Academy Award winner James Cagney delivers a tour-de-force performance as a murderously psychotic criminal mastermind with an overpowering mother 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 the hard-bitten gangster who suffers from semi-epileptic seizures, outbursts of frightening violence and an almost incestuous attachment to his mother. Released from prison, Jarrett plots a seemingly perfect heist, unaware that his partners plan to kill him and his right-hand man is working for the police. Cornered, Jarrett chooses to go out in an explosive act of self-immolation rather than surrender in this classic of the gangster genre.
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Ratings and Reviews
Critics Consensus: Raoul Walsh's crime drama goes further into the psychology of a gangster than most fear to tread and James Cagney's portrayal of the tragic anti-hero is constantly volatile.