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Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Film-Noir, Drama | 7 July 1950 (USA)
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Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Det. Paul Klein
Tom Tully ...
Jiggs Taylor
...
Lt. Thomas
...
...
Ken Paine
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Storyline

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon always wanted to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But for a good guy, he's awfully vicious. After several complaints over his roughing people up, his boss, Insp. Nicholas Foley, demotes him. Foley tells him he's a good man, but needs to get his head on straight and be more like Det. Lt. Thomas, who has just gotten a promotion. Meanwhile, Tommy Scalise has an illegal dice game going and is looking to make a sucker out of the rich Ted Morrison, who was brought in by Ken Paine and his beautiful wife Morgan. She figures out too late her husband is using her as a decoy. Paine strikes her when she refuses to play along. The chivalrous Morrison intervenes but Paine knocks him out cold. That seems to be the worst of it, but later it turns out the guy is dead; and Paine looks guilty. Soon Dixon has fallen in love with Morgan - but not before losing his temper again and committing a terrible deed that he tries to cover up. Morgan's father... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only a woman's heart could reach out for such a man!

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Cry  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the last in a series of films that Otto Preminger made as a director-for-hire for Twentieth Century Fox in the 1940's. The series includes Laura (1944), which also stars Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews, Fallen Angel (1945) and Whirlpool (1949). See more »

Goofs

When the car Dixon is riding in pulls onto (and off) the garage elevator on the way to Scalise's hide-out, the camera shakes violently for a few seconds. See more »

Quotes

Morgan Taylor: What did they hit you with?
Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon: Various objects.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits start as chalk writing on a sidewalk, with someone walking over them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Street Scene
(uncredited)
Music by Alfred Newman
Whistled during opening credits
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User Reviews

 
Amazingly well made
10 February 2006 | by (Tennessee) – See all my reviews

At first glance, it would seem natural to compare Where the Sidewalk Ends with Laura. Both have noirish qualities, both were directed by Otto Preminger, and both star Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. But that's where most of the comparisons end. Laura dealt with posh, sophisticated people with means who just happen to find themselves mixed-up in a murder. Where the Sidewalk Ends is set in a completely different strata. These are people with barely two nickels to rub together who are more accustomed to seeing the underbelly of society than going to fancy dress parties. Where the Sidewalk ends is a gritty film filled with desperate people who solve their problems with their fists or some other weapon. Small-time hoods are a dime-a-dozen and cops routinely beat confessions out of the crooks. Getting caught-up in a murder investigation seems as natural as breathing.

While I haven't seen his entire body of work, based on what I have seen, Dana Andrews gives one of his best performances as the beat-down cop, Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon. He's the kind of cop who is used to roughing up the local hoods if it gets him information or a confession. One night, he goes too far and accidentally kills a man. He does his best to cover it up. But things get complicated when he falls for the dead man's wife, Morgan Taylor (Tierney), whose father becomes suspect number one in the murder case. As Morgan's father means the world to her, Dixon's got to do what he can to clear the old man without implicating himself.

Technically, Where the Sidewalk Ends is outstanding. Besides the terrific performance from Andrews, the movie features the always delightful Tierney. She has a quality that can make even the bleakest of moments seem brighter. The rest of the cast is just as solid with Tom Tully as the wrongly accused father being a real standout. Beyond the acting, the direction, sets, lighting, and cinematography are all top-notch. Overall, it's an amazingly well made film.

If I have one complaint (and admittedly it's a very, very minor quibble) it's that Tierney is almost too perfect for the role and her surroundings. It's a little difficult to believe that a woman like that could find herself mixed-up with some of these unsavory characters. It's not really her fault, it's just the way Tierney comes across. She seems a little too beautiful, polished, and delicate for the part. But, her gentle, kind, trusting nature add a sense of needed realism to her portrayal.


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