Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Love Me or Leave Me|
Actors: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith, Tom Tully
Director: Charles Vidor
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Follows the life of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tumultuous relationship with Martin \the Gimp" Snyder"
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Member Movie Reviews
Ranitra C. (Glamourgirl) from LONG BEACH, CA
Reviewed on 3/1/2013...
So Let me first start by saying that Im a Huge Fan of the Lovely Miss. Doris Day, so my review of this film may be a bit biased, but needless to say, here it is.
I adore a good musical, so the combination of one of my favirite actresses and a plot based on love, loss and possesion would be an awesome combination with any good actress.
Doris portrays a singer who is in love with a man portrayed by James Cagney, who is possessive of her and the career he of coursed, helped build.
He seemingly tries to squeeze the life out of her, with his controlling and verbally abusive nature.This of course breaks the relationship down and leads to a downward spiralling effect in her career and in there romance.
Definately alot darker than the normal films she stars in, but how would you get the title track " Love Me or Leave Me" if it was warm and fuzzy.This one definately showcases her acting abilities and shows a much more emotional portrayal than what you usually expect from her.
Great to add to your your existing Doris Day Library or to start fresh.
The performance of a lifetime
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 01/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Doris Day is stunning in this biopic of jazz singer Ruth Etting, who was known as "America's sweetheart of song". After watching this film, I read some biographical material, and it would seem the film is very true to her life.
Ms. Day sings up a storm (the musical numbers are terrific), and gives a performance with a lot of depth, playing a complex personality caught in a hellbound relationship.Cagney, as her thug boyfriend/manager, is magnificent. Every gesture and facial expression is a riveting work of art. He was an extraordinary, multi-faceted actor, and this is a performance not to miss.
Cameron Mitchell is also excellent as the pianist who loves her, but is shut out of her life.Well written, directed and edited, it's a powerful story of control, obsession, and abuse. A downward spiral that's hard to break...when someone tells her "You're making a big mistake", she says: "I've made so many, one more won't make a difference".This is a fabulous film. It has drama, strong characters, great acting, and marvelous music !
Doris Day was a songbird, and a mighty fine actress too."
Day and Cagney Sizzle in "LOVE ME"
Paul Brogan | Portsmouth, NH United States | 10/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1955, after seven years as a major star at Warner Brothers and a string of successful films, Doris Day began to free lance. The first project she chose was a lavish musical biography at MGM entitled, "Love Me or Leave Me". It was the story of 20's and 30's chaunteuse, Ruth Etting and her relationship with Marty "The Gimp" Snyder. It opened that summer to critical and box-office kudos.The well-fashioned script pulls no punches in it's depiction of the sometimes seamy and tawdry lives of it's principal characters. Etting and Snyder often used one another for their own personal gain and, for a change, the film doe not gloss over some of the less than savory aspects of their lives. The result is one of the best musical dramas ever committed to film.The rise of Etting, from dance hall girl to Ziegfeld star was told amidst the settings of Chicago and New York. She meets Snyder, who wants to use her and utilizes his obsession with her in order to attain her goal - stardom. Their relationship is one that is filled with violence, jealousy, and rage, and the realism with which this is presented is unsettling. Those who like their musicals served up with a sugar coating should steer clear of this memorable classic.Doris Day gives a tour de force performance as Etting. It's a Doris Day that we've never seen before and the heartbreaking reality that she brings to ever scene is unforgettable. Vocally, she sings with passion and style, dazzling with such song classics as "Shakin the Blues Away", "Ten Cents a Dance" and "You Made Me Love You", and the Oscar nominated, "I'll Never Stop Loving You". However, it is her rendition of "It All Depends on You", accompanied by only a piano, in which she creates a lasting image. To those who have never really listened to her voice. her range,phrasing, breath control and tonal quality, not to mention the feeling that she puts into a song, will make them easily become admirers of what may be one of the finest female pop voices in music history.James Cagney is nothing short of outstanding as Marty Snyder and his scenes with Day crackle with intensity. Cameron Mitchell as Johnny, the man Ruth loves, is also fine and MGM has spared no expense in making this a production of the highest calibre. It's a film for the ages!"
All-Time Best Musical Biography
Anthony Damato | Chicago, IL USA | 08/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are many wonderful Hollywood musicals that take up the story line of a composer or a singer, like LADY SINGS THE BLUES, NIGHT AND DAY, WORDS AND MUSIC, DEEP IN MY HEART, THE AL JOLSON STORY, and RHAPSODY IN BLUE. But the one movie that stands out from all the rest is LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME. It is the absolutely perfect blending of story and song. The one that comes closest to it is the AL JOLSON STORY, but the "story" in that one isn't as related to the plot as this Doris Day-James Cagney production. Here, the songs Ruth Etting sang in the era of the Great Depression somehow help tell the story of her life; maybe her most popular songs were the ones that she felt closest to. Well, this movie certainly brings out the relationship between song and story in a way that has never been equalled in a biographical movie. Of course, "biography" puts a limitation on musical films; there is no room for the totally free-wheeling creativity of films like SINGING IN THE RAIN or THE BANDWAGON. But it also imposes a kind of unity that grows out of the life story of the singer or composer who is the subject of the biography. And as we empathize with the story, we like the songs even more. I've often wondered why LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME is not given the acclaim it so richly deserves. Maybe some viewers are so taken with the charisma of James Cagney (the greatest all-around star Hollywood has ever produced!) that they are distracted. Maybe some viewers "get into" the story so much that they don't see all that's going on with the music. The cure for all this, of course, is to watch this great film over and over again, and then repeat the experience. It truly gets better every time! And, one final kudo to Doris Day, that remarkable, remarkable woman. She made absolutely no attempt to imitate Ruth Etting's voice, because Ruth Etting had a sound of her very own (like Bing Crosby's sound, which has never been imitated). No, what Doris Day did was to get into the Ruth Etting character so thoroughly that she made it her own. And the result is the same degree of poignancy that you experience in hearing the original Ruth Etting recordings! It's almost weird, hearing two totally different singers sing the same songs with the same emotion. I know of nothing else like it. Bottom line: enjoy this great movie in good health many many times!"