IMDb > White Heat (1949)
White Heat
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White Heat (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   17,591 votes »
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Up 87% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ivan Goff (screen play) and
Ben Roberts (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for White Heat on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 September 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
James Cagney Is Red Hot In "White Heat"! See more »
Plot:
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
A classic drama and a classic psychological study See more (143 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Cagney ... Cody Jarrett

Virginia Mayo ... Verna Jarrett

Edmond O'Brien ... Hank Fallon / Vic Pardo
Margaret Wycherly ... Ma Jarrett
Steve Cochran ... Big Ed Somers
John Archer ... Philip Evans
Wally Cassell ... Cotton Valletti

Fred Clark ... Trader Winston
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joel Allen ... Operative (uncredited)
Claudia Barrett ... Cashier (uncredited)
Ray Bennett ... Guard (uncredited)
Marshall Bradford ... Chief of Police (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Convict (uncredited)
John Butler ... Motorist at Gas Station (uncredited)
Robert Carson ... Agent at Directional Map (uncredited)
Bill Cartledge ... Car-Hop at Drive-In Theatre (uncredited)
Leo Cleary ... Railroad Fireman (uncredited)
Fred Coby ... Happy Taylor (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Court Officer (uncredited)

G. Pat Collins ... The Reader (uncredited)
Garrett Craig ... Ted Clark (uncredited)
Herschel Daugherty ... Policeman (uncredited)
Fern Eggen ... Margaret Baxter (uncredited)
Charles Ferguson ... Plant Detective (uncredited)
Art Foster ... Guard (uncredited)
Eddie Foster ... Lefeld (uncredited)
Robert Foulk ... Oil Refinery Payroll Guard (uncredited)
Buddy Gorman ... Vendor at Drive-in (uncredited)
Paul Guilfoyle ... Roy Parker (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Carl Harbaugh ... Foreman (uncredited)
Clarence Hennecke ... Small Role (uncredited)
Perry Ivins ... Dr. Simpson (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Prison Guard (uncredited)
Mickey Knox ... Het Kohler (uncredited)
Harry Lauter ... Man with Microphone in Back Seat of Car (uncredited)
DeForrest Lawrence ... Jim Donovan (uncredited)
Nolan Leary ... Russ (uncredited)
Murray Leonard ... Engineer (uncredited)
Ian MacDonald ... Bo Creel (uncredited)
Larry McGrath ... Clocker (uncredited)
John McGuire ... Psychiatrist #2 (uncredited)

Sid Melton ... Russell Hughes (uncredited)
Art Miles ... Guard (uncredited)
Ray Montgomery ... Ernie (uncredited)
Terry O'Sullivan ... Radio Announcer (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Tommy Ryley (uncredited)
Milton Parsons ... Willie Rolf (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Convict (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Prison Tower Guard (uncredited)
Eddie Phillips ... T-Man (uncredited)
John Pickard ... T-Man Driving Car C (uncredited)
Ford Rainey ... Zuckie Hommell (uncredited)
Joey Ray ... T-Man (uncredited)
Grandon Rhodes ... Dr. Harris - Psychiatrist #1 (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Plant Detective (uncredited)
George Spaulding ... Judge (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Prison Infirmary Guard (uncredited)
George Taylor ... Police Surgeon at Tahoe Morgue (uncredited)
Jim Thorpe ... Big Convict (uncredited)
Jim Toney ... Brakeman (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Jerry - The Reader's Lawyer (uncredited)
Jack Worth ... Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
Raoul Walsh 
 
Writing credits
Ivan Goff (screen play) and
Ben Roberts (screen play)

Virginia Kellogg (suggested by a story by)

Produced by
Louis F. Edelman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Sidney Hickox (director of photography) (as Sid Hickox)
 
Film Editing by
Owen Marks (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Edward Carrere 
 
Set Decoration by
Fred M. MacLean 
 
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
Edwin Allen .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gertrude Wheeler .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Russell Saunders .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Leslie G. Hewitt .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Roy Davidson .... special effects director
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
 
Stunts
Audrey Scott .... stunt double: Virginia Mayo (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Frank Bjerring .... still photographer (uncredited)
Paul Burnett .... gaffer (uncredited)
Mike Joyce .... camera operator (uncredited)
Dudie Maschmeyer .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leah Rhodes .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Murray Cutter .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
Irva Mae Ross .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
114 min | West Germany:90 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Australia:M (DVD rating) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-15 (2004) | Finland:(Banned) (1950) | Iceland:12 | Portugal:M/16 | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 (re-rating) (1962) | Sweden:(Banned) (original rating) (1949) | UK:15 | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #13852) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Gangster" in June 2008.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): The character of "The Reader" is called "Herbert" by Cody in a scene in their cell and by his lawyer during a conversation in the visitors room. Yet when Evans is listening to the police radio broadcast giving the names of the convicts who escaped with Jarrett in the prison break, The Reader's name is given as "Michael Curtin".See more »
Quotes:
Hank Fallon:You put it on a pole, wind a spool of silk thread around it, and you hold the pole over the water. Then you sit under a nice shady tree and relax. After a while, a hungry fish comes along, takes a nip at your hook, and you've got dinner. For the next two weeks, I'm not gonna think about anything except the eternal struggle between man and the fish...See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Five O'Clock WhistleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
36 out of 57 people found the following review useful.
A classic drama and a classic psychological study, 25 January 2004
Author: nickjg from London, England

Cagney's ability to shock is constant and each new gangster he creates shows a new facet of the psychopathic mind. White heat is the perfect antidote to the earlier movies- the structure where good triumphs in the last reel is still there but the killer, out of control is far less romanticised- if only current directors could develop this message. Cody Jarrett is the product of an over protective mother and thug father in the classic pattern. His whole view of the world is simplistic without subtlety or shade. Like all people of his type his self-confidence betrays him because he sees other people as stereotypes and while he has insight into the sorts of people who form his support network, he, very unwisely, dismisses the intelligence of the opposition. Like all gangsters, he has very little grasp of the outside world- throughout the film he is trapped in boxes, just like the man he kills in the boot of his car. Cagney's portrayal is his greatest role- his avoidance of pathos and his refusal to bend emotionally mean that we are never invited to pity him- wherever there seems to be a point of access for the audience he delivers the lines with a flatness which denies us sympathy. His maudlin obsession with his mother invites us to loathe his infantile mental paralysis.

Not enough comments praise the real co-star: Margaret Wycherley. She is a sinister mother who can handle the police and the gang and Cody's wife. Her world-weary cynicism, her obsession with her son delivered in the same dead-pan style is such a total antithesis to the usual hollywood 'caring parent' model that she raises the character to the level of an Empress Livia or an Agrippina. The final scene works on multiple levels- the good-guy cannot easily destroy the villain- does the world blow up in Cody's face or are we being told that the Jarretts of the world will dominate until they bring the universe to destruction? A film which still demands analysis and does more to reveal the nature of criminal amorality than anything Tarrantino or Scorsese could produce- The latter types of director are too caught up in the 'romance' of the villainous life- they need to develop Raoul Walsh's objectivity and Cagney's penetration. It is Cagney's unequivocal hatred of the character he's portraying and the personal honesty which allows him to objectify both the character he is playing and himself as an actor that makes the whole thing work. The crude method actors we're stuck with today could learn a lot from his Cody Jarrett!

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