Raoul Walsh's White Heat is the crime drama that launched a thousand Jimmy Cagney impersonations. Cagney's Cody Jarrett is a seething ball of tics and rage, a career criminal whose propensity for spectacular violence is matched only by his love for his mother — he really, really loves her. It is this need for her approval that fuels the famously defiant cry, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" for which the film is remembered. But that's just the payoff to a classic heist film that involves a train robbery, Cagney and an undercover G-man breaking out of prison together and the development of a new type of cinematic villain. Jarrett is brilliant, effective and completely deranged, and Cagney's portrayal is what you'll remember most about the film, not its oft-quoted catch phrase. White Heat screens at 8 p.m. at the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries). Admission is $4.
Wed., Nov. 3, 2010