MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 923 this week

Act of Violence (1948)

Passed  |   |  Thriller, Film-Noir, Drama  |  21 December 1948 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,691 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 22 critic

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp..

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
0Check in
0Share...

On TV

Airs Sat. May. 30, 4:30 AM on TCM

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 18 Feb 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 19 Feb 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 07 Dec 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 12 May 2014
 
a list of 29 titles
created 21 May 2014
 

Related Items

Search for "Act of Violence" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Act of Violence (1948)

Act of Violence (1948) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Act of Violence.
1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Side Street (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A struggling young father-to-be gives in to temptation and impulsively steals money from the office of a shady lawyer - with catastrophic consequences.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, James Craig
Decoy (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mortally wounded female gangster recounts how she and her gang revived an executed killer from the gas chamber, to try and find out where he buried a fortune in cash.

Director: Jack Bernhard
Stars: Jean Gillie, Edward Norris, Robert Armstrong
Raw Deal (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Joe Sullivan is itching to get out of prison. He's taken the rap for Rick, who owes him $50 Grand. Rick sets up an escape for Joe, knowing that Joe will be caught escaping and be shot or ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Claire Trevor, Marsha Hunt
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside. There he meets Mary Malden,... See full summary »

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
The Set-Up (1949)
Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias
Certificate: Passed Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A blind detective and his seeing-eye dog investigate a murder and discover a Nazi plot.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Arnold, Ann Harding, Donna Reed
Crime Wave (1954)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gene Nelson, Sterling Hayden, Phyllis Kirk
The Prowler (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell
Crime | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An escaped convict, injured during a robbery, falls in love with the woman who nurses him back to health, but their relationship seems doomed from the beginning.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Cathy O'Donnell, Farley Granger, Howard Da Silva
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young doctor falls in love with a disturbed young woman, becomes involved in the death of her husband, and has to flee with her to the Mexican border.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Claude Rains, Faith Domergue
Teresa (1951)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reluctant soldier, Peter, serves in Italy during WWII. He marries a local girl named Teresa and brings her to the US.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Pier Angeli, John Ericson, Patricia Collinge
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Pat
...
Ann
Berry Kroeger ...
Johnny
Taylor Holmes ...
Gavery
Harry Antrim ...
Fred
Connie Gilchrist ...
Martha
...
Pop
Edit

Storyline

War veteran Frank Enley seems to be a happily married small-town citizen until he realises Joe Parkson is in town. It seems Parkson is out for revenge because of something that happened in a German POW camp, and when a frightened Enley suddenly leaves for a convention in L.A., Parkson is close behind. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's the only one that came out alive ... and now he wants my life ... to atone for the others' See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akt der Gewalt  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,290,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was entered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1949. See more »

Goofs

When Enley and his wife are awakened by the child's nightmare, the time on the nightstand clock is about 2:25. Later, she's awakened when Enley leaves, but the time has gone back to 1:25. See more »

Quotes

Johnny: [giving Enley a drink] Put hair on your chest!
Frank R. Enley: [he sighs and looks confused and disoriented] Who are you?
Johnny: Me? I'm a businessman. You and me are gonna do a little business. You got dough, friend?
[looking at Pat]
Johnny: That's why they hang around - on the chisel. But not me. I'm gonna earn it!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Appointment with Retribution
21 July 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

"Act of Violence" is the penultimate noir film, containing many key elements that made the genre so formidable. Coming a year before Carol Reed's classic "The Third Man," the imagery of the tunnel as a symbol for the search for redemption is presented already full blown by Fred Zinnemann. The effective utilization of urban nocturnal sounds in place of music punctuate the mood of desperation and hopelessness like a sharp knife slashing the soul asunder. What can be more lonely than a distant train whistle in the middle of a dark night? Or wind whistling through the eves of houses occupied by deserted, lost individuals? No place is as desolate as the empty streets of a large city in the wee hours of morning just before dawn. Zinnemann and his superb cameraman, Robert Surtees, provide these chilling images plus so much more.

Who can forget Frank R. Enley (Van Heflin at his best) escaping from his demons, not just limping Joe Parkson (Robert Ryan) or bad boy Johnny (Berry Kroeger), through a vacant tunnel screaming at the top of his lungs, "Don't do it, Joe...Don't...." Or the scenes of Joe running down oppressive stairways to get away from the specters that haunt him. His actions are not enough to justify recompense. Recompense comes only at the end of the film, not a closing that most would want or expect in a Hollywood film of the day, but the required one for the theme of the story.

The entire cast of "Act of Violence" is first rate, giving performances worthy of recognition, but veteran actress Mary Astor as the lost soul, Pat, who takes an ambivalent attitude toward Frank, runs away with the show. She portrays despair and desperation writ large. Pat's human side wants to help Frank, to free him of the hell hounds nipping at his heels. But the survival part of Pat wants to throw him to the wolves for a pittance. A telling scene occurs when Johnny nonchalantly dashes a drink into her face for attempting to aid Frank. She reacts in an impassive manner, as if this were a daily occurrence. Pat is perennially at the mercy of men who treat her like trash. She views life the same way she views men.

One other performance of note comes from Taylor Holmes as Gavery, the aged shyster lawyer. Holmes makes his small part shine, becoming the epitome of an intelligent, educated professional, corrupted by greed and ego. His surroundings suggest Gavery is debarred, now living on funds extorted or purloined from illegal activities. Johnny, played to perfection by Berry Kroeger, is a crude, immoral mental dwarf ruled by emotion and violence, a counterpart to Holmes who uses punks such as Johnny to do the dirty work and be the patsy if caught. Johnny is also a foil for Joe who seeks to kill Frank for moral, altruism reasons.

The script by Robert Richards from a story by Collier Young is not much and would have withered on the vine in the hands of a journeyman director. Fred Zinnemann and cinematographer Robert Surtees breathe life into the routine story to make it one of the best noir thrillers of them all, innovative and entertaining. A leading citizen of a small town, Frank Enley, is being stalked by a former army buddy, Joe Parkson, because of an incident that took place in a German POW camp that led to the death of several fellow soldiers. Joe was left for dead but miraculously survived to hunt down the informer, Frank, and kill him. Frank attempts to escape by hiding out in a seedy section of Los Angeles. He meets a fellow creature of the night, Pat, who introduces him to a hit-man, Johnny. While drunk and out of his mind, Frank makes a deal with the devil. Realizing too late what he has done, Frank rushes to stop the inevitable.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Premise doesn't add up Turfseer
Was this remade as 'History of Violence?' Groucho-13
Favorite line Sean1956
the end of 'act of violence'??? chrelle
Showing tonight - May 14, 2007 PierTwo
Barbara Billingsly's voice sleepybone
Discuss Act of Violence (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?