Love Me or Leave Me

  • PG
  • Charles Vidor (1955)
  • US
  • 116 min
Love Me or Leave Me
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This cracking biopic of 1920s chanteuse Ruth Etting was originally intended as a vehicle for Ava Gardner, but MGM wisely brought in Doris Day, giving her a sexy new image and pairing her again, after Starlift and The West Point Story, with tough guy James Cagney, and, boy, how those sparks fly! Though censorship has diluted this tawdry saga of a kept woman and her obsessive and sexually inadequate gangster sponsor, the truth is not glossed over, despite the exquisite CinemaScope framing and top-notch production values that make the tale less squalid than it obviously actually was. Doris is a knockout, performing the title number and Ten Cents a Dance with great understanding, but it's the Oscar-nominated Cagney, in a great later role, as "the Gimp", who walks away with the movie.

Plot Summary

Biographical musical drama starring Doris Day and James Cagney. In the 1920s, singer Ruth Etting has her early career shaped by Chicago gangster Martin "the Gimp" Snyder, who becomes obsessed with her.

Cast and crew


Ruth Etting
Doris Day
Martin "the Gimp" Snyder
James Cagney
Johnny Alderman
Cameron Mitchell
Bernard V Loomis
Robert Keith (1)
Tom Tully
Harry Bellaver
Paul Hunter
Richard Gaines
Fred Taylor
Peter Leeds
Eddie Fulton
Claude Stroud
Jingle girl
Audrey Young
Greg Trent
John Harding


Charles Vidor

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Certificate PG
Warner Home Video Ltd