Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
Homicide Capt. Finlay finds evidence that one or more of a group of demobilized soldiers is involved in the death of Joseph Samuels. In flashbacks, we see the night's events from different viewpoints as Sergeant Keeley investigates on his own, trying to clear his friend Mitchell, to whom circumstantial evidence points. Then the real, ugly motive for the killing begins to dawn on both Finlay and Keeley... Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The focus of the novel dealt with homophobia, but the subject was changed to anti-Semitism for the film. See more »
22 minutes in. Shadow of camera and dolly visible just to the right of the hotel door as the character played by Richard Benedict enters the hotel. See more »
Police Captain Finlay:
What kind of guys?
You know the kind. Played it safe during the war, keepin' themselves in civvies, nice apartments, swell dames... you know the kind.
Police Captain Finlay:
I'm not sure that I do.
Some of 'em are named Samuels, some of 'em have funnier names.
He oughta look at a casualty list sometime. There's a lot of funny names there, too.
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'Film Noir' is a much-used (and misused), catch phrase, coined to describe
Hollywood films of the forties and fifties. These films were invariable in black and white (hence the paucity of such films on Australian commercial TV), and shot on tiny budgets in a matter of a few weeks. The plots are generally formulaic. Someone is murdered, someone else will be framed for that murder, and a
'dame' figures somewhere in the proceedings. "Crossfire" is low budget, and shot in black & white: admirably so by J. Roy Hunt. And yes, there's a 'dame' involved. What sets "Crossfire" apart from most of the other films of that era, is that it's not just another murder mystery, however well executed. This is a film about
religious intolerance. That people are killed is but the flesh on the bones of a film about (without preaching), racial vilification. The director, Edward Dmytryk was a fine, and now, a sadly neglected director. He knew how to work within the confines of the studio system, and turn out a
quality film like "Crossfire" The original thrust of the films' message, was, apparently, about homophobia. This upset the Hays Office. and religious
persecution was substituted instead. There is not a wasted frame in this picture. It runs a taught 86 minutes. For my money, Robert Young, who plays the detective charged with solving who
murdered whom, and why, is a standout. This in face of an understated Robert
Mitcham, and a powerful performance by Robert Ryan as the psychotic
Montgomery - think of his role as Claggart, in the film "Billy Budd". Believe me when I say that it was truly refreshing to see a film (thank god for late night TV), where the actors can act, the dialogue is intelligent, and where
computer graphics and special effects were not used as a substitute for plot
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