6.4/10
495
20 user 9 critic

Red Light (1949)

The former employee of a trucking company, currently in prison for embezzling the company, plans his eventual revenge against his former boss.

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Writers:

(story "This Guy Gideon") (as Donald Barry), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carla North
...
Warni Hazard
...
Nick Cherney
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Rocky (as Henry Morgan)
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Detective Strecker
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Capt. Jess Torno (Chaplain)
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Ken Murray
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Carlson Hotel Bellhop
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Hotel Night Clerk
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Father Redmond
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Wallace 'Wally' Stoner
Phillip Pine ...
Pablo Cabrillo
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Detective Jim Ryan (as William S. Phillips)
...
Trina (as Movita Castenada)
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Storyline

Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at Johnny Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a week before Nick, to murder Jess...who, dying, tells revenge-minded Johnny that he'd written a clue "in the Bible." Frustrated, Johnny obsessively searches for the missing Gideon Bible from Jess's hotel room. Meanwhile, Nick himself gets out with murder still in his heart. But another factor is in play that none of them (except the murdered Jess) had planned on. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"You're going too far this time, Torno...the law is breathing down your neck!" (ORIGINAL POSTER) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Gideon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sharp-looking car Johnny is driving when he gives the cops the slip by having one of his trucks block them in is a 1948 Packard Custom Eight Convertible. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Torno: [to Rocky, holding a cookbook] Lookin' for a recipe? Well, you've got one - for trouble!
See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
George Raft is not like a box of chocolates...
30 May 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... because you always know what you're going to get. However, that doesn't mean that I don't really enjoy his movies. Nobody, I mean nobody does revenge like Raft. Here he plays businessman Johnny Torno, proud older brother of young Jess Torno, a priest recently returned from being a chaplain in WWII. Four years earlier Torno's bookkeeper Nick Cherney (Raymond Burr) was sent to prison for embezzling from Johnny's company - he was embarrassingly guilty and it was really a lot of money. Instead of blaming the man in the mirror, Nick blames Johnny for his fate and crafts a particularly cruel revenge. If he kills Johnny, Johnny's troubles are over. However, if he kills what is precious to him - brother Jess - he can plunge Johnny into a living hell of grief. He sends a hit man (Harry Morgan) out to do the killing. Johnny finds Jess just before he dies. Of course Johnny wants to know who did this so he can kill them in revenge - he tells Jess so - and Jess tells him the answer is written in a Bible.

Now at first Johnny thinks Jess means his own personal Bible, but after searching through it he finds nothing. He then realizes that Jess probably meant the Gideon Bible that is found in every hotel room. This starts Johnny on a search for the missing Bible and all of the guests in the hotel room since Jess' death who might have taken it. Nick, now out of prison, along with the hit man, are right on Johnny's heels hoping their plans are not discovered.

It is very odd to see later TV good guys Harry Morgan and Raymond Burr playing such sinister characters but the performances ring true. So does Virginia Mayo as a girl Johnny befriends along the way as the voice of reason and even redemption. Raft wrestles here not only with bad guys and a mystery but with God Himself - he treats the Almighty either like a traffic cop that he thinks can be bribed or an unreliable employee that he doesn't fire because he enjoys blaming him for his troubles, depending on his mood.

A good noir and good stuff from Raft - highly recommended.


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