Rent White Heat (1949)

4.0 of 5 from 111 ratings
1h 49min
Rent White Heat Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
As a psychotic thug devoted to his hard-boiled ma, James Cagney - older, scarier and just as electrifying - gives a performance to match his work in 'The Public Enemy' as 'White Heat's's' cold-blooded Cody Jarrett. Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett's violent life in and out of jail is also a harrowing character study. Jarrett is a psychological time bomb ruled by impulse. He murders a wounded accomplice and revels in the act. He neglects his sultry wife (Virginia Mayo) and adores his doting mother. It is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney's career, and the excitement it generates will put you on top of the world!
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Louis F. Edelman
Writers:
Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, Virginia Kellogg
Others:
Virginia Kellogg
Studio:
Warner
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
25/01/2005
Run Time:
109 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
Subtitles:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, English, English Hard of Hearing, French, Italian, Italian Hard of Hearing, Romanian
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949 with Newsreel
  • Comedy Short 'So You Think You're Not Guilty'
  • Cartoon Homeless Hare
  • Trailer
  • New Featurette White Heat: Top of the World
  • Commentary by Film Historian Dr Drew Casper
BBFC:
Release Date:
14/08/2017
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Digital 1.0, Castilian Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0, English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0, German Dolby Digital 1.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
Brazilian, Castillian, English Hard of Hearing, French, German Hard of Hearing, Latin American Spanish
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Commentary by Film Historian Dr. Drew Casper
  • Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 7949 with Newsreel, Comedy Short So You Think You're Not Guilty, Cartoon Homeless Hare and Theatrical Trailers
  • Featurette White Heat: Top of the World

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Reviews (1) of White Heat

Gangster Noir. - White Heat review by Steve Mason

Spoiler Alert
Updated 11/10/2021

In 1949, Cagney returned to Warners, home of his thirties gangster films, for an update which has become a genre classic. He plays Cody Jarrett, a crazy, mother-fixated killer, like he is one of the most-wanted of the depression era. This creates a tension between this obsolete outlaw and the modern scientific police methods employed to track him down.

This is primarily a gangster film. When Jarrett wants to break out of jail, he doesn't have a hidden map of the building and a plan; he busts out with a gun and improvises. But it is shot through a film noir lens. At times, like when Jarrett comes after Big Ed (Steve Cochran) and unfaithful, degenerate moll Verna (Virginia Mayo), it looks as noir as The Big Sleep.

The characterisations are deeper than in the thirties gangster films, and the cops are smarter. It is a genre landmark, marrying the punchy gangbuster pacing of the thirties mob film with the darker introspection of the post war film noir.  

White Heat is as tense and exciting as a thriller. FBI man Hank Fallon (Edmond O'Brien) goes undercover with the most volatile criminal in film history, to plan a heist in an oil depot. The incendiary ending when Cagney literally (and otherwise) burns up the set is legendary. The cast excels, but it's Cagney's film. He's phenomenal.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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