6.9/10
430
15 user 10 critic

The Glass Wall (1953)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 31 July 1953 (Finland)
Peter, a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Naked Alibi (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A police chief fired for brutality, tries to get evidence on a man suspected of killing 3 police detectives.

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Police seek a smuggler while doctors, unaware she's the same person, desperately comb unprotected New York for a smallpox carrier.

Director: Earl McEvoy
Stars: Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Susan is in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Maureen O'Hara, Melvyn Douglas, Gloria Grahame
Two of a Kind (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lawyer for a rich elderly industrialist works out a complex inheritance scam to pass off a con as the industrialist's long-lost son and claim the huge inheritance.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Lizabeth Scott, Terry Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A doctor returning from the Korean War to his hometown in Pennsylvania must choose what next to do with his life

Director: Irving Rapper
Stars: Charlton Heston, Lizabeth Scott, Dianne Foster
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In London, three otherwise law-abiding good men and their unscrupulous leader are about to commit a serious crime but for different reasons.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Gloria Grahame, Richard Basehart
Roughshod (1949)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Wrangler Clay Phillips and his young brother are taking horses to Sonora when they come across four dancehall girls heading the same way, stuck with a wrecked buggy. He takes the girls on ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Robert Sterling, Gloria Grahame, Claude Jarman Jr.
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Czech circus owner-Clown and his entire troupe employ a daring stratagem in order to escape en masse from behind the iron curtain.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Fredric March, Terry Moore, Gloria Grahame
Ruthless (1948)
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Horace Vendig shows himself to the world as a rich philanthropist. In fact, the history of his rise from his unhappy broken home shows this to be far from the case. After being taken in by ... See full summary »

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Zachary Scott, Louis Hayward, Diana Lynn
The Cobweb (1955)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At an exclusive psychiatric clinic, the doctors and staff are about as crazy as the patients. The clinic head, Dr. Stewart McIver, thinks that it would be good therapy for his patients to ... See full summary »

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Col. Paul Tibbetts piloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in World War 2.

Directors: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Stars: Robert Taylor, Eleanor Parker, James Whitmore
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Nancy
Douglas Spencer ...
...
...
Tom
Elizabeth Slifer ...
Mrs. Hinckley - Landlady
Richard Reeves ...
Eddie Hinckley
...
Freddie Zakoyla (as Joseph Turkel)
Else Bäck ...
Mrs. Zakoyla (as Else Neft)
...
Inspector Toomey / Narrator
Nesdon Booth ...
Monroe - Taxi Driver (as Ned Booth)
...
Zelda - Fat Woman
Juney Ellis ...
Girl friend
...
Musician
Edit

Storyline

Peter, a WW II 'displaced person' about to be deported jumps ship in New York harbor in an effort to find an ex-G.I named Tom whom he helped during the war and can prove Peter's right to legal entry in the United States. It is a race against time for if he can't Tom within 24 hours and prove his case, he will be branded a fugitive and will be permanently disqualified for U.S. citizenship. His quest leads him to befriending Maggie, a down-on-her-luck factory worker whom he rejuvenates through his good faith; a visit to a jazz club where Shorty Rogers and his band and trombonist Jack Teagarden are playing, and an interlude with a good- hearted burlesque dancer, Tanya Zakoyla, takes him to her mother's home for food and rest. The climax comes at dawn in the United Nations building (the "glass wall" of the title) where he goes to plead his case and that of all displaced persons. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE 10-HOUR MANHUNT...that tore New York apart!

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1953 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Die gläserne Mauer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1953, Columbia Pictures distributed this film on a double bill with Jack McCall, Desperado (1953) starring George Montgomery. See more »

Goofs

During his first solo, trombonist Jack Teagarden's hand movements don't match the music on the soundtrack. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Zakoyla: Don't forget, your dead father was a lousy foreigner!
See more »

Connections

References Bugles in the Afternoon (1952) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A vividly raffish New York City comes to life in Maxwell Shane's overlooked message movie
28 February 2004 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

A pungent period flavor of post-war New York elevates Maxwell Shane's The Glass Wall. If it's not quite noir (its idealism disqualifies it), it sure looks and feels like noir. As well it should, coming from the writer/director of those unambiguous noirs Fear in the Night (1947) and its remake Nightmare (1956).

In his first American film, Vittorio Gassman plays a stateless stowaway who's caught before his ship sails into New York harbor. Detained by immigration authorities, who won't believe his story that he qualifies for special consideration for aiding the Allies during the war, he's due to be returned to Trieste and certain death. But he jumps from the deck onto the docks, smashing his ribs, and starts stumbling around the city looking for the G.I. who can vouch for him (Jerry Paris). All Gassman knows is Paris' first name, and that he plays clarinet somewhere near Times Square (when we catch up with Paris, he's auditioning for Jack Teagarden's band).

During his nocturnal search, he runs into Gloria Grahame, who's very down on her luck. A sharp little minx who used to affix the tips to shoelaces for a living, now she steals coats from Automats (it's one of her more captivating performances). Grahame's at first wary of Gassman but quickly won over – his tale of woe makes her troubles look paltry, and he's the first guy to treat her decently. So she lets him hide out in her garret room (his escape makes the front pages) and helps him search for his old pal.

There's a beat-the-clock element that keeps the story moving: Gassman doesn't know that Paris has seen the tabloids and will vouch for him – or that his options will expire at dawn. And Shane stews the path with obstacles as well as with good Samaritans (Robin Raymond as a stripper with a heart of gold – another `Hunkie' – touchingly among them).

As the sky lightens, the desperate Gassman reaches the place he thinks will be his salvation: The forbidding `glass wall' of Wallace K. Harrison's just-completed United Nations Headquarters. But the building's empty of all but janitors, and Gassman still doesn't know that he's still safe....

The Glass Wall's a modest movie that overcomes the handicaps of its dated and idealistic `message' to succeed as a well told and acted human interest story. But it triumphs in its presentation of mid-20th-century Manhattan, as vividly raffish as in any movie of its period.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page