MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 419 this week

White Heat (1949)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  3 September 1949 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 18,345 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 80 critic

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:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 27 Aug 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 06 Aug 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "White Heat" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: White Heat (1949)

White Heat (1949) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of White Heat.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, Humphrey Bogart
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane
Little Caesar (1931)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Glenda Farrell
High Sierra (1941)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Ida Lupino, Humphrey Bogart, Alan Curtis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Scarface (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Margaret Wycherly ...
Steve Cochran ...
John Archer ...
Wally Cassell ...
...
Trader 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:

James Cagney Is Red Hot In "White Heat"! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 September 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alma negra  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The train robbery was filmed using the former Southern Pacific tunnel in Chatsworth, CA. The Line is now owned by Union Pacific and was the location of a tragic 2008 head-on collision that killed 25 people. See more »

Goofs

As the camera pans the Los Angeles skyline before dissolving to the inside of Evans's office, it is broad daylight. But when the scene dissolves to the office interior, where Evans is interrogating Willie the informant, it's suddenly dark outside as seen through the window, and all the lights in the room are on, further indicating it's night. Subsequently, the scene shifts from the interior of Evans's office back to the L.A. skyline, and once again it's daytime. Also, the skyline shot of the buildings shown after this office scene is obviously a freeze-frame, as the flags are frozen in mid-flutter and there is no other movement visible. See more »

Quotes

Verna Jarrett: It's always "somebody tipped them." Never "the cops are smart."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hard Way (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A classic drama and a classic psychological study
25 January 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Cagney's ability to shock is constant and each new gangster he creates shows a new facet of the psychopathic mind. White heat is the perfect antidote to the earlier movies- the structure where good triumphs in the last reel is still there but the killer, out of control is far less romanticised- if only current directors could develop this message. Cody Jarrett is the product of an over protective mother and thug father in the classic pattern. His whole view of the world is simplistic without subtlety or shade. Like all people of his type his self-confidence betrays him because he sees other people as stereotypes and while he has insight into the sorts of people who form his support network, he, very unwisely, dismisses the intelligence of the opposition. Like all gangsters, he has very little grasp of the outside world- throughout the film he is trapped in boxes, just like the man he kills in the boot of his car. Cagney's portrayal is his greatest role- his avoidance of pathos and his refusal to bend emotionally mean that we are never invited to pity him- wherever there seems to be a point of access for the audience he delivers the lines with a flatness which denies us sympathy. His maudlin obsession with his mother invites us to loathe his infantile mental paralysis.

Not enough comments praise the real co-star: Margaret Wycherley. She is a sinister mother who can handle the police and the gang and Cody's wife. Her world-weary cynicism, her obsession with her son delivered in the same dead-pan style is such a total antithesis to the usual hollywood 'caring parent' model that she raises the character to the level of an Empress Livia or an Agrippina. The final scene works on multiple levels- the good-guy cannot easily destroy the villain- does the world blow up in Cody's face or are we being told that the Jarretts of the world will dominate until they bring the universe to destruction? A film which still demands analysis and does more to reveal the nature of criminal amorality than anything Tarrantino or Scorsese could produce- The latter types of director are too caught up in the 'romance' of the villainous life- they need to develop Raoul Walsh's objectivity and Cagney's penetration. It is Cagney's unequivocal hatred of the character he's portraying and the personal honesty which allows him to objectify both the character he is playing and himself as an actor that makes the whole thing work. The crude method actors we're stuck with today could learn a lot from his Cody Jarrett!


36 of 57 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Cody tossing small items into bowl curlew-2
On TCM mygooger
Why No Oscar Nominations? bkutach
Cagney's Greatest Performance? csu16387
Top 250? maxprory
Cagney's Best Performance? WardenGordonBorden
Discuss White Heat (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?