Cody Jarrett is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his 'Ma,' Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody's top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an 'accident' happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who thereby befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody's ultimate betrayal and downfall, during a big heist at a chemical plant. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
James Cagney Is Red Hot In "White Heat"!
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Did You Know?
In his autobiography Cagney by Cagney (1985), the actor said he found the script "very formula...the old knock-down-drag-'em-out again, without a touch of imagination or originality." Finding Cody Jarrett to be "just another murderous thug," Cagney said he suggested to the writers to pattern the character of Jarrett and his mother after the legendary outlaws Ma Barker and her boys and to make Cody a psychotic. It has also been said that Cagney improvised some of his dialogue and decided to play Jarrett as a man plagued by blinding migraines (that only his mother could soothe). See more
When Cody, Velma and Ma duck into the drive-in theatre to evade the police, the film showing is TASK FORCE which Ma Jarrett also states was the movie playing when questioned by the police the next day. However, a close look at the marquee on the drive-in theatre reveals that the film playing is SOUTH OF ST. LOUIS. See more
"Come out with your hands up," the man says. How do you like that Ma? Here's my answer. You dirty -
[fires his shotgun
- That was Cody Jarrett talkin'!
Referenced in Odds Against Tomorrow
Five O'Clock Whistle
Music by Josef Myrow
, Kim Gannon
& Gene Irwin
Played on a radio See more