Love Me or Leave Me

1955

Action / Biography / Drama / Music / Romance

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 04, 2021 at 02:35 AM

Director

Cast

Doris Day as Ruth Etting
Cameron Mitchell as Johnny Alderman
James Cagney as Martin Snyder
720p.BLU
1.09 GB
1280*496
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 1 min
P/S 0 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 9 / 10

As Ruth Etting, Day delivers knockout performance, equally matched by Cagney

Before she became America's top box-office star by playing its oldest virgin, Doris Day was an instinctive, if untutored, actress and an accomplished, popular singer. In Charles Vidor's Love Me Or Leave Me, she takes on the part of Ruth Etting, the troubled songstress from the jazz age, and her twin talents merge memorably. It's a faultless performance, all the more impressive for staying understated, scaled down.

Her co-star, James Cagney, takes the low road; as Marty (`The Gimp') Snyder, a lopsided fireplug of a man, he sizzles with resentment and ignites into rages. Strangely, his scenery-chewing complements Day's underplaying; the tension between their temperaments fuels this dark drama which occasionally resembles a musical but is closer at heart to film noir (Vidor, after all, directed Gilda).

A taxi-dancer in a Chicago dive, Day catches Cagney's eye (he holds the linen-laundering concession for the place). Finding she's not the quick pick-up he had in mind, he lands her a job in the kick-line at another nitery he services. When he finds out she wants to be a singer, he arranges for lessons with pianist Cameron Mitchell (who plays the thankless role of the loyal but shoved-aside lover). But Cagney, used to getting what he wants and to browbeating everybody around him into surrender, meets his match in Day. Her quiet determination proves every bit as strong as his bellowing bluster. When it looks like her star is in ascendancy, he becomes her manager, puts her on radio, and snares her a spot in New York as a headliner in the Ziegfeld Follies.

They settle into a grudge-match of a marriage, with guerrilla warfare erupting from both sides. (Cagney's Snyder is a marginally less disturbed version of his Cody Jarrett in White Heat.) One of their flashfire fights takes place in her dressing room after a show. Cagney knocks a vase of flowers across the room; Day extends her arm for him to unclasp a bracelet. They bicker some more, with Cagney losing the argument while Day nurses the drink that has become her ally. He leans over and tells her `You oughtta lay off that stuff – you're getting to look like an old bag.' It's the chilliest moment in the movie.

In the last third, Day answers a call from Hollywood, which lays the foundation for the unravelling of this messy, nerve-wracking relationship. And if the wrapping up grasps toward the sentimental (with a detour into the melodramatic), it doesn't quite take. Cagney, actor and character, hangs on like a bulldog with a bone. The Marty Snyders never change, and Cagney knows it; he stays the self-deluded small-time hood he started out as, who can't accept that he's driven away a woman he can't believe he loves so much.

Day, however, rises to a magnanimity that rings hollow. Her steely self-confidence about where her talents would bring her, and her casual callousness in using Cagney to help her get there, make her final gesture improbable. But when she takes the spotlight, singing `Mean to Me' or `Ten Cents A Dance' (with her feet planted provocatively – defiantly – apart), Day, actress and character, takes it by natural right. The voice isn't quite right – Etting's was reedy and tremulous, Day's big and secure – but the assurance and style are dead on.

Reviewed by harry-76 9 / 10

Smashing "Gangster Musical"

"Love Me Or Leave Me" has been critically lauded and publicly supported. I can only concede it's a very fine music/drama/biopic.

What's so unique about this film is it's skillfully combining the "gangster" element with the "musical" genre. The bio-based storyline plays out like somewhat like a crime drama, while the musical portion rings forth with twelve complete full-bodied numbers.

The casting is truly inspired: what a coup getting Doris Day, at the peak of her physical, acting and vocal powers to be cast in a real-life role, while snaring the brilliant, often breathtaking James Cagney--forever at the peak of his powers--as the indestructible "Gimp."

Together they create fireworks, playing off one another's sweet 'n' sour characterizations with great relish. How amusing it is to see Cagney having fun with his deft limp-walk and grueling thug-character, complemented by Day's equally enjoyable, contrastingly lovable persona.

The songs are all very beautiful, and expertly rendered by Day in this, a wonderful tribute to her vocal talent and impressive musicianship.

The script is well-written to utilize the stars' individual gifts, and the widescreen production is a delight to watch. After all these years, "Love Me Or Leave Me" holds its own, thanks to the contributions of two now-legendary stars.

Reviewed by Blooeyz2001 10 / 10

Doris Day Deserved An Oscar Nomination For This Film

This film pre-dates & set the standard for films like Barbra Streisand's "Funny Girl" & Diana Ross' "Lady Sings The Blues", two other great films which showcased singers in acting roles playing real-life people. "Love Me Or Leave Me" was Doris Day's MGM "extravagaza" (after several formula, cookie-cutter musicals at Warner Bros.) playing Ruth Etting a torch singer from the 1920's. She is at her dramatic best & never looked sexier. Her voice is as pleasing as ever & the songs are very enjoyable ("At Sundown", "Love Me Or Leave Me", "Shaking The Blues Away", & "Mean To Me", among others). Some of Doris' fans were distraught to see her drinking & scheming to climb her way to the top, but the fact of the matter is she was playing someone else & she was very convincing. James Cagney was grating as Marty "The Gimp" Snyder the Chicago gangster who helped Etting attain her show biz goals. This film displays all that Doris Day could have been if she had continued to find meaty roles to her acting advantage. When most people think of her, they think of the fluffy bedroom comedies she did with Rock Hudson, Cary Grant & James Garner.("Pillow Talk", "Lover Come Back", "That Touch of Mink"...), the virginal persona, the freckles, etc. If you're only familiar with those films you should see this & you'll be impressed. (I recently heard Jennifer Lopez wants to re-make this film, God help us all!!)

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