White Heat

As I promised myself, for the 200th film of the year I would watch this 1949 James Cagney film, and it was worthy.

James played a gangster who loves his old ma (played by an English actress, and very good she was too) and she is the only person in the world he trusts. She is the one she goes to when he has sudden migraine attacks, and she is also in on his crime capers along with his moll wife, and his gang.

To avoid the death penalty for a train hold-up where four people were killed (based on an actual 1923 train robbery), he hands himself in for another crime in a different state, thus avoiding the death penalty.

I won’t go into the story much more as this is a film that every film-lover should see. There is a well known quote at the end.

James Cagney was absolutely brilliant as usual, and he had a lot of input in this film, including the prison mess hall scene which was very impressive. He is fast becoming my most fave actor of all time. The rest of the cast were good enough, but were overshadowed by James.

If there was an acting shoot-out between James Cagney and The Cruiser, James would win hands down. Tom would then scream. Actually, James can do a much better scream (see prison mess hall scene). Poor Tom.

I give this a ten mostly because of James Cagney, although the rest is still at least an eight.

Date watched: December 23rd
Score: 10/10
Film count 2016: 200


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