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Crime Wave (1954)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Drama  |  6 March 1954 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,808 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 33 critic

Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

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(screen play), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: Crime Wave (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Det. Lt. Sims
...
Steve Lacey
...
Ellen Lacey
...
'Doc' Penny
...
Ben Hastings (as Charles Buchinsky)
Jay Novello ...
Dr. Otto Hessler
Nedrick Young ...
Gat Morgan (as Ned Young)
James Bell ...
Daniel O'Keefe
...
Gus Snider (as Dubb Taylor)
Gayle Kellogg ...
Detective Kelly
Mack Chandler ...
Detective Sully
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Storyline

Three San Quentin escapees (Penny, Hastings and Morgan) kill a cop in a gas-station holdup. Wounded, Morgan flees through black-shadowed streets to the handiest refuge: with former cellmate Steve Lacey, who's paroled, with a new life and lovely wife, and can't afford to be caught associating with old cronies. But homicide detective Sims wants to use Steve to help him catch Penny and Hastings, who in turn extort his help in a bank job. Is there no way out for Steve? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Von der Polizei gehetzt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly director André De Toth was offered a 35-day shooting schedule, but he told the studio he could complete the film in 15 days. He finished in 13. See more »

Goofs

When Nedrick Young (as Gat Morgan) is first shot, he grabs his chest by the right pectoral. When he grabs his wound later, it has migrated to the lower center abdomen. See more »

Quotes

Steve Lacey: How come the smart guys are inside and the dopes outside?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Decoy: A Map to Nowhere (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Bringing in the Sheaves
Music by George A. Minor
Played by the Salvation Army band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well paced, well cast late noir from underrated Andre De Toth
27 November 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

It's too bad Andre De Toth didn't contribute more to the noir cycle, because on the evidence he was a natural (plus he was married to early-noir icon Veronica Lake). The Pitfall, made in 1948, looks more and more like one of the best, and most central, movies in the cycle, but (except for the early, more gothic Dark Waters) De Toth only returned to it once, with Crime Wave. Its story is not a fresh one: an ex-con trying to go straight (Gene Nelson) is coerced by circumstances to aid and abet a gang of his former cellmates. The uncomfortable spot he finds himself in lies between them and the law, personified by Sterling Hayden as a tough, unforgiving police detective. There's much more attention to character in the film's hour-and-a-quarter running time than in many full-length features of the era; Jay Novello, as an alcoholic veterinarian who doubles as an underworld sawbones, is especially memorable. By any reckoning Crime Wave is a minor film -- even a minor second feature -- but De Toth lavishes easy expertise on it; it's surprisingly well paced, well shot, as well interestingly cut. Why so many talented directors (many of them refugees from Europe) were relegated, in the 1950s, to "genre" movies -- crime dramas, 3-D schlockfests and westerns -- is a puzzle. In any case, I'd give any three of De Toth's westerns AND his House of Wax for just one more film noir boasting his directorial credit.


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