Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director:

Writers:

(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Detour (1945)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chance events trap hitch-hiker Al Roberts in a tightening net of film noir trouble.

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two fishermen pick up a psychotic escaped convict who tells them that he intends to murder them when the ride is over.

Director: Ida Lupino
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy, William Talman
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Anne Shirley
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An ex-con trying to go straight is framed for a million dollar armored car robbery and must go to Mexico in order to unmask the real culprits.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: John Payne, Coleen Gray, Preston Foster
The Big Combo (1955)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A police lt. is ordered to stop investigating deadly crime boss Mr. Brown, because he hasn't been able to get any hard evidence against him. He then goes after Brown's girlfriend who despises him, for information instead.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Richard Conte, Jean Wallace, Cornel Wilde
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a man in mid-life crisis befriends a young woman, her venal fiancé persuades her to con him out of some of the fortune she thinks he has.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-bomber pilot is suspected of murdering his unfaithful wife.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake, William Bendix
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Crossfire (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This film-noir piece, told in semi-documentary style, follows police on the hunt for a resourceful criminal who shoots and kills a cop.

Directors: Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann
Stars: Richard Basehart, Scott Brady, Roy Roberts
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Miss Foster (as Beverly Campbell)
Lynn Baggett ...
...
Henry Hart ...
...
...
Jess Kirkpatrick ...
Sam
...
Sue (as Cay Forrester)
Frank Jaquet ...
Dr. Matson (as Fred Jaquet)
Lawrence Dobkin ...
Dr. Schaefer (as Larry Dobkin)
Frank Gerstle ...
...
Kitty
Edit

Storyline

Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow goes to San Francisco for a week's fun prior to settling down with fiancée Paula. After a night on the town, he wakes up with more than just a hangover; doctors tell him he's been given a "luminous toxin" with no antidote and has, at most, a week to live! Not knowing who did it or why, Bigelow embarks on a frantic odyssey to find his own murderer. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture as excitingly different as its title!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead on arrival  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

When the bus stops in front of one of the henchmen chasing Frank , the front door opens, but when they cut to the inside of the bus, the door is still closed, and remains closed, until Frank gets up and goes out the rear door. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Homicide Detective: Can I help you?
Frank Bigelow: I'd like to see the man in charge.
Homicide Detective: In here...
Frank Bigelow: I want to report a murder.
Homicide Captain: Sit down. Where was this murder committed?
Frank Bigelow: San Francisco, last night.
Homicide Captain: Who was murdered?
Frank Bigelow: I was.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits read "The medical facts in this motion picture are authentic. Luminous toxin is a descriptive term for an actual poison. Technical Adviser, Edward F. Dunne, M.D." See more »

Connections

Featured in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
This Film Shines Like Luminescence
5 June 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

DOA was made on the cusp of Edmond O'Brien's transition from leads to character roles and it may very well be his career part.

It's a cheaply made thriller and it shows in spots. But it more than makes up for it in originality of plot and the performances of a superb cast of players.

DOA involves nothing less than Edmond O'Brien solving his own murder. He's in some kind of business and as a sideline he makes a little extra money as a notary. He notarizes a bill of sale and in doing so is a witness to a piece of evidence that a man who was a party to the sale had no reason to commit suicide.

But the perpetrator doesn't slip O'Brien something fast acting like cyanide. No he gets something called luminescent poisoning which is slow acting, but irreversibly fatal if not caught within a few hours of ingesting. When he learns what happens, O'Brien has nothing to lose in his hunt for his own killer.

Best in the cast of supporting players without a doubt is Neville Brand who invades Lyle Bettger territory in playing a psychopathic thug in Luther Adler's employ. Adler himself is always good as are good girl Pamela Britton and bad girl Beverly Garland.

The film was made on a shoestring, but occasionally those films can prove worthwhile.


23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Jazz Band gemproof99
The Wolf Whistles badger-37
How did Halliday know Bigelow was at the bar? NewtonFigg
What happened to Chester? lsgmusic
Restoration that would do this classic justice Bodine
Look alike? noir59
Discuss D.O.A. (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?