I Became a Criminal (1947)
"They Made Me a Fugitive" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  6 March 1948 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 857 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 24 critic

In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy. On his first job, the getaway car crashes after killing a policeman. ... See full summary »


(as Cavalcanti)


(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A boxer flees believing he has comitted a murder while he was drunk.

Director: Busby Berkeley
Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, The 'Dead End' Kids
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young Irish woman hates England so much she becomes a Nazi spy.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Deborah Kerr, Trevor Howard, Raymond Huntley
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Alec Graham is sentenced to death for the murder of his girlfriend Jennie, with whom he spent a weekend at the English country home of the parents of his friend Brian Stanford. Alec's ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Leo McKern
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An obsessed cop tracks an elusive serial killer who strangles his victims on rainy nights.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: William Lundigan, Dorothy Patrick, Jeff Corey
Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An English village is occupied by disguised German paratroopers as an advance post for a planned invasion.

Director: Alberto Cavalcanti
Stars: Leslie Banks, C.V. France, Valerie Taylor
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a brutal police detective Lt. murders a bookmaker's runner for $25,000 in cash, a deaf mute sees him do it, and now he finds he must kill again to cover his tracks.

Directors: Howard W. Koch, Edmond O'Brien
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, John Agar, Marla English
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Old friends Ward and Phillip both become smitten with Phillip's mother's attractive young secretary Stella. But Stella marries Phillip and stands by him as his behavior becomes more and ... See full summary »

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Robert B. Sinclair, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders
War | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A band of mercenaries led by Captain Curry travel through the Congo across deadly terrain, battling rival armies, to rescue $25 million in uncut diamonds.

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Peter Carsten
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A war-veteran-turned-truck driver attempts to avenge the crippling and robbing of his father at the hands of an amoral produce scofflaw.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Richard Conte, Valentina Cortese, Lee J. Cobb
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A mobster (Quinn) springs a condemmed murderer (Grainger) because he got his sister (Bancroft) pregnant.

Director: Maxwell Shane
Stars: Farley Granger, Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Robert Wilson leads safaris on the Kenyan savanna. On this occasion, he takes Mr. and Mrs. Macomber out to hunt buffalo. The obnoxious ways of Margaret Macomber make the three of them get ... See full summary »

Director: Zoltan Korda
Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, Robert Preston
Split Second (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sam Hurley, "Nation's No. 1 killer" with a cold contempt for "heroes," escapes prison with two companions and takes a mixed bag of hostages to Nevada ghost town Lost Hope City. He knows ... See full summary »

Director: Dick Powell
Stars: Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Gray ...
Griffith Jones ...
René Ray ...
Cora (as Rene Ray)
Mary Merrall ...
Charles Farrell ...
Michael Brennan ...
Jack McNaughton ...
Cyril Smith ...
John Penrose ...
Eve Ashley ...
Phyllis Robins ...
Bill O'Connor ...
Maurice Denham ...
Mr. Fenshaw
Vida Hope ...
Mrs. Fenshaw


In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy. On his first job, the getaway car crashes after killing a policeman. Morgan is framed as the driver and sent to jail. Seeking revenge, he escapes and heads for London. Along the way he's helped by a woman (Mrs. Fenshaw), who wants him to murder her husband. In London, Morgan is sheltered by Sally, who falls in love with him. He confronts Narcy and the gang in an abandoned warehouse. Brazilian Director Cavalcanti's crime drama should not be confused with the totally unrelated "They Made Me a Criminal" (1939). Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 March 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Became a Criminal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Trevor Howard was cast at very short notice after the actor first cast dropped out. See more »


Caress Me
Performed on-stage by Phyllis Robins and others
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947) ***1/2
17 November 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This is a relatively rare example of a British film noir, but one which can hold its own alongside the more celebrated American variety. Director Cavalcanti's background in documentaries certainly served him in good stead here, bringing complete authenticity to the situations and settings. Still, thanks to Otto Heller's outstanding camera-work and lighting, he manages a number of strikingly cinematic visuals (for instance, the scene where heroine Sally Gray is beaten up by chief villain Griffith Jones).

It features a splendid cast, all of whom deliver excellent performances: Trevor Howard is an unusual hero-type but totally credible; lovely leading lady Sally Gray may come off a bit too good to be true (she initially commits herself to the framed Howard merely because her gangster boyfriend has jilted her for the latter's own fiancée!) but she elicits all the petite sex appeal of a Veronica Lake (meanwhile her love/hate banter with Howard evokes memories of the Robert Donat/Madeleine Carroll pairing from Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS [1935]); Griffith Jones is a suave yet ruthless leader of a black-market ring (but who gets his just desserts in particularly gruesome fashion); Mary Merrall is Jones' elderly associate, whose level-headedness and experience keeps the violent gangster in check; a young Ballard Berkeley is a sympathetic Scotland Yard man, but who doesn't think twice about using Howard as bait to capture the entire gang; Peter Bull turns up for a bit as a police informer.

The general gloominess (a mainstay of thrillers emanating from the post-war era) is leavened somewhat by its constant flurry of hard-boiled dialogue courtesy of screenwriter Noel Langley. The terrific climax is set inside the gang's 'business' office - a funeral parlor, amusingly named "The Valhalla Undertaking Co.". Still, perhaps my favorite scene in the entire film is Howard's surreal encounter with the zombie-like Vida Hope - in whose household he stumbles while on the run; she turns out to be deranged, and even tries to talk our hero into murdering her alcoholic husband (Maurice Denham)!

As is typical of old films released on DVD by Kino, the quality of the print and transfer leave a lot to be desired - but one has to be grateful still, because otherwise gems such as this one would remain unavailable indefinitely...

31 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
where is that missing 4 minutes? danielj_old999
Coincidence with 'The Count of Monte Cristo'? michaelhelwick
Discuss I Became a Criminal (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: