Snyder shoots the musician but not fatally and is carted away to prison. Will Etting choose true love over being a star, or will she stay with a man she doesn't love? The smitten Snyder exerts pressure on his show-biz connections, and before long Ruth is a star of nightclubs, stage and films. Other sources indicate that Ava Gardner and Jane Russell were both attached to the part before Day was hired. Etting declines, but Snyder's interest in her continues. The songs are all very beautiful, and expertly rendered by Day in this, a wonderful tribute to her vocal talent and impressive musicianship. In his autobiography, James Cagney had nothing but praise for his co-star , and bemoaned the fact that she would soon turn her back on dramatic roles to star in a series of fluffy domestic comedies. Day cared about everyone who was disturbed by her characterization, and she answered every piece of mail, explaining the necessity for realism, and that it was essential to separate actress Doris Day from character Ruth Etting.
At times, you find yourself rooting for him over Doris Day because no one is immune to desperately wanting someone or something they cannot have. No one comes off particularly nobly in Love Me or Leave Me, even though the still-living Ruth Etting, Martin Snyder and Johnny Alderman were offered full script approval. The role had been sought by and , but Cagney persuaded to cast Doris Day, who was excited to play opposite Cagney. Two decades later, one of the twins is an engaged lawyer, and the other suffers from an acute case of arrested adolescence. At first enraged by what he perceives as an act of charity, Snyder finally realizes this is Etting's way of showing her appreciation, even if she can't be part of his life any longer.
The soundtrack was the biggest selling album of 1955. Regardless, he does help her professionally, and through his opportunities, which are achieved through intimidation and fear, Ruth quickly gains a name as a singer, which she is able to do because of her talent and despite Marty's intimidation tactics. His prognostication proved to be right on the money. The result is one of the best musical dramas ever committed to film. Day cared about everyone who was disturbed by her characterization, and she answered every piece of mail, explaining the necessity for realism, and that it was essential to separate actress Doris Day from character Ruth Etting.
Johnny is in love with Etting as well, but she marries Snyder out of gratitude. She had a quiet way of speaking and singing. Goaded to get into the entertainment business, Snyder decides to open a nightclub of his own. Several sources report that Ruth Etting actually preferred Jane Powell to portray her on screen. Fortunately, Joe Pasternak, the producer, convinced her that she brought an inherent dignity to the role that would offset the more unsavory aspects of the character. His pitch perfect performance makes it clear that he is madly in love with Etting to the point of obsession. Ruth Etting was a notable jazz vocalist who came from very humble beginnings and made it to the big time by relying on the strong-arm tactics of a small time Chicago gangster named Martin Snyder.
Are you afraid you're losing your grip? All well and good, but Marty will never let her go that easily. Their relationship is one that is filled with violence, jealousy, and rage, and the realism with which this is presented is unsettling. Under Martin's management, Ruth works her way to the top of the entertainment industry, eventually becoming a famous jazz singer and Broadway actress. She felt that as a performer, she had the same responsibility to the public that a politician has to the electorate. After the film was released, Doris Day was deluged with mail from fans attacking her, a Christian Scientist, for playing a lewd woman who smoked, drank, and wore scant costumes in the nightclub scenes.
There are no other women to speak of in the cast. Doris is genuinely shocked but stays in character, as Cagney knew she would. But Ji Qing plan seems to have backfired when Shan Shan seems to have fallen for Hao Ming for real. In 1920's Chicago, wants to be a renowned singer, which is a far step away from her current work as a taxi dancer. Etting and her piano accompanist Johnny Alderman are grateful, but Snyder makes it clear he expects Etting to travel to with him, not for business but for pleasure. Upset at sensing a relationship resuming between Etting and Johnny during their filming of a Hollywood movie, Snyder strikes her. James Cagney is nothing short of outstanding as Marty Snyder and his scenes with Day crackle with intensity.
He therefore becomes more of a plot point than a fully developed character. After kicking a customer for getting fresh, 1920s and girl Ruth Etting is in jeopardy of losing her job when Martin Snyder intervenes on her behalf. Horrified but conflicted because of all Snyder has done for her career, Etting arranges for Loomis to bail him out of jail. Etting and her piano accompanist Johnny Alderman are grateful, but Snyder makes it clear he expects Etting to travel to with him, not for business but for pleasure. It was a classic case of against-type casting that paid huge dividends for the actress and the film. They could take you apart playing a scene. Cagney was another astute observer who saw in Day a natural gift for dramatic acting that not been tapped before.
However, the greater her success, the more reliant she becomes on him. There is no denying these two actors caught lightning in a bottle during their scenes together in this film. Upon his release, Snyder finds that Ruth is still in love with Alderman; he is mollified by her act of largesse in keeping her promise to perform in his nightclub at a fraction of her normal salary. While working in a dime-a-dance joint, Ruth is discovered by Chicago racketeer Martin The Gimp Snyder fascinatingly played with nary a redeeming quality by James Cagney. After sinking his fortune into a nightclub for Ruth's benefit, Snyder is rather understandably put out when he finds her in the arms of Alderman.