6.8/10
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Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Mystery, Romance | 3 April 1946 (USA)
When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon to be drafted sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (based upon a novel by) (as William Irish)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Alex Winkley
...
Val Bartelli
...
Helen Robinson
...
Edna Bartelli
Jerome Cowan ...
Lester Brady
Marvin Miller ...
Sleepy Parsons
Roman Bohnen ...
Frantic Man with Injured Cat
Steven Geray ...
Gloved Man - Edward Hornick
Joe Sawyer ...
Babe Dooley
Constance Worth ...
Mrs. Nan Raymond
Joseph Crehan ...
Lt. Kane
Edit

Storyline

Alex, a sailor on leave, recovers from a drink-induced blackout with a large sum of money belonging to Edna Bartelli, a b-girl who invited him home to "fix her radio." He tries to return it with the reluctant aid of June Goth, a sweet but oh-so-tired dance hall girl; they find Edna murdered. Not quite sure he didn't do it himself, Alex and June have four hours in the dead of night to find the real killer before his leave ends. Their quest brings them into contact with a sleazy kaleidoscope of minor characters; clues get more and more tangled... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance hall | dance | sailor | clue | money | See All (96) »

Taglines:

KILLER HUNT!...Four Hours to Go!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 April 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den långa natten  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film directed by legendary stage director Harold Clurman. See more »

Goofs

When the man with the dead cat approaches the pet shop, there are puppies in the window. But shown from another angle, the window is empty. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Edna Bartelli: Why, it's Sleepy Parsons! Aren't you dead yet?
[pours a drink]
Edna Bartelli: Here's to nothin'.
[Sleepy takes out cigar]
Edna Bartelli: Still on your 20 cigars a day?
[Sleepy puts cigar away]
Edna Bartelli: Can't your heart take it, Sleepy?
Sleepy Parsons: You drunk again?
Edna Bartelli: Yes.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dick Tracy (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Call Me June It Rhymes with Moon
3 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Terrific performances by many actors make this 1946 noir a joy to watch. Nifty murder mystery directed by Harold Clurman and written by Clifford Odets. As mentioned elsewhere on this board the dialog is wondrous; you never know what anyone will say, and everyone seems to "wax philosophic" throughout the film.

The action follows a murder of a woman and how it involves a sailor on leave, a dance-hall girl, and a taxi driver. The story takes place on a sweltering New York night in the early hours. The sailor must catch a 6 AM bus, so there's the "deadline at dawn." As the protagonists track down clues, they run across a bizarre collection of shady types, and everyone seems to to capable of murder, especially of this particular woman.

Susan Hayward gives a stunning performance as June. She starts out as a wisecracking and downhearted taxi dancer who resists getting involved but can't help herself since the sailor (Bill Williams) seems so innocent and naive. She calls him Boob McNutt. As they race around the city tracking down clues (this city never sleeps) they meet a world-weary taxi driver (Paul Lukas) who helps out. All three stars give amazing performances here.

Supporting players are also a knockout with Lola Lane terrific as the victim, Joseph Calleia as her creepy brother, Osa Masson (with a limp), and Marvin Miller, Jerone Cowan, Constance Worth, Al Bridge, Steven Geray, Joseph Crehan and others all solid.

Odets' writing is excellent even if all the characters seem to talk in the same poetic language. But it becomes mesmerizing as the characters seek the truth and talk. It seems that everyone is city wise but a poet at heart.

Hayward looks great with her hair pinned up (it's a sultry night) with bobby pins. She wears little makeup. Williams is also wonderful as the sailor who's not quite as dumb as he seems. Lukas is also solid as the surprising taxi driver.

Great film noir with touches of poetry and humor. What more could you want?


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