6.3/10
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Man in the Dark (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 April 1953 (USA)
A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Steve Rawley
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Peg Benedict
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Lefty
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Arnie
Nick Dennis ...
Cookie
Dayton Lummis ...
Dr. Marston
Dan Riss ...
Jawald
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Storyline

A thug is convicted and undergoes experimental brain surgery to remove the criminal element in his brain. The operation wipes out all memories of his past life, including where he stashed the loot. He is abducted by his gang and they try to beat the truth out of him. His memories return in the form of weird dreams, and he and his old girlfriend track down the clues to find the money. Written by Ed Lorusso

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IT HAPPENS TO YOU IN 3-D! (original ad - all caps) See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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9 April 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Man Who Lived Twice  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first 3-D feature ever released by a major American studio. House of Wax (1953)went into production first, but Columbia rushed "Man in the Dark" - shooting it in a mere 11 days - to get it into theaters just days before "Wax" opened. (Bwana Devil (1952) preceded both of them, but United Artists was not considered a major studio in the early 1950s.) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edmond O'Brien's former gang wants to know where $130,000 in stolen loot is, and he can't remember
13 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Man in the Dark" is coming to DVD soon, including a 3-D option. It's a b-crime story now classified as film noir. The old movies like this have held up over time and are finding new audiences today (and profit for their owners). Why? This one features two chase scenes that are as good as anything done today. One is over rooftops, and you have to marvel over the surefooted men who did the running. O'Brien was in there for some of it, but his double didn't look obviously different. The other is a sequence at the Ocean Park amusement pier, and that involves climbing on the roller coaster. I can imagine that in 3-D, being in the coaster ride, which is shown, must seem very realistic.

Then there is the acting by an experienced crew. After O'Brien, there's Audrey Totter. O'Brien has gotten out of jail as part of an experiment that involves brain surgery. He loses his memory of where he has hidden $130,000 in loot. His former gang includes Ted de Corsia, Horace McMahon and Nick Dennis. Totter is his former lover.

The situation carries the story, as his gang tries every which way to jar his memory loose and as Totter tries to rekindle an old romance in a new man. And that new man finds himself lured by both Totter and the big stash of cash.

Dialog in those days was more informative of the characters, more colorful and more well-honed than much of the dialog today. That too is why these old movies hold up.

This one does not feature the shadows and contrasts of much noir. The main noir situation is the man without a memory. It's more a crime story with a twist and a semi-thriller than a strong noir. I say that as a noir fan, but it's also a very entertaining movie.


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