't knit pick half stars...I'll go all out in saying this movie was a career high for both stars like no other. The chemistry between Day and Cagney is riveting. I have never seen Doris Day so engaged in any other roll quite like this. I don't think she knew how brilliant she was in Love Me or Leave Me. As for James Cagney, simply the best acting in his career in opinion. It's as though the stars were aligned for this one to be great and it stands the test of time. At the time the movie came out in the summer of 1955 the censors cut a bit of the bedroom scene prior to their fast marriage. I wish those precious minutes could be restored. We can all thank Ted Turner who years ago put a missing musical number back into LMOLM before it was even released on VHS...the scene where Doris is in the gold fringe costume trying out for the chorus. Her acting without a word spoken was amazing in that number of her bumbling attempt at dance trying to keep up with the jaded chorus girls before she went on to stardom.I urge Leonard Maltin to reconsider adding that tiny half star to his review for this wonderful film. : )p.s. Hurry back Robert, we sure miss you.
One of their "BEST" body of work!
- Nate Morris
Doris Day and Mr. Cagney wonderful performances in this movie made for excellent viewing start to finish, Thank you
One of Day's best
Love, love ,love this movie!!!!!-- The music was superb as the songs were from that 20-30's era when music was REAL music. Loved the score & the storyline was greatly portrayed by Cagney as a depression-era gangster. Day & Cagney--What a great combo!! Also C. Mitchell was great. Cant wait til this on again so I can tape it for my friend (a former musician) as he does not have a DVD. Hope TCM repeats its soon.
Not Etting's bio, but rather a Day triumph
- Curt Tow
Very unfortunately, Day's film legacy comprises those works of the late 1950/early-to-mid 1960s era - films in which the maintenance of her virginity had employed more security than that allocated to the protection of Fort Knox. And for others, her legacy may rest on those insipid (and cheaply produced) Warner Brothers musicals in which only her singing talent was showcased. BUT there exists an in-between period in which her supreme acting talent was exhibited to a naive and ignorant movie-going public: "Love Me or Leave Me," "The Man Who Knew Too Much," "Julie," and others. In this film, not only is she an adept and very amusing dancer (her original ambition), but also a dramatic talent who greatly impresses the viewer in both song and dialogue. And as satisfying as the talents of Day and Cagney are, this very enjoyable film is yet another Hollywood-contrived fiction of an historical figure - anyone recall Cary Grant as Cole Porter in "Night and Day"?
Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
- Jay Higgins
Outstanding performances from James Cagney and Doris Day make this film one of the better bio's from the 1950's. Excellent production values, the costumes are beautifully done. Professionally done in all aspects. Great score.
Doris should have won the Oscar!
One the finest films in the great MGM library!
Doris...at her Best!
This is Doris Day's forte. In this movie she does everything she is good at. Singing, dancing, acting and wearing great clothing. I think she enjoyed performing the part of Ruth Etting and did a great job of it!This is a must-see for Doris Day fans.
Great Doris Day Movie
I've seen many Doris Day movies, this is my favorite. Loved the music and Cagneys character is rotten to the core, but is great as the bad guy.
The Great James Cagney...
- Ann Brown
...is brutal, menacing, vulnerable, and touching all at the same time as limping gangster Snyder. Interacting with Cagney brings Doris Day to a career high point in her portrayal as a '20's chanteuse who is trapped in her relationship with a sociopathic criminal. The songs are well-integrated with the story, which is very watchable. The costumes are a fifties version of the shapeless flapper, but Day looks great in them anyway. Top-notch drama for anyone, especially Cagney fans.
Doris Day and James Cagney at their finest!
I was a kid, and I mean a kid when I visited relatives in NYC in June of 1955...when we got to my Aunt and Uncles after they picked me up at La Guardia...they asked what I'd like to do first...it was Sunday and I took a quick look at the NY Times and there were these huge ads for Love Me or Leave Me which had just opened at the Music Hall. Being a kid from Tennessee, imagine my high just having taken my first plane ride and to NYC of all places and about to go the the famous RCM Hall. We went even though my nice sweet Uncle had to get his car out of the garage again and drive to Manhattan from the Bronx. I am to this day a life long Doris Day fan. No other film in her career was like this...co starring with James Cagney who was superior...the Music Hall, the Movie, the whole month I spent in NYC. To this day, nothing compares with the fun I had that summer in New York exploring on my own the incredible places I had only heard about. At 13 you never forget a trip like that. I still get excited when I see LMOLM on TCM although it has been a while. Of course, I have it on tape and DVD but I love when it's on TCM so Robert Osbourne can add his wonderful background stories. All in all, I think "Love me or Leave Me" was Doris Day's and James Cagney's finest work and it stands the test of time even more than ever now.Dave