7.5/10
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55 user 27 critic

Act of Violence (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | February 1949 (USA)
An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Frank R. Enley
... Joe Parkson
... Edith Enley
... Pat
... Ann Sturges
... Johnny
... Gavery
Harry Antrim ... Fred Finney
... Martha Finney
... Pop
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akt der Gewalt  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,290,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$703,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,129,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Astor and Janet Leigh co-starred in MGM's Little Women (1949) with June Allyson the same year this film was released. See more »

Goofs

As Parkson (Ryan) gets into the rowboat, there is a stiff breeze, the water is choppy, and a cloudy sky is 'threatening'; a second later, after the tender pushes the boat away from the dock, the lake is calm and breeze-free, and the sky is clear. See more »

Quotes

Frank R. Enley: Don't do it, Joe! No! No! Don't! No! No! No, don't! No! No, Joe! No!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Grindhouse (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Ryan is a man bent on vengeance...
22 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Fred Zinnemann does it again. He was a master at film noir during the early '40s, first with some B-films (GRAND CENTRAL MURDER, THE KID GLOVE KILLER--both starring VAN HEFLIN) and some seven or eight years later with ACT OF VIOLENCE. His direction and Robert Surtees' excellent B&W photography make this taut story even more watchable.

VAN HEFLIN goes on a fishing trip and finds himself being shadowed by a man he knows wants to kill him--a man who knows about his past when they were both soldiers and imprisoned in a German prison camp during World War II. When ROBERT RYAN shows up at Heflin's home to inquire about his whereabouts, his wife JANET LEIGH willingly tells Ryan where to find him, not knowing the truth about her husband's past.

From there on, it's a manhunt and at first our loyalties are with Heflin, until it turns out that he's not the hero but an anti-hero who deserves being shot. After this registers, we understand why Ryan is so intent on his mission to kill. Toward the end, Heflin runs into MARY ASTOR, a prostitute with a heart of gold, who tells him what he needs to do to get a hit man get rid of Ryan. But then Heflin, before the kill, has a change of mind. That's all the wrap-up on the story I'll give here.

There's a final twist at the end, but the whole film is absorbing and well worth your time with Heflin, especially, giving one of his most intense performances and Mary Astor doing a vivid job in a small role.


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