- Cody Jarrett (JAMES CAGNEY) to his absent mother (MARGARET WYCHERLY)
"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"
Entertainment Weekly - 01/28/2005
"[A] hard-boiled masterpiece..."
USA Today - 01/28/2005
"Blisteringly paced by director Raoul Walsh and better than ever, this powerhouse cult movie marked a kind of comeback for Cagney."
Los Angeles Times - 01/23/2005
"[An] exceptional gangster drama..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
As a psychotic thug devoted to his hard-boiled ma, James Cagney - older, scarier and just as electrifying - gives a performance to match his work in Public Enemy as White Heat's cold-blooded Cody Jarrett.
Bracingly directed by Raoul Walsh, this fast-paced thriller tracing Jarrett's violent life in and out of jail is also a harrowing character study. Jarrett is a psychological time bomb ruled by impulse. He murders a wounded accomplice and revels in the act. He neglects his sultry wife (Virginia Mayo) and adores his doting mother. It is among the most vivid screen performances of Cagney's career, and the excitement it generates will put you on top of the world!
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring escape from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll robbery. Shortly after the plan goes into effect, things begin to go woefully astray. Academy Award Nominations: Best Motion Picture Story.
Description by Warner Home Video:
In his last role as a heartless gangster, James Cagney embarks on a prison break of a lifetime in this chilling tale that features one of the most riveting finales in movie history.
James Cagney solidified his tough guy persona in this brutal gangster opus about a vicious man who still loves his Ma. Cody Jarrett, the leader of a gang out west, has been busy knocking over banks and holding up trains. Complicating matters some, he has in tow his beloved Ma, his cool blonde beauty, Verna, and a suave double-crossing hood, Big Ed. The feds manage to put Cody behind bars on a minor charge. They then decide to plant an undercover agent in Cody's prison cell to win his confidence and encourage him to spill the beans about his criminal history. After a prison riot, Cody escapes. He leads the police on a chase through a mazelike chemical factory that culminates Cody's life of crime... and Cody insists on going out in his own blaze of glory.