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White Heat (2005)

Virginia Mayo , Edmond O'brien , Raoul Walsh  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'brien, Margaret Wycherly
  • Directors: Raoul Walsh
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006HBV3C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,312 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "White Heat" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Leonard Maltin Hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1949, with newsreel, comedy short "So You Think You're Not Guilty," cartoon "Homeless Hare," and theatrical trailers
  • New featurette: "White Heat: Top of the World"

Editorial Reviews

In his last role as a heartless gangster, James Cagney embarks on the prison break of a lifetime in this chilling tale that features one of the most riveting finales in movie history.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
"White Heat" is unusual in that it is a genre film that is also widely considered to be film noir. It's immistakably a gangster film, yet it deviates from the conventions of that genre in that its main character, Cody Jarrett, is complex and introverted enough to be a noir protagonist. "White Heat" was masterfully directed by Raoul Walsh and features James Cagney in one of this most memorable gangster roles. Treasury Department investigator Philip Evans (John Archer) is hot on the trail of the notorious criminal Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) after the Jarrett gang has robbed a mail train, killing several people and making off with a substantial sum. In order to guarantee himself immunity from the multiple murder charge, Cody confesses to an out-of-state robbery that took place at the same time, for which he receives a couple of years in prison. But the Feds are wise to his scheme and place an undercover agent (Edmond O'Brien) in the cell with Cody, hoping to learn the identity of the person who launders money for the Jarrett gang.

The psychology of Cody Jarrett is the most striking aspect of "White Heat", and the element around which the story revolves. We are told by the federal investigators that Cody is actually "insane". He is bloodthirsty and so unstable that his pursuers fear that he will go completely off his head before they can learn anything from him. Cody also has a pathologically dependent relationship with his doting and equally ruthless mother, who is played to perfection by Margaret Wycherly. Cody is such an extreme personality that James Cagney's ability to make him completely believable is remarkable. The "good guy" undercover cop, Hank Fallon, is bland and submissive, which only increases our focus on Cody.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the film that ended the 40's with a bang. June 30, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen White Heat numerous times and it never flags or fails. It's the swan song of Warner Brothers gangster films and is one of the wildest rides you can imagine. It's a heist film, with a twist and it comes in the form of a gangster so bent, so over the top, that no one has come close to it.No one is stupid enough to try. James Cagney plays Cody Jarrett, a ruthless gangster,killer,strong arm robber and mama's boy. His work is so compelling, so overwhelming and vicious that it stunned viewers in 1949 and followed Cagney for the rest of his career. Cagney loathed the success of the role, fearing that it overshadowed all of his other screen performances, which it did, for its successful portrayal of a lunatic force of nature. Cagney was an actor who could and did anything. Gangsters, screwball comedies, dramas, musicals, westerns, war films, and Shakespeare. To be typed as an insane killer, who could shoot trapped henchmen in a car trunk while munching on a chicken leg, while throwing off one liners,was not what he wanted to be remembered for, but watch White Heat and see if this work can be easily forgotten. White Heat's non-stop action, it's no nonsense propulsion is provided by a solid script, great character actors, and the perceptive eye of director Raoul Walsh. We find ourselves clearly rooting for a psychopathic killer, because most of the world he moves through is populated with nothing but thieves, backstabbers and robot like FBI agents who walk and talk like Hal 2000's. And check out the role of Fallon (Edmond O'Brien). It's a cunning performance and contributes to the overall weirdness of White Heat. No sense giving the ending away, but it did introduce audiences to the cataclysmic force of the atomic age in all it's craziness. Read more ›
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
The intense character study of criminal insanity in Raoul Walsh's "White Heat" (1949) is most likely the other great Cagney performance that has endured the test of time in Warner's gangster genre. Cagney plays the psychotic and sadistic Arthur 'Cody' Jarrett, a ruthless gang leader with a penchant for deriving pleasure from the affliction of pain. Plagued by torturous headaches and a mother fixation with Freud written all over it, Cody revels in murdering his wounded accomplice during a jail break. Cody's 'ma' (Margaret Whycherly) has allowed herself the luxury to forget that she's given birth to the criminal anti-Christ. Meanwhile, Cody's wife, Verna (Virginia Mayo) flaunts her sexuality to every man she meets while enduring the brutality and neglect of her unstable husband. This, of course, ends badly for all concerned. The plot thickens when a henchman plots an 'accident' for Cody, that is foiled when an undercover cop, Vic Pardo (Edmund O'Brien) inflitrates the gang. The finale of this barn-burner will justly go down as one of the greatest in all crime films, as Cody - betrayed and about to die, shouts triumphantly, "Made it, ma! Top of the world!" against the backdrop of a burning chemical plant. "White Heat" may have been a remake twice removed, but neither the 26' nor the 34' versions come close to the immediate panic and raw hysteria of this great film classic.

Warner's DVD exhibits exemplary image quality throughout. The gray scale is rich and nicely balanced with deep solid blacks, clean whites and fine distinctions of tonality. Fine details are fully realized, even during some of the darker scenes. Occasionally film grain and minor dirt and scratches appear but these will certainly not distract.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cagney at his BEST!!
A classic in the true sense of the word! This is James Cagney at his best! The eptiome of the "Gangster" and "Tough Guy" of the golden age. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Dr. Leonard C. Holifield
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP OF THE WORLD,MA!!!!!!!!!
Best OG gangster movie of all-time, Cody is no joke,all you wanna-be's take some tips,learn to be about it,also look for first GPS in this movie.
Published 1 month ago by raymond rodarte
5.0 out of 5 stars White Heat
What can I say, this is one of the best film from that era. I just love the line when Cagney ask the man he puts in the trunk of his car if he can breath, the man says no, and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Audrey Chaney
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Gangster Film
I watched this with my 27 year old son, who has been involved in the underworld of America today. He said this film rings true, as far as the cruelty and impulsiveness of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Aristotle
5.0 out of 5 stars White Heat (the movie)
Everything about the whole process was great, the disc and the quality of the movie was fantastic....
Thank you.
Bob Hall
Published 2 months ago by Bob Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Cagney
Maybe a few stretchers here (do you think a detective would actually spend a few years in prison just to infiltrate a gang) but a great classic film noir. Read more
Published 2 months ago by AvonCT
5.0 out of 5 stars Cagney at his greatest!
Loved everything about this movie, total classic they don't make like this anymore. One of James Cagney's finest work. Top of the world!
Published 3 months ago by watcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Gangster Movie
This movie stars James Cagney as a psychopathic gangster named Cody Jarrett, who has an unhealthy relationship with his mother, Ma (Margaret Wycherly). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Cagney
A notch below "Angels With Dirty Faces" but mostly vintage James Cagney. Propelled by Raoul Walsh's vigorous direction, "White Heat" (1949) rises above its "B-movie" origins. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Heat!
One of my favorite movies of all time! Cagney comes back as a gangster one more time in a movie that literally sends him offd with a 'bang'...a simply excellent movie!
Published 4 months ago by Darryl Wren
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