An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.


Fred Zinnemann


Robert L. Richards (screenplay), Collier Young (story)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Frank R. Enley
Robert Ryan ... Joe Parkson
Janet Leigh ... Edith Enley
Mary Astor ... Pat
Phyllis Thaxter ... Ann
Berry Kroeger ... Johnny
Taylor Holmes ... Gavery
Harry Antrim ... Fred
Connie Gilchrist ... Martha
Will Wright ... Pop


War veteran Frank Enley seems to be a happily married small-town citizen until he realises Joe Parkson is in town. It seems Parkson is out for revenge because of something that happened in a German POW camp, and when a frightened Enley suddenly leaves for a convention in L.A., Parkson is close behind. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's the only one that came out alive ... and now he wants my life ... to atone for the others' See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film received its USA television premiere in Philadelphia Sunday 14 October 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by Los Angeles Tuesday 23 October 1956 on KTTV (Channel 11) , by Seattle Wednesday 31 October 1956 on KING (Channel 5), by New York City Tuesday 4 December 1956 on WCBS (Channel 2), by Altoona PA Sunday 9 December 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10) and by Chicago Wednesday 19 December 1956 on WBBM (Channel 2); in Minneapolis it first aired 2 May 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9) and in San Francisco 11 January 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »


In addition to the clock showing approximately 2:25 in its first scene, and then 1:20 in the next; this same clock ALSO quickly changed from 1:20, when Edith returns from window & turns lamp on, to 4:08...which was probably a rushed attempt to try to show 4:10! It all had to do with reversing both 1st and 2nd hands on the clock. See more »


Ann: Do you think you can kill a man in cold blood and just forget it? Don't you know what that means? You'll have to live with hate day and night, for the rest of your life. And look what it's done to you already.
See more »


Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Janet Leigh (2017) See more »

User Reviews

Very rewarding and highly recommended
20 August 2007 | by christopher-underwoodSee all my reviews

Whilst not strictly a noir, this excellent and tense movie has many noir moments and all the night location photography has exactly the right look, especially the fantastic railway track side denouement. Never predictable this film takes many turns as the truth of what had happened in the wartime past of the main characters is gradually revealed.

Extremely well paced with intelligent dialogue whilst the leads chase about after and away from each other we are left to assess and re-assess just who the baddie really is. In the end, however, it is the only ending possible. Very rewarding and highly recommended.

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English | German

Release Date:

21 December 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Act of Violence See more »


Box Office


$1,290,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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