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I Became a Criminal (1947)

They Made Me a Fugitive (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 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)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Gray ... Sally
Trevor Howard ... Clem
Griffith Jones ... Narcy
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 ... Shawney
Eve Ashley Eve Ashley ... Ellen
Phyllis Robins Phyllis Robins ... Olga
Bill O'Connor Bill O'Connor ... Bill
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 | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trevor Howard was cast at very short notice after the actor first cast dropped out. See more »

Goofs

Morgan, unconscious in the accident after the policeman is run down, is framed when the thugs pull him over to the driver's seat. But they do not press his fingers onto the steering wheel, so there is no evidence that he was the driver. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Fenshaw: Nobody will arrest you while you are in this house. I give you my word.
Clem: Why? Have you fallen in love with my beautiful wavy hair?
Mrs. Fenshaw: No. You can do me a service in return for helping you.
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Soundtracks

Caress Me
(uncredited)
Performed on-stage by Phyllis Robins and others
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User Reviews

 
Gritty British noir
8 September 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Cavalcanti directed this excellent British film noir, "They Made Me a Fugitive," with the then new star, Trevor Howard, as well as Sally Gray, Griffith Jones, and Mary Merrall. Howard plays Clem Morgan, a war hero who joins a black market ring, headed by Narcy (Jones) that does business out of Narcy's funeral business, the contraband entering in coffins. Clem, however, draws the line when he sees them dealing in drugs. He winds up being framed for a killing of a bobby, deserted while he's unconscious in a car. The ex-girlfriend (Gray) of Narcy, the chief criminal, comes to see him in prison, sure he's not guilty. Clem escapes and goes on the run, and reconnects with Gray. She tries to find the witness who can clear him.

Very ahead of its time in its graphic violence, which includes violence toward women. Also, the lead is not a hero, having turned to crime. The ending is also unexpected. My only complaint would be the hitting the audience over the head with the RIP letters on the roof, and also the phrase "It's later than you think," which was possibly the inspiration for its appearance in "Midnight Cowboy." The performances are very good, with Howard, Gray, and Griffith all in top form, and Merrall creates an interesting character. The camera-work is very good also, quite stunning.

Highly recommended - it's nothing like you'd expect.


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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
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