||Aufgenommen in die Epilepsie-Filmographie von Mayo/Wulff: http://www1.uni-hamburg.de/Medien/berichte/arbeiten/0020_03.html
""White Heat (1949) is one of the top classic crime-heist dramas of the post-war period, and one of the last of Warner Bros' gritty crime films in its era. White Heat is an entertaining, fascinating and hypnotic portrait of a flamboyant, mother-dominated and fixated, epileptic and psychotic killer, who often spouts crude bits of humor. The dynamic film, with both film noir and documentary-style elements, is characterized by an increased level of violence and brutality along with classical Greek elements..................
As Cody sits and prepares to put bullets into the revolving chamber of his gun, he winces as he experiences a strange, painful headache (migraine?) or epileptic fit - his Achilles' heel. He groans, lurches, keels over and falls to the floor - his gun explodes as he hits the floor, helplessly incontinent. Showing concern, his mother steers him into the bedroom as he blindly stumbles about - she is the only one allowed to witness his headache attacks. Often looking at each other suggestively, Big Ed and Verna make derogatory comments about Cody's mental state:
Verna: It's his second one he's had in a month.
Big Ed: He's nuts, just like his old man.
Flung across the bed, Cody pounds the mattress with his fists. Bending over him, his mother kneads her fingers into the back of his neck and head to soften the 'buzz-saw' pain and white heat of the debilitating, blinding migraine and provide soothing solace and comfort for her son. Emotionally dependent upon her, he sits on his mother's lap, emphasizing the Oedipal complex of his relationship with her:
Ma Jarrett: It's these mountains, Cody. It's not good for ya. Cold all the time. Can't breathe air. Let's get out, Son.
Cody: I'm all right now.
Ma: Is it going?
Ma: Are you sure?
Cody: Yeah....it's like having a red hot buzz-saw inside my head.
Ma: No, not yet, Son. Don't let 'em see you like that. Might give some of 'em ideas.
Cody (He sits down in his mother's lap.) You're always thinkin' about your Cody, aren't ya?
Ma: That's right. (She rises and pours him a drink of whiskey.) Top of the world, Son.
Cody: Don't know what I'd do without ya, Ma. (He downs the drink.)
Cody: Oh yeah.
Ma: Now go on out. Show 'em you're all right.
His Ma functions as his mentor and advisor, and encourages her son to forcefully regain his confidence and appear as normal again. Cody re-emerges into the outer room from the bedroom and barks: ""What're ya all gapin' at?""""
..............."" Noch bevor es dazu kommt, erhält Cody die Nachricht vom Tod seiner Mutter. Sie wusste von Big Eds Plänen und wurde von Verna erschossen, als sie sich an ihm rächen wollte. Cody erleidet einen Nervenzusammenbruch. Kurze Zeit später brechen er und Fallon aus dem Gefängnis aus. Kaum in Freiheit tötet Cody erst seinen Attentäter Roy Parker und dann Big Ed, von dem Verna behauptet, er habe den Tod der Mutter zu verantworten.
Interessant ist auch Codys Charakterisierung. Die Darstellung eines Gangsters mit Freudschem Mutterkomplex, der zudem unter regelmäßigen Migräneanfällen leidet, war für damalige Verhältnisse äußerst ungewöhnlich."" (Wikipedia)
“He had played criminals before, but with Cody Jarrett, Cagney elevated the mobster to monster. The gang leader robs trains and factory safes, killing his underlings as the mood suits him. (‘You wouldn't kill me in cold blood, would ya?’ one asks. ‘No,’ he replies, ‘I'll let ya warm up a little.’) All the while, he totes his mother around, at one point sitting in her lap. Cagney brings sadism and pathos to this epileptic Capone, this oedipal wreck. His exit line, atop a gigantic gas tank, is one of the greats: ‘Made it, Ma — top of the world!’) ...........
He stepped outside of genres or conventions and showed what he was capable of. Cody Jarrett is a complex character, who laughs hysterically and weeps tragically and is trapped by his mother and indifferent (at times) to his wife. He is a man of action with mental problems. I think the screenwriters tried hard to give him an added dimension, and all of the effort - of Cagney and the director too - shows in a performance that goes beyond even that of Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Film historian Patrick McGilligan, siehe http://atyourlibrary.org/culture/classic-film-movie-night-white-heat