6.7/10
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31 user 14 critic

The Crooked Way (1949)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 22 April 1949 (USA)
War hero recovers from amnesia & is confronted by his criminal past.

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Writers:

(radio play "No Blade Too Sharp"), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Vince Alexander
...
Nina Martin
...
Lieutenant Joe Williams
...
Petey
...
Sgt. Barrett
Charles Evans ...
Captain Anderson (as Charlie Evans)
...
Hazel Downs
Raymond Largay ...
Arthur Stacey, M.D.
Harry Bronson ...
Danny
Hal Baylor ...
Coke (as Hal Fieberling)
...
Hood
Jack Overman ...
Hood
Crane Whitley ...
Doctor Kemble / Off-Screen Narrator
John Harmon ...
Kelly
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Storyline

A World War II veteran, suffering from amnesia but otherwise healthy, is released from a veteran's hospital, decides to return to Los Angeles to see if he can regain his identity. Trying to retrace his former steps he soon learns that he was a double-crossing gangster, and many people have reasons to wish he wasn't around...and some try to see to it that he isn't around very long...alive, at least. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's got a date ...with DEATH! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Herr der Unterwelt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, John Payne hitches a ride in a mortuary van from a place called "Green Acres". It's coincidental that the movie's cast includes Frank Cady and Percy Helton, who both appeared on the TV series of the same name. See more »

Goofs

Alexander's position in front of the War Surplus store changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Rice: [to Nina Martin] Keep your lights off and the motor running.
See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Louis Forbes
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User Reviews

 
Well done...
1 December 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The plot for "The Crooked Way" is far-fetched but that isn't a problem if the film is well made. It begins with a soldier (John Payne) talking with his doctor. It seems he was gravely injured during the war and took some shrapnel to his skull. He will live and the doctors have done all they can--but Eddie (John Payne) has no memory before the injury. And so, he sets out for what he thinks might be his old home in order to learn who he was. The trouble is, he might not like who he was AND there are some folks there who might just beat his brains in or worse!

This film represented a big departure for John Payne, as up until this film, he was mostly known as a pretty guy--nice and safe. Here, however, he's a man out to destroy...or be destroyed. Because of this movie, he'd soon go on to make other excellent noir films such as "99 River Street" and "Kansas City Confidential".

As far as the quality of the plot goes, it's generally very good--though you do wonder why the now nice guy Payne's character has become is so pig-headed and intent on nearly getting himself killed. But, with a great (and very tough) plot and characters, and especially a very strong ending, it's well worth your time.

By the way, look for Rhys Williams as the police lieutenant. There's no trace at all of his native Welsh accent here! Nice job, Rhys!


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