6.6/10
892
25 user 9 critic

Crack-Up (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 September 1946 (USA)
Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Traybin
...
Dr. Lowell
...
Cochrane
...
Reynolds
...
Stevenson
...
Barton
Mary Ware ...
Mary
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Storyline

George Steele, art curator at a small museum, has an apparent mental breakdown one night, convinced he was in a train wreck...which never happened. In flashback, shortly after proposing to x-ray some old master paintings the museum has on loan, Steele is called on an unplanned nocturnal train trip. He suddenly sees another train ahead, speeding toward his... Is George indeed cracking up, or is there a plot to discredit him? The mystery grows murky with shadowy menace... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Taglines:

SHATTERED MEMORY...HAUNTING FEAR! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 September 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Galveston  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 30, 1946 with Pat O'Brien reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

The ship Pat O'Brien goes to is riding so high at the dock that it is obviously empty, even though it is due to sail at 1:00 a.m. with a cargo. See more »

Quotes

Traybin: No doubt about it. Those boys could paint.
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User Reviews

 
Madman's Holiday!
3 September 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Crack-Up is directed by Irving Reis and collectively written by John Paxton, Ben Bengal and Ray Spencer from Fredric Brown's story Madman's Holiday. It stars Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins, Wallace Ford and Dean Harens. Music is by Leigh Harline and cinematography by Robert De Grasse.

Art curator George Steele (O'Brien) believes he has been in a train crash, but he's told that no such crash has occurred. Is he cracking up, or the victim of something sinister?

I'm not trusting anyone this week.

Out of RKO, Crack-Up is an above average film noir that is apparently under seen. It thrusts George Steele on a crusade to prove he is not losing his mind and on his way to residency at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. As he trawls around the city with a foggy head, his thoughts still remembering his service in WWII, he tosses off sarcastic quips and evades tricky situations with guile and ingenuity. Who can he trust though? If anybody?

I'm outta my head. I drive around in cars picking up psychopathic killers.

His journey encompasses a number of locations that are expertly born out for noirish purpose. Smokey steam train, dimly lighted station, a ship of many murky corners, the harbour as well, a penny arcade and of course many damp streets at night that are ripe for conversations; both hushed and threatening. With Reis (The Gay Falcon) and De Grasse (The Body Snatcher) using chiaroscuro effects, the atmosphere is suitably eerie, dovetailing perfectly with George's psychologically paranoid funk.

About as smart as cutting my throat to get some fresh air!

Set to the backdrop of the art world, the narrative has an opinion on art styles and snobbery while wrapping the plot around the crooked line of forgeries. It's not wholly successful for dramatic worth or intrigue, and in fact the visual presentation and very good performances of O'Brien and Trevor deserve a more cohesive story and a motive revelation of the crimes considerably stronger in substance.

However, with its technical attributes most positive, some very well constructed scenes (the train crash sequence is excellent) and noir staples in place (amnesia, shady characters, sleuthing for truth et al), Crack-Up is well worth checking out. 7/10


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