IMDb > Crossfire (1947)
Crossfire
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Crossfire (1947) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 16 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Crossfire -- A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why?

Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   4,373 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
John Paxton (screenplay)
Richard Brooks (adapted from a novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Crossfire on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 July 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sensational? No, it's dynamite! See more »
Plot:
A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(9 articles)
Lonelyheart
 (From MUBI. 13 August 2011, 6:21 AM, PDT)

Take Three: Gloria Grahame
 (From FilmExperience. 20 March 2011, 9:20 AM, PDT)

David Thomson on Santa Claus
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 23 December 2010, 4:00 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
A study of hate crime through the lens of film noir See more (68 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Young ... Finlay

Robert Mitchum ... Keeley

Robert Ryan ... Montgomery

Gloria Grahame ... Ginny
Paul Kelly ... The Man
Sam Levene ... Samuels

Jacqueline White ... Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie ... Floyd
George Cooper ... Mitchell
Richard Benedict ... Bill
Tom Keene ... Detective (as Richard Powers)
William Phipps ... Leroy

Lex Barker ... Harry
Marlo Dwyer ... Miss Lewis
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Robert Bray ... MP (uncredited)
Don Cadell ... MP (uncredited)
Carl Faulkner ... Deputy (uncredited)
Harry Harvey ... Tenant (uncredited)
Kenneth MacDonald ... Major (uncredited)
George Meader ... Police surgeon (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Police sergeant (uncredited)
Bill Nind ... Waiter (uncredited)
Jay Norris ... MP (uncredited)
Allan Ray ... Soldier (uncredited)
George Turner ... MP (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Edward Dmytryk 
 
Writing credits
John Paxton (screenplay)

Richard Brooks (adapted from a novel by)

Produced by
Adrian Scott .... producer
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
J. Roy Hunt (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Harry W. Gerstad  (as Harry Gerstad)
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Alfred Herman 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
John Sturtevant (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nate Levinson .... assistant director
Cliff Reid Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
John E. Tribby .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Russell A. Cully .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Willard Barth .... camera operator (uncredited)
Howard Schwartz .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
 
Other crew
Dore Schary .... presenter
William E. Watts .... dialogue director
C. Bidwell .... stand-in (uncredited)
Charles Cirillo .... stand-in (uncredited)
Sam Lufkin .... stand-in (uncredited)
B. Scott .... stand-in (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1948) | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1998) (1999) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #12325)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The cast recreated their performances in a radio adaptation for the popular Suspense radio series.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Quotes:
Police Captain Finlay:My grandfather was killed just because he was an Irish Catholic. Hating is always the same, always senseless. One day it kills Irish Catholics, the next day Jews, the next day Protestants, the next day Quakers. It's hard to stop. It can end up killing people who wear striped neckties.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
A study of hate crime through the lens of film noir, 18 September 2006
Author: imogensara_smith from New York City

As a rule, there are few things more dispiriting than Hollywood's attempts to be courageous. Mixing caution with heavy-handedness, "message movies" pat themselves loudly on the back for daring to tackle major problems. CROSSFIRE is not entirely free from this taint; it includes a sermon on the nature of senseless hatred that is embarrassingly obvious, assuming a level of naivity in its audience that's depressing to contemplate. As late as 1947, it was a big deal for a movie to announce that anti-Semitism existed, and that it was bad. (It was unthinkable, of course, for Hollywood to address the real subject of the book on which the movie was based—its victim was a homosexual.) Nevertheless, thanks to good writing and excellent acting, CROSSFIRE remains a persuasive examination of what we would now call a hate crime.

Postwar malaise was one of the major components of film noir, and CROSSFIRE addresses it directly. The film is set in Washington, D.C. among soldiers still in uniform but idle, spending their days playing poker and bar-crawling. Joseph Samuels (Sam Levene), an intelligent and kindly Jew, explains that the end of the war has created a void: all the energy that went into hating and fighting the enemy is now unfocused and bottled up. Samuels meets three soldiers in a bar: the sensitive Mitchell, who is close to a nervous breakdown, the weak-willed Floyd Bowers, and Montgomery, a tall, overbearing bully who nastily belittles a young soldier from Tennessee as a stupid hillbilly. The three soldiers wind up at Samuels' apartment, where the drunken Monty becomes increasingly abusive, calling his host "Jew-boy." Samuels is beaten to death, and Mitchell disappears, making himself the prime suspect for the killing.

Unraveling the crime are Detective Finlay (Robert Young), dry and by-the-book, and Sergeant Keeley (Robert Mitchum), a thoughtful and experienced friend who knows Mitchell is incapable of murder. Among the pieces of the puzzle are Ginny (Gloria Grahame), a nightclub hostess who met Mitchell and gave him her apartment key, and Floyd (Steve Brodie), who as a witness to the crime holes up terrified in a seedy rooming house. While there is no real "whodunit" suspense, the story remains gripping, and the trap laid for the killer is extremely clever.

The strong noir atmosphere saves the movie from feeling didactic or sanctimonious. The cinematography is a striking shadow-play, with inky darks and harsh lights, rooms often lit by a single lamp filtered by cigarette smoke. World-weariness is as pervasive as noir lighting. "Nothing interests me," Finlay says quietly; "To nothing," is Ginny's toast in the nightclub. Gloria Grahame, the paragon of noir femininity, nearly steals the movie with her two scenes. Platinum-blonde, jaded and caustic, she's the quintessential B-girl, poisoned by the "stinking gin mill" where she works ("for laughs," she says bitterly), her sweet face curdling when Mitchell tells her that she reminds him of his wife. Now and then a wistful kindness peeks through her defensive shell, as when she dances with Mitchell in a deserted courtyard, then offers to cook him spaghetti at her apartment. When he goes there, he meets a weasely, crumple-faced man (Paul Kelly) who seems to sponge off Ginny, and whose conversation is a dense layering of lies and false confessions. Gloria blows Mitchell's good-girl wife off the screen in a scene where she's asked to give Mitchell an alibi. Slim and frail in her bathrobe, with her girlish lisp, she lets us see just how often Ginny has been insulted and dismissed as a tramp.

Robert Young is a nondescript actor, and he stands no chance against Mitchum's charisma, but he does a good job of keeping his pipe-smoking character, saddled with delivering the movie's earnest message, this side of pompousness. Mitchum, meanwhile, gets some cool dialogue, but not nearly enough to do; still, even when he's doing nothing but lounging in a corner you can't take your eyes off him. The third Robert, Ryan, creates a fully shaded and frighteningly convincing portrait of an ignorant, unstable bigot; we see his phony geniality, his bullying, his resentment of anyone with advantages, his "Am I right or am I right?" smugness; how easily he slaps labels on people and what satisfaction he gets from despising them.

CROSSFIRE's message seems cautious and dated now, though not nearly so much as the same year's A GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT. Finlay's speech about bigotry cops out by reaching back a hundred years for an instance of white victimhood, reminding us that Irish Catholics were once persecuted; next it could be people from Tennessee, he says, or men who wear striped neckties. Or maybe blacks, or Japanese, or homosexuals, or communists? The script seems afraid to mention any real contemporary problems. It sweetens its message by making the Jewish victim saintly, as though his innocence were not sufficient; and it takes care to exonerate the military, having a superior officer declare that the army is ashamed of men like Montgomery, and stressing that Samuels served honorably in the war. Still, it did take some guts to depict, immediately after World War II, an American who might have been happier in the Nazi army, and the movie's basic premise is still valid. If Monty were alive today, he would have gone out on September 12, 2001, and beat up a Sikh.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (68 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Crossfire (1947)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Why so few posts?????? richsass
Robert Young neglects to mention coloured people chapmanshomer
Music played in movie house laptow
Time for a remake! marianp1
Phobias and Sexual Themes abletonyallen
Disappointing take on anti-semitism tarmcgator
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Black Dahlia So Sweet, So Dead The Best of Youth Miracle at St. Anna Australia
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.