Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.
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 <email@example.com>
In the Post WWII, Police Captain Finlay (Robert Young) investigates the murder of the Jewish Joseph "Sammy" Samuels (Sam Levene) in his apartment after a beating with his team. Out of the blue, soldier Montgomery "Monty" (Robert Ryan) comes to the apartment and tells that three soldiers – Corporal Arthur "Mitch" Mitchell (George Cooper), soldier Floyd Bowers (Steve Brodie) and himself – had been in the apartment drinking with Sammy, and Mitch would have been the last one to leave the place. Finlay finds Mitch's wallet on the couch and he becomes the prime suspect.
Finlay visits Sergeant Peter Keeley (Robert Mitchum) and he tells that his friend Mitch is a sensitive artist incapable to kill a man. Keeley decides to investigate the case to protect and clear the name of his friend. When Keeley discuss the evidences with Finlay, the captain concludes that Mitch did not have the motive to kill Sammy, who was a stranger that he met in a bar. Now Captain Finlay has another suspect and he decides to plot a scheme to expose the assassin.
"Crossfire" is a great film-noir, with top-notch director (Edward Dmytryk) and cast with three Roberts - Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Robert Young; excellent story of murder and prejudice; magnificent screenplay that uses flashbacks to disclose and solve the mystery; and very impressive quotes. The theme – hatred against Jews – is unusual and this is the first time that I see a film-noir with this type of sordid story (and without the femme fatale). My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Rancor" ("Rancor")
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