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Dead Reckoning (1947)

Passed  -  Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery  -  16 January 1947 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,880 users  
Reviews: 69 user | 22 critic

A soldier runs away rather than receive the Medal of Honor, so his buddy gets permission to investigate, and love and death soon follow.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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Title: Dead Reckoning (1947)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
'Dusty' Chandler
Morris Carnovsky ...
Martinelli
Charles Cane ...
Lt. Kincaid
...
Sgt. Johnny Drake
Marvin Miller ...
Krause
Wallace Ford ...
McGee
James Bell ...
Father Logan
George Chandler ...
Louis Ord
William Forrest ...
Lt. Col. Simpson
Ruby Dandridge ...
Hyacinth
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Storyline

Rip Murdock and Johnny Darke are en route to Washington when Johnny disappears and then turns up dead. Rip learns that Johnny had been accused of murder and sets out to find out what he can. He falls in love with Coral whose husband Johnny is supposed to have killed. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"You can't push me around!" (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 January 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Cromwell's Dead Reckoning  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the train scene, after they discover that Drake is to receive the Medal of Honor, Murdock quips that maybe the president will let Drake "sit on top of his piano". This is a reference to a then-scandalous photo of Harry Truman playing piano with a leggy blonde on top that was taken at the National Press Club in 1945. The blonde was Lauren Bacall. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, Martinelli asks Murdock if he's been around, and Murdock says, "East St. Louis is around enough." Several other times, Murdock talks about his pre-war job, owning a string of taxis in St. Louis. East St. Louis and St. Louis are two different cities; East St. Louis is in Illinois, St. Louis in Missouri. Why would Murdock answer that he's "been around" in East St. Louis if his cabs were in St. Louis? See more »

Quotes

Captain Warren 'Rip' Murdock: [on the phone] Whattya mean, am I checkin' up on you? Of course. I am. I forgot to tell you, I don't trust anybody - especially women!
See more »

Connections

References To Have and Have Not (1944) See more »

Soundtracks

Either It's Love or It Isn't
By Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher
Performed by Lizabeth Scott (dubbed by Trudy Stevens) (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unoriginal but enjoyable noir
1 June 2003 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This movie, while certainly not the best film noir, certainly would be an ideal introduction to the genre, in large part because of its blatant banality. It does not even attempt to elaborate or subvert any of the genre's themes, so in that sense is ideal for someone wanting to get a feel of a film noir. All of the noir ingredients are there: man returning from war, femme fatale, flashback narrative, gambling, seedy clubs, suspicion, paranoia, etc. I've never seen Lizabeth Scott in anything else so can't really comment on her, but my goodness she seems to be trying to do her best Lauren Bacall impression. Certainly she's no Bacall, Lake, Gardner or even Turner, but is passable in her performance as the femme fatale. The plot is more complicated than someone used to contemporary movies may expect, and one certainly needs to pay a lot of attention to it. That being said, it can work in the same way as 'The Big Sleep' (a much superior film) if one disregards the plot and just soaks in the atmosphere. The city at night shots at the movie's beginning are incredible, probably the photographic highlight of the entire movie. I've read criticism about the direction and lighting in the sense that it switches between light and dark. I think that it is supposed to work in the same way that a movie such as 'Mildred Pierce' works in the sense that the juxtaposition between light and dark represents the character's state of mind. So in a scene where Bogie is content with Scott, the colors are extremely light, representing his state of mind. More suspicious scenes are thereby darker. I don't know, just a theory, and even if this was the director's intention its debatable as to whether its effectively achieved.

All in all, an enjoyable noir, certainly recommended for fans of the genre, just don't expect any originality.


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