7.4/10
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49 user 39 critic

Crime Wave (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 March 1954 (USA)
Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
'Doc' Penny
...
Ben Hastings (as Charles Buchinsky)
...
Dr. Otto Hessler
Nedrick Young ...
Gat Morgan (as Ned Young)
...
...
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

Taglines:

...the squeeze was on from the killers and the cops!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Von der Polizei gehetzt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Det. Lt. Sims: You know, it isn't what a man wants to do, Lacey, but what he has to do. Now take me - I love to smoke cigarettes, but the doctors say I can't have them. So what do I do? I chew toothpicks, tons of them.
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Soundtracks

Bringing in the Sheaves
Music by George A. Minor
Played by the Salvation Army band
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User Reviews

 
An Exciting and well-filmed minor Film Noir
11 April 2000 | by (Out there in the dark) – See all my reviews

This is one of those minor, but very enjoyable pictures that can easily slip by unnoticed. It isn't easy to find, and most Film Noir enthusiasts are familiar only with the title. But "Crime Wave" deserves to be seen by fans of the Noir or crime film genres. It's a terrific example of the lower-budget type of dramas that studios were turning out in the 1950s. The only major star is Sterling Hayden, who gives his usual acceptable performance, here as a disgruntled law enforcer. Gene Nelson, probably better known for musicals, is an interesting and successful choice for the protagonist, a man caught between good and evil. There's also an entertaining tough-guy type played by Charles Bronson.

What really distinguishes "Crime Wave" is its extensive use of Los Angeles locales. Apparently, location shooting was done to save money on sets, but with the passage of time, movies like this become documents of the way a city looked and operated in a past period. A number of scenes take place on busy LA streets and they lend a good deal of excitement to the proceedings.

With any luck, this picture will become available on video for more to see. It's the kind of movie that has the effect of reading a good pulp crime novel or story.


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