6.8/10
1,480
38 user 19 critic

Deadline at Dawn (1946)

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon-to-ship-out sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors:

Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies (uncredited)

Writers:

Clifford Odets (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (based upon a novel by) (as William Irish)
Reviews

On TV

Airs Thu. Aug. 29, 6:30 PM on TCM

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Susan Hayward ... June Goffe
Paul Lukas ... Gus Hoffman
Bill Williams ... Alex Winkler
Joseph Calleia ... Val Bartelli
Osa Massen ... Helen Robinson
Lola Lane ... Edna Bartelli
Jerome Cowan ... Lester Brady
Marvin Miller ... Sleepy Parsons
Roman Bohnen ... Frantic Man with Injured Cat
Steven Geray ... Edward Honig
Joe Sawyer ... Babe Dooley
Constance Worth ... Nan Raymond
Joseph Crehan ... Lieutenant Kane
Edit

Storyline

Alex, a radio-specialist sailor on leave, recovers from a drink-induced blackout with a large sum of money belonging to Edna Bartelli, a B-girl who invited him home to fix her radio. He tries to return the money with the reluctant aid of June Goffe, a sweet but oh-so-tired dance hall girl. They find Edna murdered. Not quite sure he didn't do it himself, Alex and June have four hours in the dead of night to find the real killer before his leave ends. Their quest brings them into contact with a sleazy kaleidoscope of minor characters as the clues get more and more tangled. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dance hall | dance | sailor | clue | money | See All (98) »

Taglines:

Nice Kids... or KILLERS! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1946 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Den långa natten See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Sawyer's character of washed up baseball player Babe Dooley was based on Chicago Cub hitting great Hack Wilson. whose problems with alcoholism led to his steep decline. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the film the main characters exit the 8th Police Precinct.It is night time and the streets are deserted.Yet when June and Alex drive away in the police car we can see through the back window of the vehicle the streets bustling with activity,cars and people and it's bright and sunny. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Edna Bartelli: Why, it's Sleepy Parsons. Aren't you dead yet?
[Sleepy takes out a cigar, Edna pours a drink]
Edna Bartelli: Here's to nothin'. Still on your twenty cigars a day?
[Sleepy puts cigar away]
Edna Bartelli: Can your heart take it, Sleepy?
Sleepy Parsons: You drunk again?
Edna Bartelli: Yes.
Sleepy Parsons: Took you a long time to answer the door.
Edna Bartelli: [laughs] It's a great relief being divorced from you, Sleepy, dear.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of Bire on vardi (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Get Me to the Killer on Time
26 August 2010 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

This modest film noir is flat-out crazy and a tremendous amount of fun.

Bill Williams plays a sailor on leave who follows a floozy back to her room, passes out and then finds upon waking that the floozy is dead and can't remember what if anything he had to do with it. He's got to catch a boat (or is it train?) at dawn, and is afraid he'll be implicated in the murder if he doesn't find the true killer before then. He teams up with a dance hall hostess (Susan Hayward) and, before the evening's out, a cab driver (Paul Lukas) and sets out into the New York midnight to solve the crime.

The screenplay doesn't make a lick of sense, and my wife and I found ourselves actually laughing at the preposterous developments and turns in the story. It's hilarious how committed these three people are to solving this crime despite the fact that there's absolutely nothing attaching the sailor to it, and how easy a time they have following up on clues in as huge a city as NY despite the fact that the clues are things like "he was wearing a tuxedo" and "she had blonde hair." A plot twist at the movie's end, when the real killer is revealed, is right up there with the best of them. Oscar winner Paul Lukas brings much more acting ability to his performance than his role requires, and Susan Hayward is absolutely riveting. This was my first and so far only exposure to this acclaimed actress, and I look forward to many more.

What a blast this movie is!

Grade: A-


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