Day 269: White Heat (1949)

white-heatThere are only 13 Sundays left in the whole entire year which can only mean one thing and that it’s Sunday At The Classics. James Cagney (The Public Enemies) is one of those actors from the classic period of Hollywood that I have always wanted to watch a film from so I chose to watch the classic crime/heist drama White Heat for today. Cody Jarrett (Cagney) is one of the most notorious criminals in California that just pulled off a train heist. The only problem is that there is way too much heat on the gang from the G-men. So he decides to take the rap from another crime to see if it’ll the heat will blow over, but the G-men are not fooled at all. They send in an undercover agent by the name of Vic Pardo (Edmond O’Brien) to get close to him to figure out exactly what it is he is up to so that they can bust him for good. The film also stars Virginia Mayo (The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty) as Verna Jarrett, Margaret Wycherly (Sergeant York) as Ma Jarrett, Steve Cochran (The Deadly Companions) as Big Ed, John Archer (Blue Hawaii) as Phillip Evans, Wally Cassell (Sands Of Iwo Jima) as Cotton, and the film was directed by Raoul Walsh (The Thief Of Bagdad).

white-heat-2This film is truly one of the most iconic films of it’s time and is probably the basis for most of the heist films we would get. It’s that classic story of a guy who robs banks for a living who plans what he thinks will be the perfect heist, but it doesn’t go as planned. The writing for the film was perfect because it had the right amount of drama, but the acting helped out as well. Jame Cagney was absolutely brilliant in the film as the maniacal tough guy with a sensitive spot for his mama. He does an amazing job of showing the mental breakdown of this character from being strong and tough in the beginning of the film to absolutely going bat sh** crazy at the end of the film. Kudos also go to Edmond O’Brien for playing the guy who toes the line with everything, but is convincing enough to earn the trust needed. I had a lot of fun watching the film and all of it’s brilliance. The film is a little long, but it’s not long as in God why is this so long. If you are a fan of classic Hollywood and Film Noir, or Crime Drama Heist films, then you should check this one out for sure. This is what acting was all about and why classic Hollywood ruled. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.

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