6.4/10
545
21 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rocky (as Henry Morgan)
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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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Father Redmond
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Wallace 'Wally' Stoner
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Pablo Cabrillo
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Detective Jim Ryan (as William S. Phillips)
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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

Hotel Night Clerk: She's about as chummy as Leo Durocher with an umpire.
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Crazy Credits

During the closing scene a neon sign reads "24 HOUR SERVICE". When the film ends another neon sign lights up with "THE END" below it. See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

 
Not really a film noir - just a gangster melodrama
5 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Red Lights" doesn't really meet enough of the classic criteria to be called a true "film noir." In reality, it's just a somewhat sappy revenge drama peppered with some unexpected moments of mad violence. Note how the plot wraps up nicely at the end, but not in the way George Raft's character would initially have hoped. Even the masterful composer Dmitri Tiomkin turns in a by-the-numbers performance, shoe-horning "Ave Maria" into the score every time a Bible or a priest is mentioned (as well as the "Dies Irae" in the death scenes).

This is the only film I can think of where a Gideon Bible plays a primary role. It's also one of those 1940s flicks that is loaded with actors that were about to become household names through the medium of television: Wiliam Frawley (I Love Lucy, My Three Sons), Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, Ironside), Henry Morgan (Dragnet, December Bride, Pete and Gladys, M*A*S*H), and Victor Sen Young (already known through the Charlie Chan films, but soon to play Hop Sing on Bonanza). Also keep your eyes open for voice actor Paul Frees (Boris Badenov/Pillsbury Doughboy), who plays the hotel bellhop who's with George Raft when he discovers the body. It was one of Frees's first on-screen roles. Within a decade, he would give up film almost completely to concentrate on more lucrative voice work.


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