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Crime Wave (1954)

 -  Crime | Film-Noir | Drama  -  6 March 1954 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,571 users  
Reviews: 47 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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Writers:

(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
Edit

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

Although the movie was completed in 1952, it was not released until 1954. 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

Ellen Lacey: But you haven't done anything! You're innocent!
Steve Lacey: Once you do a stretch, you're never clean again! You're never free! They've always got a string on you, and they tug, tug, tug! Before you know it, you're back again!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trapped Ashes (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

'S Wonderful
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Doris Day on record
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Is Film Noir!
4 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is excellent example of film noir: almost everything you'd want in this genre. Right from the opening shot, this had noir written all over it by cinematographer Bert Glennon, and from opening holdup-murder scene at the gas station, you knew you were in for a rough ride.

Speaking of "rough," I can't think of too many actors who were better and more suited for noir than Sterling Hayden, who delivers yet another uncompromising hard-headed, tough- guy character. This time he's a cop, "Det. Lt. Sims," and one with no use for any "con," even if the guy (in this case, Gene Nelson's "Steve Lacey") has cleaned up his act.

It wasn't just the photography and Haden, the entire cast was fascinating, and it's simply a fast-moving, entertaining film. Andre de Toth's direction also was terrific. He directed only one other noir: Pitfall, another great film that we are still waiting to see on DVD. At least this film finally made it to disc.

I had forgotten what classic beauty Phyllis Kirk possessed. Wow, what a face! She starred as "Nora Charles" on the popular "Thin Man" television series in the '50s. In here, she plays Lacey's wife "Ellen." Rather that going through the whole cast, I'll just say it was a hoot to see Timothy Carey again, even if his role was limited. This guy played the most whacked-out minor characters I've ever seen in movies. (See "The Killing" for a good example of what I mean.) Jay Novello as the veterinarian ex-con also was really interesting.

I'll tell you what else was nice: the realistic scenes with actual locations around Los Angeles in the early '50s. This movie had a number of hand-held camera shots. Even the holdup in the bank was done in a real bank. There are few, if any, hokey studio shots in this movie. It's the real deal..... and very much recommended. Combined with "Decoy" on the same disc, it makes for a nice double--feature for a night of noir.


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