Doris Day and James Cagney starred in Love Me or Leave Me in 1955 but I saw this movie on TV as a kid throughout the 60's. To me it is the best of all of Doris Day's films. Her look, fashions, acting and singing are all melded together at that perfect moment in time. She was absolutely marvelous playing the part of Ruth Etting. Ms. Day should have won the academy award for this role but was sadly omitted from the nominations.
Rising to fame in the twenties and early thirties, Ruth Etting was renowned for her great beauty, her gorgeous voice and her tragic life. She starred on Broadway, made movies in Hollywood, married a mobster, had numerous hit-records, fell in love and was known as America's Sweetheart of Song. Ruth's website is HERE
In the Thirties it was common knowledge along Broadway that the popular singer Ruth Etting was something of a brow-beaten slave of her husband an ex-Chicago mobster named Martin Snyder, better known as The Gimp. Miss Etting's friends finally helped her to get a divorce, after which The Gimp expressed his sentiments by dispatching a couple of bullets into the man who later married her. Great Movie Review HERE
After watching this film as a very young girl I came away with a horrified view that Jimmy Cagney beat up Doris Day! OMG! I was left feeling very sorry for (Doris) Ruth Etting and what a beast (Jimmy) Marty the Gimp was to abuse and stalk her.
Fast forward a few decades and after buying this dvd I watched the entire film uninterrupted by editing and commercials. We came away with quite a different view.
Marty the Gimp was the victim in this film. Maybe not in "real" life but in the film Ruth really does use Marty tog et what she wants and then kicks him to the curb. We were left feeling sympathy for the devil in the film.
If you have never seen this film rush to the video store and rent or buy it. It is a terrific movie and Doris and Jimmy are both at their very best in:
"She was simply beautiful...every suburban mom tried to emulate her in the 1960's. My favorite was "The Glass Bottom Boat" opposite Rod Taylor (who incidentally played Winston Churchill most recently in "Inglourious Bastards")."
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