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White Heat


List Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Writers: Ben Roberts, Ivan Goff, Virginia Kellogg
  • Producers: Louis F. Edelman
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Jan. 25 2005
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HBV3C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #34,980 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor on May 27 2004
Format: VHS Tape
There are two styles of Film Noir. The Noir of the 1940s is characterized by glossy production values, gumshoes and dangerous women, and complex plots that emphasize moral ambiguity. The Noir of the 1950s is characterized by a gritty realism and brutality and tends to place the criminal at center of the story. The 1949 film WHITE HEAT straddles the two styles--a fact that makes it "required viewing" for any one interested in the way Film Noir developed and changed over time. But WHITE HEAT is much more than a film with historical significance. It continues to pack quite a punch right up present day.
At the time it was released many critics warned audiences about the movie's level of violence. By today's standards the violence isn't much: you won't find oozing gore. But WHITE HEAT bests most modern films in terms of brutality. You might not see the blood pouring, but the harsh tone of the film and its vicious characters create a sense of violence that generally outstrips more graphic modern films. The pace of the film is driving, the story and dialogue convincing, and the cast top-notch all the way.
James Cagney spent much of the 1940s trying to distance himself from the gangster roles he created in the 1930s, but he returns to the genre in what may be his single finest performance as Cody Jarrett, career criminal, gang leader, and easily one of the most psychotic criminals Hollywood has ever portrayed. Backed by his equally dangerous mother and perfidious wife (Margaret Wycherly and Virginia Mayo, both of whom give the performances of their careers), Jarrett undertakes a train holdup--and when things get too hot tries to sidetrack the cops by taking a rap on a minor charge.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TheIrrationalMan on Sept. 17 2000
Format: VHS Tape
James Cagney, in older years, retakes his archetypal gangster role, though this time, he invests it with greater psychological connotations as the unbalanced, mother-fixated hoodlum, Cody Jarrett. As opposed to the usual Depression-era ambient, Cagney, in the crowning performances of his career, plays the ageing gangleader Jarrett, who is caught in a spiral of tension as a relentless undercover agent (Edmond O'Brien) infiltrates his gang with a view to putting him inside, while his faithless wife and his rival (outstandingly played by Virginia Mayo and Steve Cochran respectively) plot his as well as his mother's deaths. Margaret Wycherley is fine in the supporting role of Jarrett's mother, the object of his obsessive Oedipal devotion. What is most endearing about this film is that, for a movie that was made in 1949, it works with still the same narrative machinery of contemporary thrillers exploring the same themes. This proves that it hasn't dated at all, producing often mesmerisingly suspenseful results. It can be compared, with favour, to the best and latest offerings of the gangster-thriller genre. One scene in the middle (a hand-to-hand combat between T-Man Edmond O'Brien and a hoodlum) has the privilige of being one of the earliest martial arts displays in the history of Hollywood -- an ancestor of the fight scenes of Seagal, Van Damme, Snipes, et al.
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By toserveman on Aug. 2 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This movie remains a thrill to watch. Even though it was made in 1949, long after the Warner Bros gangster cycle is considered to have ended, it is probably the most flambouyant such film the studio turned out. A measure of how good Cagney really was in this movie is to try to imagine any other actor being as credible and effective in this role. I can't think of one who could come close, then or now. The movie and his performance are over the top, and at times it seems as though the rest of the cast is just trying to get out of his way. Yet, it all works fabulously. One great scene that doesn't get much mention is where Cagney confronts his wife and "Big Ed" in their hideout. It still gives me chills. This isn't high art, but a great cast and director created an incredible piece of entertainment. Don't miss it.
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Format: VHS Tape
I looks like just another gangster picture, but it's not, it's much more. James Cagney returned to gangster roles because the role of Cody Jarrett was just to good to turn down. He creates one of the most ruthless characters ever to grace the silver screen. His Cody Jarrett is a brilliant personification of criminal paranoia mixed with motherly obsession. Just by seeing him on the screen, his intensity feels like the screen will explode. Probably Cagney's best role, certainly his most meaty, Cody's breakdown headache sequences are harrowing but brilliant. The story takes a back-seat, this is basically Cagney's show, but Virginia Mayo deserves credit for her role, she oozes sex appeal. The 'Top of the World' finale is now classic. Great for Cagney fans and gangster buffs. From a scale of 1-10 I give this film an 8!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Mccuaig on Sept. 24 2009
Format: DVD
I purchased this DVD after seeing it on TCM. I am a newcomer to the older film genre, but as a fan of the good guys vs. bad guys types of entertainment, I decided to watch "White Heat" after reading the info on it. I liked the way Cagney portrayed Cody Jarrett, who is a robber/killer. You can really believe Cagney is that crazy!!!!! Virginia Mayo is looks good, but she is in the way of Cody and his Mom's plans. As well as obviously eying one of Cody's gang. Cody plans and schemes his way, once the T-men get on his tail. Cody lands in jail and meets several new "friends". But Cody only really trusts Ma, and his new friend from prison (thanks to the T-men). But Cody has plans to get back into the "action" and settle scores!!!! However the ending is somewhat anti-climatic, but Cagney's character remains true to the end-CRAZY.
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