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Desperate (1947)

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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,027 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 20 critic

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.



(screenplay), (additional dialogue), 2 more credits »
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Title: Desperate (1947)

Desperate (1947) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Complete credited cast:
Steve Brodie ...
Steve Randall
Audrey Long ...
Mrs. Anne Randall
Walt Radak
Pete Lavitch, Private Eye
William Challee ...
Jason Robards Sr. ...
Det. Lt. Louie Ferrari (as Jason Robards)
Freddie Steele ...
Shorty Abbott
Lee Frederick ...
Joe Daly
Paul E. Burns ...
Uncle Jan
Ilka Grüning ...
Aunt Klara (as Ilka Gruning)


When mobster Walt Radak tries to trick independent trucker Steve Randall into transporting stolen furs, Steve alerts the police, and Walt's young brother Al is caught and held for a cop-killing. When ruthless Radak tries to extort Steve's help in clearing Al, Steve and his young wife flee for their lives, only to find that the police are also in pursuit. With every man's hand against them, Steve and Anne must repeatedly abandon their temporary refuges. Finally, one midnight, the showdown... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MURDER at any moment! SUSPENSE... in every step!!!


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Desperate  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ferrari and another policeman are right behind Steve when he re-enters the apartment house, but they're nowhere to be seen until after the shootout is over. See more »


Walt Radak: [to Steve] In fifteen minutes they're going to throw the switch on Al, and you're going with him... both of you at the same time. It's not very much to do for my own brother, but it's something. It's all I can do now, I guess. Guess Al's already had his last dinner. You might as well have yours too.
Walt Radak: [to Reynolds] Get the meal ready.
Reynolds: [after looking through the refrigerator] Nothing here but milk and bread and some tired meat.
Walt Radak: [to Reynolds] Make some sandwiches.
Walt Radak: [to Steve] I'm sorry I can't give you a...
See more »

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User Reviews

Burr- Menace Personified
18 May 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film, and others like it from that era, has something which has long been missing from suspense/crime movies of today: a slow-to-build menace. Things develop almost leisurely, and then--Burr, that menace personified, pounces like a rabid dog hounding Steve Brodie. The pay-off is so much more effective when a director takes the time to build the foundation of suspense. The characters are well-developed, Detective Ferrari in particular. He starts out as an antagonist and ends up, reluctantly, on the side of truth and justice. Brodie's backstory hints at a checkered past. The ending, as Steve faces death at midnight, the clock ticking away, is played out in what seems to be real-time. It was truly a nail-biter. Satisfying and captivating all the way.

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