8.2/10
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165 user 90 critic

White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | | Action, Crime, Drama | 3 September 1949 (USA)
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.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Ivan Goff (screen play), Ben Roberts (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On TV

Airs Sat. Jan. 26, 12:30 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Cagney ... Cody Jarrett
Virginia Mayo ... Verna Jarrett
Edmond O'Brien ... Hank Fallon aka Vic Pardo
Margaret Wycherly ... Ma Jarrett
Steve Cochran ... Big Ed Somers
John Archer ... Philip Evans
Wally Cassell ... Cotton Valletti
Fred Clark ... The Trader aka Winston
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pick up the pieces folks, Jimmy's in action again! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 September 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alma negra See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The train robbery which opens the film, appears to have been closely based on the robbery of Southern Pacific's "Gold Special" by the DeAutremont Brothers in 1923. See more »

Goofs

After the prison break, the men are in their cabin hideout when the phone rings. Cody gets angry and rips it off the wall with several violent tugs yet the wire never moves. Once the phone comes completely loose, it's apparent that the phone was never hooked up to the wire in the first place. See more »

Quotes

Cody Jarrett: I'll take care of that when I get out.
Ma Jarrett: That's what I told myself. And I'll help you Cody, like always. You'll be out soon! Back on top of the world.
Cody Jarrett: With your arm, Ma, nothing can stop me.
Ma Jarrett: That's right, son.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also Available in a Colorized Version. See more »

Connections

Featured in AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Five O'Clock Whistle
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Josef Myrow, Kim Gannon & Gene Irwin
Played on a radio
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intelligent Thriller
12 August 2002 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Warner Brothers decided to kill off their cycle of gangster films with WHITE HEAT. A pity perhaps but what a film to end their success on . Cagney will always be remembered for playing gangsters and Cody Jarret is his most memorable performance , but Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts script is nearly as memorable as Cagney due to its high level of intelligence . I especially liked the way the gang tried to test Fallon by leaving the photograph of his wife on the table in the prison cell , little touches like that make WHITE HEAT a classic . If it was made nowadays we`d get bad language , graphic sex, bloodbaths and post modernist references to pop culture . Well you can keep all that Quentin Tarantino rubbish , this is how a good film should be made . Top of the world


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