...busting up my brains for the words

Saturday, October 29, 2005

White heat

Click the above title to access Internet Movie data base's profile of this movie.

As I've bragged before, I'm a movie buff. So imagine my surprise when I discovered just last night that I had never seen this movie! I'd thought I had. Somehow, it never got attended to until I clicked on it in my NetFlix browser just last week. I was open to NetFlix's "Recommended" pages and something inside my brain questioned my familiarity with it.
I knew it was the picture in which Cagney's character was fixated upon his mother; "Top of the world, Ma! Top of the world!" But everybody knows that. It's one of cinema's most recognizable and oft-quoted lines. What would it hurt to see it again?, I mused.

When scene after scene rolled past my eyes and I wondered how long my apparent nap must have lasted way back when I'd thought I was watching White Heat, it dawned on me that I'd merely thought I'd seen it because I caught the last ten minutes once while surfing past Turner Classic Movies.
Once I realized my error, I actually got pretty excited. Hey!, this is a pretty cool movie I'm watching here. I've never been real big on Cagney. There are some decent informative loaded extras in the disk. Director Marty Scorcese points out that his character is interesting in comparison to his character in The Roaring Twenties. (another movie I'm pretty sure I only caught on cable).

To say the least, Cagney's performance really is incredible here. I had no doubt whatsoever that his character, Cody Jarrett, really did experience pain in his skull that was like "a red-hot buzz saw". I saw the pain in his face.
Another interesting note is actor Steve Cochran as Big Ed. Talk about an actor fitting the perfect type! Everything about Big Ed is perfect for film noir; the suits, the hair, the detached manner. I was pretty sure while watching Cochran in White Heat that Frank Miller had studied everything in his screen presence for a recreation in Sin City. While I may have been right in the "detachment" department, I'm certainly not right about the hair.


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