LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME (1955) C widescreen 123m dir: Charles Vidor

w/Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith, Tom Tully, Harry Bellaver, Richard Gaines, Peter Leeds, Claude Stroud, Audrey Young

From The Movie Guide: "Unlike many musical bios of the day, LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME provides a hard-edged love story, augmented with Jazz Age tunes, chronicling the life and times of Prohibition-era torch singer Ruth Etting. This was a once-in-a-lifetime role for Doris Day, who is terrific as Etting in a part unlike any other she played, calling for her to be alternately sizzling in performance and naive offstage. James Cagney is equally sensational as Marty 'The Gimp' Snyder, the ruthless gangster who was her Svengali, and normally lightweight Cameron Mitchell excels as Harry Myrl Alderman (called Johnny in the film), Etting's true love. ...

"The chemistry between Cagney and Day is electric, Charles Vidor's direction is lively and inventive, and the overall production lavishly and accurately reproduces the 1920s era. The Jazz Age music is outstanding, superbly performed by Day. (Our favorite? 'Ten Cents a Dance.') MGM paid $50,000 for the song rights alone, as well as hefty sums to Etting, Alderman, and Snyder for the rights to film their lives. Etting later noted that 'they took a lot of liberties with my life, but I guess they usually do with that kind of thing.' Metro made back the money upon the film's release, however, when it was enthusiastically received by both critics and audiences."

LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME received an Oscar for Best Motion Picture Story (Daniel Fuchs). It was also nominated for Best Actor (Cagney), Screenplay (Fuchs, Isobel Lennart), Sound (Wesley C. Miller), Scoring of a Musical Picture (Percy Faith, George Stoll), and Song ("I'll Never Stop Loving You" by Nicholas Brodszky & Sammy Cahn).