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I Became a Criminal (1947)

They Made Me a Fugitive (original title)
Approved | | Crime , Drama | 6 March 1948 (USA)
After WW2, former RAF airman Clem Morgan joins a gang of black-market smugglers-thieves but when a robbery goes wrong, Clem is caught , framed for a policeman's murder, and is sent to prison where he plots his escape and revenge.

Director:

Alberto Cavalcanti (as Cavalcanti)

Writers:

Jackson Budd (novel), Noel Langley (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Gray ... Sally
Trevor Howard ... Clem
Griffith Jones ... Narcy
Rene Ray Rene Ray ... Cora
Mary Merrall ... Aggie
Charles Farrell ... Curley
Michael Brennan Michael Brennan ... Jim
Jack McNaughton Jack McNaughton ... Soapy
Cyril Smith Cyril Smith ... Bert
John Penrose John Penrose ... Shawney
Eve Ashley Eve Ashley ... Ellen
Phyllis Robins Phyllis Robins ... Olga
Bill O'Connor Bill O'Connor ... Bill
Maurice Denham Maurice Denham ... Mr. Fenshaw
Vida Hope Vida Hope ... Mrs. Fenshaw
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Storyline

In this gritty film noir, cynical ex-RAF flyer Morgan, bored with civilian life, joins a break-in gang led by Narcy. On his first job, the getaway car crashes after killing a policeman. Morgan is framed as the driver and sent to jail. Seeking revenge, he escapes and heads for London. Along the way he's helped by a woman (Mrs. Fenshaw), who wants him to murder her husband. In London, Morgan is sheltered by Sally, who falls in love with him. He confronts Narcy and the gang in an abandoned warehouse. Brazilian Director Cavalcanti's crime drama should not be confused with the totally unrelated "They Made Me a Criminal" (1939). Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Gangway for Gangland's Blazing Guns!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Became a Criminal See more »

Company Credits

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

Feature-film debut of Michael Brennan. See more »

Soundtracks

Caress Me
(uncredited)
Performed on-stage by Phyllis Robins and others
See more »

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User Reviews

 
British noir? You bet, and really good, a must-see for noir fans.
29 August 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

They Made Me a Fugitive (1947)

This is a vigorous British crime noir film, a counterpart to the great Warner Bros American movies from the same period (and earlier) and to American post-war film noir. (In fact, this was released by Warner Bros.) The plot is fast and twisty and the photography is bold and dramatic with a lot of night scenes. Great stuff. If you like this sort of thing normally you'll love this.

The star is one of the Howard Brothers, Trevor, playing a would-be criminal and eventually the fugitive of the title. He's mixed up with some tough criminal types (British style) and some female leads that have echoes of film noir femme fatales. There is violence, angular camera-work, even a few special effects, and a couple of sympathetic leads who eventually take the plot somewhere new.

Howard's biggest role, in the best movie of his career, came two years earlier in "Brief Encounter," and he's again complex and nuanced and someone to identify with. But he's not especially sympathetic, playing a hardened, selfish type who just happens to have a conscience unlike his cohorts. The movie follows him through several phases of his brush with crime, and with an attempt to clear his name. There is a rather long and dramatic and somewhat unconvincing fight scene near the end (the throw of the milk bottle takes first prize in this one), but the very last scene is brutally pessimistic in a way American noirs are oddly not.

If you like film noir this is a must see. If you appreciate a good movie for its action and drama, likewise. There may be no deep character development are larger social arc here, but that's true of a lot of American noirs, too. So just jump and and soak it all up.


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