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Dial 1119 (1950)

Passed  -  Film-Noir | Thriller  -  3 November 1950 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 554 users  
Reviews: 27 user | 9 critic

A former mental patient murders a bus driver, then takes refuge in a bar, where he holds the patrons hostage.

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(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Dial 1119 (1950)

Dial 1119 (1950) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Virginia Field ...
Freddy
...
Helen
Sam Levene ...
Dr. John D. Faron
...
Earl
Keefe Brasselle ...
Skip
Richard Rober ...
Police Capt. Henry Keiver
James Bell ...
Harrison D. Barnes
...
Chuckles - Bartender
Dick Simmons ...
Television Announcer
Hal Baylor ...
Police Lt. 'Whitey' Tallman (as Hal Fieberling)
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Storyline

A young mentally-ill killer, Gunther Wyckoff, escapes from a mental institution, murder a bus driver and, then, takes six hostages in a bar. The gun in Wyckoff's hand kills without emotion or pity wielded by a man bare of emotion. Begins as a moral question whether an insane killer should or should not be sent to the electric, but goes elsewhere before it ends. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 November 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Les Ames nues  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

On the directory of the Criminal Courts Building, the last two entries of "Quinman, R.A." and "Quimore, C." are out of alphabetical order with the rest. See more »

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User Reviews

 
...a pondering on the gray area of social engineering.
26 July 2006 | by (Vancouver, BC) – See all my reviews

Out of the grayness of film noir drama comes a pondering on the gray area of social engineering.

Dial 1119 is a film discussion of the distention between straight-ahead law enforcement and the brand-new authority of psychological intervention in criminal matters. The heart of the film is the series of conversations between the Homicide Captain and the forensic psychiatrist. Therein lies a clear blueprint of the issues: Is it better to identify and treat society's offenders, rather than simply punish? What should the treatment be; confinement, medicine or capital punishment? In view of the fact they prosecuted a man for murder and saw him escape the electric chair to kill again, are the police to be blamed for being skeptical of the medical model in dealing with crime? Are we to condemn the doctor's humanist courage as simple folly, or celebrate it as a noble march toward higher existence?

I found the relationship between police and doctor to be unique in cinema, can't remember when I've ever seen it so clearly and dramatically drawn. Also, the characterizing vignettes of the various hostages were deftly wrought. Overall, a remarkable film rendered nearly into the realm of science-fiction by the dominance of a 48 inch flat screen TV over the main set, presaging the looming hypnotic sway the contraption would wield on a developing social world.


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