White Heat – 1949

James Cagney at his best!… If you’re a James Cagney Lover as I am then you have got to see this movie.

Jimmy Cagney plays Cody Jarred a psychopathic gangster with a mother complex. Virginia Mayo plays his Mob moll girlfriend who is only along for the money which becomes apparent not too far into the movie. Our movie starts off in Cagney style with his “gang” pulling a heist and then the heat is on from the cops. Jarred creates this plan to put himself in jail for another crime because by doing this it gives him an alibi for the heist they just pulled off. In his mind, you can’t be at two places at once. So if Cody was off committing a crime in another state that only carries a 2 year prison sentence then he couldn’t possibly have been pulling off the original heist that carries a life sentence now could he? Pretty smart eh? Yeah you would think so and so did Cody Jarred.

Jarred’s plan works and he ends up in state prison for two years. What Jarred doesn’t know is the feds are onto him and they put a plant (one of their guys) in the same prison with Jarred and his job is to get close to Cody and get information out of him. Enough, that they could get a confession and send him up the river for the rest of his life. Cody figures he’ll do his two years which is “easy” time and then go right back to his gang and way of life. Sadly for Cody Jarred prison life isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.

Intrigued yet? Hope so!

The plot in this movie takes more twists and turns than a winding country road. James Cagney is unbelievable in this role. This character was made for him. James Cagney shot to stardom playing gangsters and FBI men and it all pays off in this incredible film. There are many great Cagney movies but this one must be on the top of your list.

Year Released: 1949
Starring: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo,
Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Writing
Can be seen on Turner Classic Movies – Check local cable stations
Can be purchased at : TurnerClassicMovies.com


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