IMDb > I Became a Criminal (1947)
They Made Me a Fugitive
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I Became a Criminal (1947) More at IMDbPro »They Made Me a Fugitive (original title)


Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   676 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Jackson Budd (novel)
Noel Langley (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for I Became a Criminal on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 March 1948 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
NewsDesk:
(6 articles)
New DVD Blu-Ray: 'Silent House,' 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'
 (From Moviefone. 24 July 2012, 9:03 AM, PDT)

The Forgotten: Piscatorial Extremity
 (From MUBI. 30 May 2012, 8:17 PM, PDT)

Den Of Geek Film Of The Year 2010
 (From Den of Geek. 16 December 2010, 9:28 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Don't be so reactionary, this is the century of the common man. See more (23 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Sally Gray ... Sally

Trevor Howard ... Clem
Griffith Jones ... Narcy
René Ray ... Cora (as Rene Ray)
Mary Merrall ... Aggie
Charles Farrell ... Curley
Michael Brennan ... Jim
Jack McNaughton ... Soapy
Cyril Smith ... Bert
John Penrose ... Shawney
Eve Ashley ... Ellen
Phyllis Robins ... Olga
Bill O'Connor ... Bill
Maurice Denham ... Mr. Fenshaw
Vida Hope ... Mrs. Fenshaw
Ballard Berkeley ... Rockliffe
Derek Birch ... Police Constable Murray

Peter Bull ... Fidgity Phil
Gordon Court ... Sergeant
Lyn Evans ... Lorry Driver
Enid Cruickshank ... Club Hostess

Sebastian Cabot ... Club Proprietor
Ida Patlanski ... Soho Girl
Howard Douglas ... Chief Warder
Charles Doe ... Electrician
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Diana Graves ... May (uncredited)
Sam Kydd ... Eddie (uncredited)
Beatrice Varley ... Farmer's Wife (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alberto Cavalcanti  (as Cavalcanti)
 
Writing credits
Jackson Budd (novel "A Convict Has Escaped")

Noel Langley (screenplay)

Produced by
Nat A. Bronstein .... producer (as N.A. Bronsten)
James A. Carter .... executive producer (as James Carter)
Noel Langley .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Marius-François Gaillard  (as Marius Francois Gaillard)
 
Cinematography by
Otto Heller (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Margery Saunders 
 
Art Direction by
Andrew Mazzei  (as A. Mazzei)
 
Makeup Department
Jean Bear .... hair stylist
Nell Taylor .... makeup artist (as Natalie Taylor)
Ida Mills .... hair stylist (uncredited)
George Turner .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Fraser Foulsham .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dicky Leeman .... assistant director
Guy Hamilton .... assistant director (uncredited)
Pat Kelly .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Peter Dukelow .... head carpenter (uncredited)
Thomas Goswell .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
George Burgess .... sound director
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (as John Mitchell)
Moray MacFarlane .... boom operator (uncredited)
Jack Slade .... dubbing editor (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Matthew Baker .... digital restoration artist (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Jock Easton .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Day .... camera operator (as Bob Day)
Gus Drisse .... camera operator
Gerry Fisher .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Walter Lassally .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Bert Mason .... lighting camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Cyril Stanborough .... still photographer (uncredited)
John Winbolt .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dorothy Sinclair .... wardrobe supervisor
Amy C. Binney .... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Anne Barker .... cutter
Reginald Beck .... editorial supervisor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
John Hollingsworth .... conductor
 
Other crew
Shirley Barnes .... continuity
Jean Dyball .... assistant continuity (uncredited)
Kenneth Horne .... location manager (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"They Made Me a Fugitive" - UK (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
99 min | USA:78 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The first feature film of Michael Brennan.See more »
Soundtrack:
Caress MeSee more »

FAQ

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Don't be so reactionary, this is the century of the common man., 22 June 2011
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

They Made Me a Fugitive (AKA: I Became a Criminal) is directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, and adapted to screenplay by Noel Langley from the novel A Convict Has Escaped written by Jackson Budd. It stars Trevor Howard, Sally Gray, Griffith Jones, Rene Ray and Mary Merrall. Music is by Marius-Francois Gaillard and cinematography by Otto Heller.

Ex-RAF man Clem Morgan (Howard) finds civilian life is dull and a struggle for him to ingratiate himself into. Searching for some excitement he is tempted into joining a black market gang fronted by ruthless Narcy (Jones). But Clem and Narcy don't exactly hit it off and when disaster strikes during a getaway, Clem finds himself set up as a fall-guy. So begins a tale of murder, beatings and revenge.

Call it either Brit film noir or spiv crime melodrama, they Made Me a Fugitive is a 100% potent and important movie in the cycle of British crime films that came out in the late 1940's; films that caused quite a stir upon their release. Shifting from wartime propaganda to post-war malaise and the dubious moral conditions of the cities, "Fugitive", and films of its ilk such as Brighton Rock, baited the censors at the BBFC, where although some minor tone downs were used as a compromise, Cavalcanti refused to bow down to any requests for striping the film of its violence and grim social realistic core. His standing was such that the film was passed uncut for release in the summer of 47, thus it was able to shock the contemporary British audience. Sadly American audiences were not so lucky, instead receiving a cut minus 20 minutes, that was released under the title I Became a Criminal in 1948. Suffice to say that the only version to see these days is the one that runs at just under 100 minutes in length.

Hard to believe that such a tough picture was scripted by the same guy who wrote the screenplays for the Wizard of Oz (1939) and Scrooge (1951), but that is the case. Langley's teaming with Cavalcanti and Heller proved to be a great one, ensuring that the film looked, sounded and played out as the grim tale it ultimately is. The violence, and in fact the staging of such, is of course tame when viewed nowadays, but the film has such a sense of time period it's easy to get transported into the movie and feel the unflinching nature of the beast. Besides, the violence against women and coppers used here will always carry with it a sense of nastiness. Film is also boosted by the performances of Howard (making no attempt to play Clem as likable), Jones (eloquent spiv nastiness supreme) and Gray (hot to trot). Howard was right in the middle of what would be a purple period in his career, with Brief Encounter just behind him and The Third Man on the horizon, Howard was on form. That this film warrants being mentioned in the same breath as those two movies is testament to its, and his, worth.

Perhaps a little surprising given the itchy texture of the film, there's also some dark humour within. It's not for nothing that the bad guys work out of a funeral parlour, where constant reminders of death are evident via the coffins and sarcastic advertisements on the walls. This base also acts as the back drop to the big face off during the finale, tensely played out on the roof where a huge sign grimly reads R.I.P. Where the film gets its Brit film noir tag from is due to the look provided by Heller's photography and the scenes constructed by Cavalcanti in dimly lit rooms and ramshackle alleyways. While the ending, thankfully, doesn't cop out and ensures that no film noir fan will be disappointed. All in it's a classic piece of British crime film making, taking chances by not shying away from playing the drama straight and true, while revelling in a mood of bitterness. 9/10

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