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Cry Vengeance (1954)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 21 November 1954 (USA)
Violent ex-cop Vic Barron comes to Ketchikan, Alaska seeking revenge on an old enemy.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Roxey Davis
Joan Vohs ...
...
Tino Morelli
Cheryl Callaway ...
Marie Morelli
...
Johnny Blue-Eyes
...
Mike Walters
Lewis Martin ...
Nick Buda
...
Lt. Pat Ryan
...
Red Miller
Dorothy Kennedy ...
Emily Miller
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Storyline

Ex-cop Vic Barron crossed the wrong mobsters; his wife and child were killed and he himself scarred, framed and imprisoned. On release, Vic has but one desire, revenge on still-hiding Tino Morelli. The trail leads to the isolated city of Ketchikan, Alaska, where Vic finds his enemy...also the latter's charming little daughter...and tavern owner Peggy Harding, who's fascinated by the soft-spoken but volcanic Vic. And someone they're not expecting has violent designs on them... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Taglines:

The call of the avenger . . .


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

21 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grito de Vingança  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Ketchikan airline depicted, Ellis Air, was an authentic Ketchikan company, founded by Bob Ellis in 1936. The aircraft shown in the movie is a Grumman G-21 Goose amphibious craft. If you look closely at the bottom of the plane you can see the wheels, which were used for ground landings. Ellis Air merged with Alaska Coastal Airlines in 1962, and this concern was itself taken over by Alaska Airlines in 1968. See more »

Goofs

During the Indian Ceremonial Ground scene , Mark Stevens (playing a character named Vic Barron) is wearing a shirt bearing the initials M.S. One wonders whether this was an in-joke or an oversight. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Knockoff of Big Heat shows fatigue of late noir cycle
11 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

Cry Vengeance owes a debt to the previous year's Fritz Lang film The Big Heat. It too tells the tale of an honest cop whose family was killed in a mob-engineered explosion and who sets out as a crazed vigilante seeking redress. But while The Big Heat sizzles, Cry Vengeance stays tepid, perhaps owing to its sub-Arctic setting.

The star of earlier noirs The Dark Corner and The Street with No Name, Mark Stevens directs himself as the hate-twisted protagonist, just out of prison after being framed and losing his wife and daughter. (Stevens has aged visibly, and it's not just the scarred-face makeup his character sports.) Strong-arm tactics with plenty of karate chops elicit the information that the man he holds responsible has assumed a new identity in Ketchikam, Alaska. But not only is Steven's arrival expected, he's followed by a platinum-haired gunsel who's the real killer (Skip Homeier, who bears a resemblance to Lee Marvin, The Big Heat's sadistic torpedo).

Cry Vengeance matches its predecessor in brutality but comes up short everywhere else. Muddy photography wastes the scenic north, while the bland dialogue lacks the epigrammatic edge that's one of the joys of film noir (no "sisters under the mink" insinuation here as in Lang's film). The plot, with its double-crosses, needs a more baroque approach to sell itself.

On the whole, Cry Vengeance falls victim to the fatigue that, by 1954, was beginning to beset the entire noir cycle. Plots and characters amount, basically, to retreads. Joan Vohs, as Homeier's sozzled moll, couldn't have given this performance without Gloria Grahame's the year before in The Big Heat. With Stevens looking tired, too, it doesn't augur well for Cry Vengeance. But it holds distinction as the only film noir set in the Alaskan Territory, as Hell's Half Acre of the same year was the only one set in the Hawaiian (it wasn't until 1959 that statehood was conferred on both territories).


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