Quicksand (1950)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  24 March 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,377 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 20 critic

After borrowing $20 from his employer's cash register, an auto mechanic is plunged into a series of increasingly disastrous circumstances which rapidly spiral out of his control.



(original screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Cagney ...
Taylor Holmes ...
Art Smith ...
Wally Cassell ...
Richard Lane ...
Lt. Nelson
Patsy O'Connor ...
John Gallaudet ...
Minerva Urecal ...
Sidney Marion ...
Jimmie Dodd ...
Buzz (as Jimmy Dodd)
Lester Dorr ...
Kitty O'Neil ...
Madame Zaronga


Motor mechanic Dan Brady lacks funds for a heavy date with new waitress Vera, the type whose life's ambition is a fur coat; so he embezzles twenty dollars from his employer. To make up the shortage, he goes in debt for a hundred. Thereafter, every means he tries to get out of trouble only gets him deeper into crime, while everyone he meets is out for what they can get. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A guy who yields to temptation just once...... ....and finds it's once too often! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 March 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sables mouvants  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mickey Rooney co-financed Quicksand with Peter Lorre. See more »


Daniel 'Dan' Brady: I feel like I'm bein' shoved into a corner, and if I don't get out soon, it'll be too late. Maybe it's too late already!
See more »


References South of St. Louis (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

A Cross Between "Detour" and "The Myth of Sysiphus"
22 September 2005 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

We feel as if we are sinking into the quicksand as one thing after another goes wrong. This is similar to the bleak and (today) more famous "Detour." But it's almost as good.

Mickey Rooney has always been an appealing performer. He's good here but not totally plausible. If Tom Neal had been the star, It'd be a real jewel.

Jeanne Cagney is surprisingly tough as the girl Rooney falls for. It's very easy to hate her character, which is the intent of the plot. Barbara Bates is not interesting as the girl who's loved him all along. When I was a small child I saw her giggling and doing what I remember as an early version of "breaking up" as she announced prizes for contestants on "Queen for a Day." Quite some range, just like her brother! Without giving away any of the plot, just know that no matter where the protagonist turns, he gets a (usually figurative) slap in the face. He sinks deeper and deeper and nothing he does seems to lift him out of the mire.

(It also has great location shots and is a superb look at honky-tonk in the middle of the last century.)

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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