My Favorite Raoul Walsh Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   White Heat (1949)

2.   The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

3.   The Roaring Twenties (1939)

4.   Regeneration (1915)

5.   Band of Angels (1957)

6.   Sadie Thompson (1928)

7.   Gentleman Jim (1942)

8.   Going Hollywood (1933)
(I watched it on TCM)

9.   High Sierra (1941)

10. The Strawberry Blonde (1941)

11. Pursued (1947)

12. Colorado Territory (1949)

13. They Drive by Night (1940)

14. They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

15. Me and My Gal (1932)

16. The Big Trail (1930)

17. The Man I Love (1947)

18. Dark Command (1940)

19. Manpower (1941)

20. Big Brown Eyes (1936)

21. Cheyenne (1947)
(I watched it on TCM a few years ago)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)

2.   The World in His Arms (1952)

3.   Along the Great Divide (1951)

4.   The Tall Men (1955)

5.   Distant Drums (1951)

6.   Battle Cry (1955)

7.   The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)

8.   The Naked and the Dead (1958)

9.   A Distant Trumpet (1964)

10. Saskatchewan (1954)

11. The Lawless Breed (1953)

12. The King and Four Queens (1956)

13. Gun Fury (1953)

14. Blackbeard the Pirate (1953)

15. The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Raoul Walsh Films

  1. It’s amazing how White Heat has aged so incredibly well. It is a true masterpiece. One of those films that just gets better every single time I watch it.

  2. I have seen most (perhaps all) of these over the years. I was young when I watched Battle Cry, but enjoyed it a lot at the time.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I agree with Paul, White Heat is a masterpiece and I suspect you feel the same way, John. I think Sadie Thompson is very, very good also. (I like Lewis Milestone’s Rain with Joan Crawford also.) That said, these are the only Raoul Walsh films I’ve seen.
    They Drive by Night has been recommended to me.

  4. White Heat sure has “aged so incredibly well” as you so eloquently put it. And yes, it still holds up on multiple viewings. In fact, every time I watch it, I feel like I am “top of the world” 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Interesting you mention Battle Cry because Tab Hunter appeared in that and Troy Donahue appeared in A Distant Trumpet from a decade later. Why do I mention this? Because both of them were celebrity heartthrobs during the 50’s and early 60’s. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. Considering that it came out in 1949, it seemed like the perfect bookend to the part of James Cagney’s career where he played gangsters and to this day, I do not think he would have surpassed White Heat If he kept going on playing those characters continuously. Considering his character’s unhealthy fixation on his mother (a debatably implied tendency towards incest), White Heat may be the most unsettling gangster film of it’s time simply for that alone. Once again, I am not the first person to echo this view, others have beat me to it. 🙂 What are your thoughts? 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by and keep those comments coming 🙂

  7. I never really thought of the relationship as incestuous. I think it was unhealthy; codependent. I’ve actually known of a mother, son relationship that was similar, but not criminal. I do not believe there was incest there either, but it was a sick relationship. The son was purposely groomed to fawn over his mother, to be dependent upon her even in his adulthood.
    Maybe I should take another look at White Heat. I own it on DVD so it won’t be a problem.

  8. “I never really thought of the relationship as incestuous. I think it was unhealthy; codependent.”

    You are probably right on that. I think it serves as just one of many ways to look at it (as subversive as it is). I think at the time the film came out, it was not seen that way and it was probably more looked upon as a character study of a deeply disturbed gangster, which it still is. I think by the late 60’s and beyond (close to that), their were people who started to look at that in a different way. It might not have looked like incest for 1949 audiences, but for a certain number of diehard cinephiles today, it probably does. This is just observation on my part though and little more. Nevertheless, it is an interesting way of looking at it even If it is not accurate. Thank you for eloquent thoughts 🙂 Anyway, keep those comments coming 🙂

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