Love Me Or Leave Me (1955) - Rotten Tomatoes

Love Me Or Leave Me (1955)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Love Me Or Leave Me Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

One of the gutsiest movie musicals of the 1950s, Love Me or Leave Me is the true story of 1930s torch-singer Ruth Etting, here played by Doris Day. 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). The smitten Snyder exerts pressure on his show-biz connections, and before long Ruth is a star of nightclubs, stage and films. Ruth continues to string Snyder along to get ahead, but she can't help falling in love with musician Johnny Alderman (Cameron Mitchell). 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. Snyder shoots the musician (but not fatally) and is carted away to prison. 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. 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 fact that we are seeing flesh-and-blood opportunists rather than the usual sugary-sweet MGM musical stick figures naturally makes for a more powerful film. In his autobiography, James Cagney had nothing but praise for his co-star Doris Day, and bemoaned the fact that she would soon turn her back on dramatic roles to star in a series of fluffy domestic comedies.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Daniel Fuchs, Isobel Lennart
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 26, 2005
MGM Home Entertainment


Doris Day
as Ruth Etting
James Cagney
as Marty Snyder
Cameron Mitchell
as Johnny Alderman
Robert Keith
as Bernard V. Loomis
Tom Tully
as Frobisher
Richard Gaines
as Paul Hunter
Peter Leeds
as Fred Taylor
Claude Stroud
as Eddie Fulton
John Harding
as Greg Trent
Audrey Young
as Jingle Girl
Otto Reichow
as Bouncer
Henry Kulky
as Bouncer
Mauritz Hugo
as Irate customer
Audrey Wilder
as Jingle Girl
Benny Burt
as Stage manager
Bob Carson
as Mr. Brelston, Radio...
James Drury
as Assistant director
Richard Simmons
as Dance Director
Michael Kostrick
as Assistant Director
Roy Engel
as 1st Reporter/Propman
John Damler
as 2nd Reporter
Dale Van Sickel
as Stage-Hand
John Day
as Stage-Hand
Larri Thomas
as Chorus girl
Patti Nestor
as Chorus Girl
Winona Smith
as Chorus Girl
Shirley Wilson
as Chorus Girl
Dick Simmons
as Dance director
Paul McGuire
as Drapery man
Jimmy Cross
as Photographer
Randolph Henry
as Photographer
Robert Carson
as Mr. Brelston Radio S...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Love Me Or Leave Me

Critic Reviews for Love Me Or Leave Me

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | February 18, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 10, 2004
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Truthfully told musical saga of '20s singer Ruth Etting with fine turn by Doris Day; Cagney eats up scenery.

March 22, 2008

Doris was called on to act dramatically and not just sing and be the girl-next-door.

Full Review… | August 13, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Love Me Or Leave Me


a different doris day but a wonderful showcase for her talents

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Not bad, not bad. This film is certainly helped by Jimmy Cagney late in his career. I've never been a huge fan of Doris Day's acting abilities but she does okay here. Familiar soundtrack as well.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Outstanding performances from James Cagney and Doris Day make this film one of the better bio's from the 1950's. Excellent production values, the costumes are beautifully done. Professionally done in all aspects. Great score.

James Higgins

Love Me Or Leave Me Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Love Me Or Leave Me on our Movie forum!