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White Heat (DVD)
Academy Award winner James Cagney delivers a tour-de-force performanceas a murderously psychotic criminal mastermind with an overpoweringmother complex in the crime thriller White Heat.While in prison, Cody Jarrett (Cagney) befriends an undercover cop(Edmund O'Brien) posing as a young thug--appearing to idolize thehard-bitten gangster who suffers from semi-epileptic seizures, outburstsof frightening violence and an almost incestuous attachment to hismother. Released from prison, Jarrett plots a seemingly perfect heist,unaware that his partners plan to kill him and his right-hand man isworking for the police. Cornered, Jarrett chooses to go out in anexplosive act of self-immolation rather than surrender in this classicof the gangster genre. Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, MotionPicture Story (Virginia Kellogg.]]>
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I was happy to revisit it again. I'll try not to let so many years go by until I see it again.
The Blu-Ray edition is unquestionably one of the most beautiful film-like transfers I've ever seen in this still young medium. From the first scene of the train approaching through the tunnel, you're hit with the film-like quality of the transfer. Solid, authentic grain throughout, looking exactly how I imagine it would have during the first week of its release in 1948. The transfer is so film-like that when I watched it, I found it impossible to follow the story - the visuals were so breath-taking!
The detail is extremely strong - the texture of a police officer's leather jacket, the palm tree-lined streets of `40s LA, the manufacturer's label on the vacuum tubes of the surveillance equipment. I particularly dug the way that you could tell exactly what the weather was like on the day the outdoor scenes were shot. And the facial detail - WOW!! Such clarity - even the mother looks attractive!
It is deeply satisfying to see this true cinematic masterpiece presented in such a classy fashion. I would put this on the same level as anything I've seen on Criterion. Don't be misled into thinking "old black and white movies" can't benefit from 1080p `cos this sucker does in bucket loads. A gritty transfer that truly matches the edgy subject matter and should be held up as an excellent example of what Blu Ray can offer.
He is good. This movie is good, a pretty darn good story. I highly recommend this.
It is 5-star for its genre, but it is not a 5-star movie when put up against more modern movies.
Most recent customer reviews
Classic film noir, brilliant acting by all hands, fun to watch several times to remind...Read more