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Backfire (1950)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  11 February 1950 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 608 users  
Reviews: 23 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.

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(screenplay) (as Larry Marcus) , (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Backfire (1950)

Backfire (1950) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

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 ...
Burns
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Storyline

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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Somewhere in the City  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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 ...
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Soundtracks

Can't We Be Friends
(uncredited)
Music by Kay Swift
Played when Steve, Bonnie and Lysa arrive at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Returning vets drawn into cesspool of postwar Los Angeles
29 October 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

The dislocation felt by returning servicemen was one of the chief topical themes of the film noir cycle. After being primed to take risks but no prisoners in the anarchic and violent theaters of World War, many found it hard to ratchet back down upon their return to an often jarringly altered society. Amnesia was the primary noir metaphor -- having to reconstruct an entire past life from scratch. Others faced having to cope with disabilities; still others, having spent the "best years of their lives" in hellholes abroad, weren't about to wait for the high life on the installment plan.

Backfire forgoes amnesia for the latter two categories. Gordon MacRae recuperates from spinal-cord injuries in a veterans' hospital until he can get out and buy a ranch with army buddy Edmond O'Brien, who abruptly vanishes. Upon release, MacRae sets out to track him down through the labyrinthine underbelly of postwar Los Angeles. It looks like O'Brien got mixed up with heavy gamblers, and is in fact wanted for apparently murdering a syndicate kingpin. MacRae is aided in his quest by his nurse (Virginia Mayo, good as a good gal for once) but thrown off the trail by a mysterious foreigner (Viveca Lindfors, as a discount-chain Ingrid Bergman). But, as always in the noir scheme, things are rarely what they at first seem....

No masterpiece, Backfire nevertheless keeps up the pace and the suspense, drawing (like Somewhere in the Night) on themes and formats that were central concerns of the cycle.


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