Backfire (1950)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  11 February 1950 (USA)
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Reviews: 24 user | 12 critic

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.



(screenplay) (as Larry Marcus) , (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Ben Arno / Lou Walsh
Lysa Radoff
Police Capt. Garcia
Frances Robinson ...
Mrs. Blayne
Richard Rober ...
Solly Blayne
Bonnie Willis (as Shela Stephens)
David Hoffman ...


Bob Corey, recovering from a series of operations in a Veterans' hospital, learns that his friend, Steve Connelly, with whom he intended to buy a ranch, has disappeared under circumstance that indicate he may have been involved in a murder. Accompanied by his nurse, Julie Benson, with whom he has fallen in love, Bob follows a series of clues and incidents, including three more murders, that leads to a gambler, masquerading as an undertaker to avoid taxes on his illegal income, has a whole lot to do with his friend's predicament. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


That "White Heat" girl turns it on again!..


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Somewhere in the City  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gambler Solly Blayne (Richard Rober) is shot from outside the living room window as he relaxes in his Los Angeles home, which is exactly the same way that gangster Bugsy Siegel was killed in Beverly Hills in 1948. See more »


Bob Corey(Gordon MacRae) and Julie Benson (Virginia Mayo)are eating dinner and discussing Steve Connelly's(Edmond O'Brien)disappearance they are drinking wine and eating and there is a bottle of wine in the middle of the table next to a burning candle. Just after a close up of MacRae when it goes to a wide shot the plates are gone as is the wine bottle and the glasses. They have been replaced by coffee cups and the waiter asking if they would like more coffee. See more »


Ben Arno: ...I figured all the business must have gone west, and I came out to look things over... found a place out on Sunset Strip... looked good. Then i tried to get a loan. No dice. "The banks like to see a sure thing," they said. "For instance?" I said. Something certain. I said, "All right. What's certain?" Two things... death and taxes. So I got to thinking, who comes to California? There's the ones who come here to live and the ones who come here to die. I couldn't get the live ones without a ...
See more »


Someone to Watch Over Me
Music by George Gershwin
Played when Steve and Solly meet at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

In a word: Bad
25 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a disappointment! Had never heard of this film before and apparently for good reason. Got the DVD from the library, along with Deadline at Dawn, a very good film noir, on the same disc. Had an interesting enough cast, I thought, especially Edmund O'Brien. The director, Vincent Sherman, is known for some good melodramas. But the directing in this was not perceptive. What was majorly disappointing were both O'Brien and VIrginia Mayo. They'd done very well in just the past couple of years: Mayo was surprisingly good in both The Best Years of Our Lives and White Heat as a not nice dame. But in this, it was as if she'd never made a film before, was amateurish if not downright silly. MacRae learned to belt out songs opposite Mayo and Day and was good at that but as a noir character, he was a fish out of water and even appeared to be swimming in his suit and hat. Dane Clark has done better; in this he was as lost as the rest of the mob. Viveca Lindfors always struck me as misguided; had she come to Hollywood before Bergman, she might have been an original but instead she got stuck in wannabe roles. Support was fine - Ida Moore, the hotel clerk whose name I don't know and had never seen before, and was particularly noirish, Ed Begley, Monte Blue, Sheila MacRae but the major players needed acting lessons and the story line got lost in flashback. All in all, I couldn't take my eyes off of it, it was that bad.

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