White Heat 1949 NR CC

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(132) IMDb 8.2/10
Available in HD
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Oscar-winner James Cagney explodes on the screen as a demented gangster whose intricate plan to rob an oil refinery is thwarted by a government infiltrator. Co-starring Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien and Virginia Mayo.

Starring:
Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'brien
Runtime:
1 hour 54 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

White Heat

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White Heat

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Product Details

Genres Thriller, Drama
Director Raoul Walsh
Starring Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'brien
Supporting actors Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Steve Cochran, John Archer, Wally Cassell, Fred Clark, Joel Allen, Claudia Barrett, Ray Bennett, Marshall Bradford, Chet Brandenburg, John Butler, Robert Carson, Bill Cartledge, Leo Cleary, Fred Coby, Tom Coleman, G. Pat Collins
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

This is one of the great gangster movies ever.
Jeremy C. Webb
Although certainly a gangster movie in terms of plot, "White Heat" is also a film noir with one of the most deeply disturbed protagonists of all time.
Dave
An aging Cagney plays the psychotic, merciless and homicidal Cody Jarrett leader of a West Coast crime gang.
Cory D. Slipman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2005
Format: DVD
"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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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on January 27, 2005
Format: DVD
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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 1999
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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