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. Snyder, a powerful Chicago racketeer, sees Etting at ...