In real life, James Cagney barely cracked 5' 6", yet he is perceived as perhaps the silver screen's most iconic tough guy. That reputation is thanks in no small part to roles like Cody Jarrett in White Heat. Cagney's typical intimidating bravado is present in this role, but it's his somewhat oedipal relationship with his mother that gave the film much deeper levels--ones that would be echoed and emulated in gangster lore for generations to come (Tony Soprano, anyone?).