Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.
On trial for murdering his girlfriend, philandering stockbroker Larry Ballentine takes the stand to claim his innocence and describe the actual, but improbable sounding, sequence of events that led to her death.
In Brooklyn, fishing is the hobby of the workers Jonah Goodwin and Olaf Johnson and they use to fish every night in their old boat. Jonah's daughter is the twenty-one year-old telephone ... See full summary »
The credits fade onto a blind man tapping his way down the sidewalk,he enters a dingy boarding house and hears a shot fired in one of the upstairs bedrooms. A door opens from audience POV. A man tumbles out of the door and falls, slides and slithers down two flights of stairs and is dead when he hits the bottom. Then follows nearly 100 minutes of flashback and flashbacks-within-flashbacks about a veteran returing from the war, tired and disillusioned, only to find that he girl he loves has lied to him about her relationship with another man, and that man is sadistic, boastful and tauntful.Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
From the shoulder patches on the uniforms in his closet, Joe last served with the U.S. Army's 7th Armored Division, which fought on the western front in Europe from August 1944 through the end of the war. See more »
At the start of the film, when Joe shoots thru his door, he fires two times and two bullet holes are visible in the door. Later when he emerges, there are three holes in the door. See more »
I've never seen the original French film upon which this film was based, but I can tell you I kept waiting for a plot line payoff that never came. It has everything going for it - solid cast giving good believable performances, good direction, even a good speech that Fonda's character delivers from this broken out window as he is under siege by the police that gives us some insight into what it's like for an average guy who has returned home from years of killing and seeing killing in the war expected to pick up where he left off. But ultimately, I never see anything that Fonda's character, factory laborer Joe Adams, has been put through as far as shock or emotional torment or even disillusionment that would justifiably cause him to kill a man. Is Vincent Price's character Maximillian eloquently taunting and creepy? Yes, and in a way that Price excelled at over the years starting in noirs and proceeding on into his horror films. However, at no time does he do anything that would drive anybody to do more than shoo him away or stuff earplugs in their ears or possibly call the ASPCA (You'll have to watch the film to understand this last remark). I'm giving this film a five just for the fact that I believe the production code is the reason any hard edges that seem to be just under the surface never appear. I'm almost positive the script would have gone further if the censors would have allowed it to be so.
The real point of interest to me was the action of the police, who behave a lot like the fascists that Joe Adams spent years fighting in WWII. Sure they have a murderer holed up in his rented room, but he's holding no hostages, they've emptied the building, and still they spray him twice with automatic gunfire unannounced - once from the outside into his window, then from the stairwell into the door. When he pushes a sturdy dresser against the door and they realize they can't force their way in THEN they try talking to Joe, starting with the line "We're not fooling"?? No kidding! After Fonda's speech to the crowd, once the crowd starts voicing their support for Joe and promising financial help with a lawyer the police form a line and practically trample the crowd forcing them out of the street. I don't know if the heavy handedness of the police was something that Litvak wanted the audience to notice, but it was something I noticed.
I'd recommend this one just for the good performances and atmosphere and some imagery you don't see that much in films immediately after WWII, but don't expect something shocking or even interesting to happen just because of all of the talent assembled here.
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