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Crossfire (1947)

Unrated | | 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:

Unrated | 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

In Richard Brooks' novel, the character Montgomery kills Samuels not because he is Jewish, but because he is homosexual. Production Code Administration head Joseph I. Breen described the novel in a July 17, 1945 letter to RKO executive William Gordon, as "thoroughly and completely unacceptable, on a dozen or more counts." In February 1947, after screenwriter John Paxton had completely eliminated the homosexual plot line from the story, Breen endorsed the project, but cautioned that the final film should contain "no suggestion of a 'pansy' characterization about Samuels or his relationship with the soldiers." See more »

Goofs

When Finlay breaks the window with his gun, pieces of broken glass are left around the edges of the window frame. In subsequent shots there is no broken glass in the window frame. See more »

Quotes

[repeated lines]
Finlay: [to his men, referring to the deceased] Okay, clean it up.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) 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

 
A viewing treat
19 July 2003 | by Bruce CorneilSee all my reviews

Definitely a "must see" for all fans of film noir.

Thanks to a fine script and crisp, razor sharp direction, a top cast comes together and works like a well oiled clock to produce a crackerjack psychological thriller. Wonderful characterizations articulate the movie's powerful message about the dangers of racial and religious intolerance.

It's difficult and almost unjust to single out any one, particular performance because there isn't a weak link in the entire company. But Robert Ryan as the hateful and violent white supremacist is truly spine chilling.

Making this film in the 1940s would have taken a lot of courage. Now,all these years later, at a time when contemporary movies are dominated by a ridiculous over abundance of foul language, bare breasts, crummy acting and deafening soundtracks, it's refreshing to get back to the basics of quality film making with a viewing treat like "Crossfire".

Another low budget gem from the Hollywood archives .


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