Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Passed  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  10 June 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,610 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 19 critic

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Johnny Alderman
Robert Keith ...
Bernard V. Loomis
Tom Tully ...
Richard Gaines ...
Paul Hunter
Peter Leeds ...
Fred Taylor
Claude Stroud ...
Eddie Fulton
Audrey Young ...
Jingle Girl
John Harding ...
Greg Trent


In 1920's Chicago, Ruth Etting wants to be a renowned singer, which is a far step away from her current work as a taxi dancer. Upon walking into the dance hall and seeing her, Chicago gangster Marty Snyder immediately falls for Ruth, and works toward being her lover, which he believes he can achieve by opening up singing opportunities for her. Ruth is initially wary of Marty, but makes it clear that she is not interested in him in a romantic sense. Regardless, he does help her professionally, and through his opportunities, which are achieved through intimidation and fear, Ruth does quickly start to gain a name as a singer, which she is able to do because of her talent and despite Marty's intimidation tactics. However, the greater her success, the more reliant she becomes on him. This becomes an issue in their relationship as she believes he can take her only so far before he becomes a liability, however he will never let her go that easily. The one person who tried and tries to get ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll Love Doris Day See more »


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Release Date:

10 June 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ama-me ou Esquece-me  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?


It was James Cagney who suggested to producer Joe Pasternak that he cast Doris Day in the role of Ruth Etting. They had worked together previously in The West Point Story (1950). See more »


Ruth Etting's name is billed over 'Ziegfeld Follies' on a theater marquee. The Ziegfeld Follies never allowed any performer's name to be placed over the title of the show. See more »


Martin Snyder: [Indignantly to Ruth] Now look here, you stupid liyyle broad, do you know who I am? Do you think I let dames talk to me that way?
See more »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: James Cagney (1961) See more »


I'll Never Stop Loving You
Music by Nicholas Brodszky
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Sung by Doris Day (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Bittersweet story was a triumph for Day and Cagney...
6 May 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I never had to be convinced that Doris Day was a fine actress--from her first film ('Romance on the High Seas') which she stole from veterans like Jack Carson and Janis Paige--to 'Storm Warning' (her first dramatic role as Ginger Rogers' sister)--she never made a false move. But her real acting triumph came with this hard-hitting Ruth Etting biography in which she does an amazing job as the torch singer involved with a gangster boyfriend (James Cagney). Cagney has never been more impressive as the Chicago hood who manages her career--and Day manages to match him every step of the way with a gutsy, heart-felt performance.

Also shown to good advantage is Cameron Mitchell as an admirer with real affection for Day. Their scenes together have a poignant quality because you know how deep the feelings go on both sides. Day's rendition of a haunting ballad, 'I'll Never Stop Loving You', is one of the film's highlights--along with 'Ten Cents A Dance', 'Mean to Me', 'Love Me Or Leave Me', etc. She is simply brilliant.

The high quality of the Oscar-winning script (Best Story) is a tribute to the overall quality of the film itself. A highly dramatic musical, it makes you wonder what Day's career might have been like if she remained at Metro for more such films rather than the sugar-and-spice things she did at Warner Bros. Some of them were charming (the old-fashioned musicals with Gordon MacRae), but since she was a fine dramatic actress she could have done so much more. Day's voice is a sheer pleasure here--perfect pitch, warm tones and easy on the ears. Nobody could sing a ballad like Doris does here. 'I'll Never Stop Loving You' is my favorite.

Summing up: highly recommended as one of the best musical biographies you're ever likely to see.

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