A young man, morally destroyed by his parents not loving him and by the fear of being not capable to make his girlfriend happy, rises on the ledge of a building with the intention of committing suicide. A policeman makes every effort to argue him out of that. Written by
Tiziana Totaro <email@example.com>
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Although this film traffics in some of the worst movie clichés (the good-hearted, potato-nosed Irish-American cop; the conventional--and tacked-on--Happy Ending(tm)), it manages to rise above them, thanks to fine acting, a gripping story, and excellent production values. (You feel teleported to the Manhattan of 1951.) The chemistry between Paul Douglas (as Officer Dunnegan) and an incredibly young Richard Basehart (as the suicidal young man) really drives the film. Basehart plays his part with a combination of brittleness and patrician airs that make his character believable. Douglas thankfully doesn't overplay his role; he has to be father-confessor to the young man while attempting to steer him away from thoughts of self-destruction. Some years after seeing this film, I read the non-fiction article that it is based on in an anthology (the article was originally published in The New Yorker as "The Man on the Ledge"). Let us just say that the ending of the article and the film diverge somewhat.
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