Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

“Now look here, you stupid little broad, do you know who I am? Do you think I let dames talk to me that way?” – Martin

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Jun 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Biography of Jazz singer Ruth Etting who owed much of her success to a gangster who believed in her and managed her career.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I never had heard about before watching it and after loving James Cagney’s performance in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Doris Day’s performances in musicals of the 50’s, I was quite interested in seeing what this was all about.

Unfortunately, despite an interesting idea, this film just doesn’t age well at all and feels too weird to take seriously as part of a true story.

Both Cagney and Day are fine in this film but neither does anything beyond that would warrant Cagney getting an Oscar Best Actor Nomination for his gangster role.

The main premise of this film is actually quite good and seeing how a performer could be affected by those who helped their career take off is great but unfortunately, they don’t manage to explore the issue enough to make it even more interesting.

Despite this film being extremely popular when it came out 63 years ago, it just doesn’t stand up well enough now.

The music is fine too, with “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” being the best song featured.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that just doesn’t age very well. Cagney and Day are both fine here, but neither stands out as amazing. The idea of how much a performer can become dependent on those who help their career is a great one but this film doesn’t manage to explore it deep enough.  This film was very popular when it came out, but just doesn’t stand up so well after 63 years.  Still not sure why Cagney was nominated for Best Actor for this role.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This was the only time, after becoming a star in the 1930s, that James Cagney ever accepted second billing for a major role. He thought that Doris Day’s character was more central to the film’s plot, and so ceded top billing to her. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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4 thoughts on “Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

  1. Again, it’s a true story about Ruth Etting and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband/manager. You can’t judge it strictly by seeing it now – but must try to see it through the prism of the story it IS and the year in which it was made. Doris Day HAD some crappy husbands in real life- and was very good in this film – as was Cagney – playing the type of SOB that Newman would play often in his career.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1955 |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1955 | MovieRob

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