White Heat
White Heat (1949)

This gangster movie centers on a psychotic, mother-obsessed thug.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 2, 1949
DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Raoul Walsh's crime drama goes further into the psychology of a gangster than most fear to tread and James Cagney's portrayal of the tragic anti-hero is constantly volatile.

TIME Magazine

Brilliantly directed by Raoul Walsh, an old master of cinema hoodlumism, it returns a more subtle James Cagney to the kind of thug role that made him famous.

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Time Out

Despite chronology (deranged by the censor's influence on the studios), this is really the fitting climax of the '30s gangster movie.

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David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

Magnificent examination of the criminal mind and Cagney's finest moment.

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Variety Staff

Cagney has an excellent supporting cast.

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

The simple fact is that Mr. Cagney has made his return to a gangster role in one of the most explosive pictures that he or anyone has ever played.

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

Cagney supercharges the entire film with frenetic energy.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Raoul Walsh's heroes had a knack for going too far, but none went further than James Cagney in this roaring 1949 gangster piece.

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Kieron Moore

The star of the show is undoubtedly Cagney, whose performance raises White Heat above typical cops 'n' robbers fare into an intense study of a psychologically troubled character.

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Mark Bourne

Its archetypal influence on later films like Goodfellas and the Al Pacino Scarface is striking, even if we can never again experience how new and bold it was back in its day....

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More reviews for White Heat

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Chris Weber
Bridging the gap between the gangster era and film noir is this doozy of a crime epic. Cody Jarrett is a real piece of work, he's a determined criminal… More
xGary Xx
James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett, a mother obsessed psychopath who breaks out of jail to plan a raid on chemical refinery, whilst unwittingly taking an… More
Devon Bott
Someone on IMDB called "White Heat" the bridge "between film noir and WB's classic gangster flicks", and I think it's a pretty apt… More
Mister Caple
Released in 1949,"White Heat" is considered to be one of the greatest gangster films of all time. James Cagney's performance as Cody Jarrett… More
Aj V
My favourite gangster movie, Cagney is brilliant as the crazy mama's boy gang leader. The ending is classic. I love it.
Stella Dallas
what's there to say about white heat? ten years out of the genre and cagney hasn't missed a step. how'd ya like that, ma?

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