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Crossfire (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 August 1947 (USA)
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A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Richard Brooks (adapted from a novel by)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Young ... Finlay
Robert Mitchum ... Keeley
Robert Ryan ... Montgomery
Gloria Grahame ... Ginny
Paul Kelly ... The Man
Sam Levene ... Samuels
Jacqueline White ... Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie ... Floyd
George Cooper ... Mitchell
Richard Benedict ... Bill
Tom Keene ... Detective (as Richard Powers)
William Phipps ... Leroy
Lex Barker ... Harry
Marlo Dwyer ... Miss Lewis
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Storyline

Homicide Capt. Finlay finds evidence that one or more of a group of demobilized soldiers is involved in the death of Joseph Samuels. In flashbacks, we see the night's events from different viewpoints as army Sgt. Keeley investigates on his own, trying to clear Mitchell, to whom circumstantial evidence points. Then the real, ugly motive for the killing begins to dawn on both Finlay and Keeley. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Whose were the hands that killed this man... what was the motive? See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cradle of Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Based on Richard Brooks' first novel, "The Brick Foxhole" (1945), written while he was still a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. One of the many subplots of the novel dealt with homophobia, but that was changed to anti-Semitism and became the focus of the story for the film. The decision was made by producer Adrian Scott, who had purchased the rights to the novel, knowing any depiction of homosexuality would not get past the Production Code Administration. See more »

Goofs

When Leroy bends down to pick up the address paper that Montgomery drops, the reverse angle of Montgomery shows the room ceiling above him. The "ceiling" appears to be fabric (badly) stretched over a frame because it has several large wrinkles in it. See more »

Quotes

Finlay: Look, Leroy, you know we have a law against carrying a gun?
Leroy: Sure.
Finlay: Well, we have that law because a gun is dangerous. Well, hate - Monty's kind of hate - is like a gun. If you carry it around with you, it can go off and kill somebody.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Shine
(uncredited)
Written by Cecil Mack, Lew Brown, and Ford Dabney
Performed Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band
Played in Red Dragon dance hall when Mitchell first meets Ginny
See more »

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User Reviews

"The best years of our lives"turned film noir.
15 September 2002 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

SPOILERS Not only does this movie boasts three Roberts,but it also possesses all that makes a film noir great:a murky sticky atmosphere, a fine supporting cast , a lot of characters we remember even if they appear on the screen barely fifteen minutes(Gloria Grahame and her husband for instance).The first scene sets the tone:a murder ;we can only see the shadows on the wall.

Edward Dmytryk,whose career would dismally end (the likes of "Shalako") ,was here at the height of his powers:he films his story with a stunning virtuosity and there are unforgettable moments:the scene in the Jew's apartment seen thru the eyes of the drunken soldier;the way the director films brilliant Robert Ryan ,using dizzying high and low angle shots.He's arguably the stand-out and his performance is really spooky;the conversation during which you can only see Ryan's face in a mirror;all these stairs which seem to be death traps.

It seems that these soldiers can only survive in the dark:in the nightclubs,in Grahame's seedy apartment,in a movie theater.They are just about at breaking point,as if they had come from hell to wind up in another one.But one should notice that ,at least in the first half of the movie,their camaraderie,their solidarity remain intact:brothers in arms indeed;the police are the enemy.

Robert Young's cop is a thousand miles above your usual detective routine:the scenarists achieves the feat of including his own story (actually his grandfather)in this murder mystery.He really pleads for the right to difference:today the Jews,tomorrow the hillbillies from Tennessee ,then the guys with striped ties...His words have a contemporary feel:it's because they don't know the Jews,the fags (check the novel)that some people use them as scapegoats.

Robert Ryan's portrayal is one of the most frightening of all the film noir genre.It's interesting to compare his part with the one he plays in Robert Wise's "odds against tomorrow"(1959).In both movies ,his character is a racist or anti-Semite;in both movies no explanation.Ryan was known for his very liberal ideas,what a clever actor he was!


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