Movie and recording star Doris Day, best remembered for dozens of frivolous 20th century musicals and comedies, performed her two greatest dramatic roles in the mid 1950s: opposite James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock’s remake of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”; and Oscar-nominated James Cagney in “Love Me or Leave Me,” a biopic of 1920s torch singer Ruth Etting and her boyfriend/mentor, Chicago gangster Martin Snyder.
The 1956 Hitchcock film has long been available on Blu-ray. Now comes “Love Me or Leave Me,” a glossy 1955 M-G-M musical filmed in CinemaScope and multichannel sound (Warner Archive, $22).
“Love Me or Leave Me,” a fictionalized version of Etting’s life, was quite daring for its time: Day smokes and drinks throughout the film; and Etting (unhappily) marries Snyder after he rapes her in a hotel room.
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Day sings 15 songs in “Love Me or Leave Me,” including Etting standards “Ten Cents a Dance” and “Shaking The Blues Away.” The Blu-ray carries over two actual Etting short subjects that appeared in earlier home video versions of “Love Me or Leave Me.”