Monday, September 25
Directed by Raoul Walsh
(1949) “Top of the world, Ma!” James Cagney’s Cody Jarrett, a killer so vicious he obliges a car-trunk-stashed prisoner’s plea for better ventilation with bullet holes, ensconces himself on his Mom’s lap while planning his latest caper. The Oedipal angle was Cagney’s own idea. 35mm. Approx. 114 min.
“Star James Cagney lights up the screen (literally!), giving one of his best performances in one of his best vehicles. Under Raoul Walsh’s crisp, expert direction, White Heat successfully revived what had long since faded, thanks in part to post-Code constraints: truly exciting gangster pictures… Only Cagney could portray such a gleefully crazed character without turning him into a cartoon.”
– Eric Monder, Film Journal
“That Cagney and Margaret Wycherly were not even nominated only helps us appreciate how in the dark we can be at the movies.”
– David Thomson, Warner Bros: The Making of an American Movie Studio