What seems like an exercise in odd, unlikely parings—gangster film and musical, James Cagney and Doris Day—really works, delivering a hard-edged punch while generating a hit soundtrack album full of catchy tunes, including “Ten Cents a Dance,” “Stay on the Right Side, Sister”, “Shaking the Blues Away” and the title song. Day plays real-life 1930s nightclub singer Ruth Etting, who marries Martin “The Gimp” Snyder (Cagney), a hood from Chicago who falls for Ruth and builds her into a star of stage and screen. It’s a brutal, abusive, relationship characterized by Snyder’s jealous rages and Etting’s increasing alcoholism. Under Charles Vidor’s direction, Day gives one of her best performances. Cagney, Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his role as Snyder, ranked this, among the 62 films he made, as one of his favorites.