6.7/10
859
31 user 16 critic

The Crooked Way (1949)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 22 April 1949 (USA)
War hero recovers from amnesia & is confronted by his criminal past.

Director:

Robert Florey

Writers:

Robert Monroe (radio play "No Blade Too Sharp"), Richard H. Landau (screenplay)
Reviews

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Roadblock (1951)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Honest LA insurance detective Joe Peters becomes corrupt after falling in love with sensual gold-digger model Diane.

Director: Harold Daniels
Stars: Charles McGraw, Joan Dixon, Lowell Gilmore
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.

Director: Harold F. Kress
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, George Murphy
The Chase (1946)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Chuck Scott gets a job as chauffeur to tough guy Eddie Roman; but Chuck's involvement with Eddie's fearful wife becomes a nightmare.

Director: Arthur Ripley
Stars: Robert Cummings, Michèle Morgan, Steve Cochran
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when a human skeleton is found on a Massachusetts beach.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Ricardo Montalban, Sally Forrest, Bruce Bennett
Dillinger (1945)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

John Dillinger begins his life of crime as a petty thief, meets his future gang in prison and eventually masterminds a series of daring robberies.

Director: Max Nosseck
Stars: Lawrence Tierney, Edmund Lowe, Anne Jeffreys
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a brutal police detective Lt. murders a bookmaker's runner for $25,000 in cash, a deaf mute sees him do it and now he finds he must kill again to cover his tracks.

Directors: Howard W. Koch, Edmond O'Brien
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, John Agar, Marla English
Railroaded! (1947)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A beautician and her crooked boyfriend attempt to rob the bookie operation located in the back room, but when the plan goes wrong, they frame an innocent man.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: John Ireland, Sheila Ryan, Hugh Beaumont
Naked Alibi (1954)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A chief of police detectives fired for brutality, tries to get evidence on a man suspected of killing 3 of his officers.

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, Gene Barry
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1940, a former prisoner is determined to find the killer of the New York Police Lt. who helped him escape from a Nazi torture camp in Spain.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: John Garfield, Maureen O'Hara, Walter Slezak
The Threat (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Vicious hood 'Red' Kluger escapes from Folsom State Prison and follows through on his threats to the detective who arrested him and the D.A. who convicted him.

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Michael O'Shea, Virginia Grey, Charles McGraw
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In New York, a woman who partially witnesses a killing from a train window seeks the aid of a crime novelist to solve the murder.

Director: Charles David
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Ralph Bellamy, Edward Everett Horton
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An ex-con who wants to go straight has difficulties trying to reintegrate into society while on parole.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: George Raft, Jane Bryan, William Holden
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Payne ... Eddie Rice aka Eddie Riccardi
Sonny Tufts ... Vince Alexander
Ellen Drew ... Nina Martin
Rhys Williams ... Police Lt. Joe Williams
Percy Helton ... Petey
Hal Baylor ... Coke (as Hal Fieberling)
John Doucette ... Police Sgt. Barrett
Don Haggerty ... Hood
Charles Evans ... Police Capt. Anderson (as Charlie Evans)
Jack Overman ... Hood
Greta Granstedt ... Hazel Downs
Crane Whitley Crane Whitley ... Dr. Kemble / Narrator
Raymond Largay Raymond Largay ... Arthur Stacey
John Harmon ... Kelly
Harry Bronson Harry Bronson ... Danny
Edit

Storyline

A World War II veteran, suffering from amnesia but otherwise healthy, is released from a veteran's hospital, decides to return to Los Angeles to see if he can regain his identity. Trying to retrace his former steps he soon learns that he was a double-crossing gangster, and many people have reasons to wish he wasn't around...and some try to see to it that he isn't around very long...alive, at least. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He's got a date ...with DEATH! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crooked Way See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The La Rue as seen in the film was a famous restaurant at 8361 Sunset Blvd. on the Sunset Strip. See more »

Goofs

Alexander's position in front of the War Surplus store changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Rice: [to Nina Martin] Keep your lights off and the motor running.
See more »

Connections

References Pitfall (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Louis Forbes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
More Dark Shadows Along The Crooked Way Than Any Noir Fan Could Ask For
31 March 2011 | by oldblackandwhiteSee all my reviews

In the series of tough crime melodramas he made during the late 1940's and early 1950's John Payne invariably seems to be looking for something. In Kansas City Confidential (1952) it was the stolen loot from a robbery. In 99 River Street (1953) it was the thug who framed him for murder. In The Crooked Way (1949) it was something much more basic -- his very identity.

Payne plays Eddie Rice, a WW II veteran recovered from the physical effects of a head wound but suffering a complete and permanent amnesia. He has no memory of his life before regaining consciousness in a hospital. All he knows about himself is what the Army has told him, that he enlisted in Los Angeles. When discharged from the hospital, he takes a train to L. A. to try and find out who he is. What he finds is more than he really wanted to know! That he was a hoodlum named Eddie Riccardi. That he has a wife (Ellen Drew), but she now hates his guts. That his former gangster partner, played with evil oozing from every pore by Sonny Tufts, is bent on beating him up, framing him for murder, and even more nasty things.

How Eddie muddles though this dark nightmare of a past coming back to haunt him and how it is presented by director Robery Florey and cinematographer John Alton adds up to a classic forgotten gem of a noir thriller. The Crooked Way exhibits the classic elements of film noir -- a morally ambiguous protagonist, a femme fa-tale, a grim, brutal story, and the most starkly shadowed and obliquely angled cinematography found in any movie. Most of the scenes are at night, and Alton's camera throws a tenebrist gloom over every shot with only the speaker's face lighted. Sometimes all figures are silhouettes, then the face gradually comes to light. A tall man looks down at a short man, and the view is as from a second story window. All this dark, oblique cinematography is not only arty and thrilling on its on to noir groupies, but it works perfectly to portray the dream-like state Eddie is experiencing. The story moves along briskly under Florey's direction and Frank Sullivan's editing. The action is explosively sharp and brutal.

John Payne was perfectly cast in the part of Eddie, maintaining a blank, confused expression you would expect from an amnesiac, even when getting tough. Getting tough was an item that John Payne, an ex-boxer and a WWII veteran in real life, was good at in spite of his mild, laid back manner. He was at this point starting to mature as a tough guy actor after abandoning his original song and dance career at least in part because he got too weathered and muscled up. Payne seems to be an acquired taste amongst present day lovers of classic movies, but I've acquired it and am now looking for all of his pictures.

The Crooked Way, while a cut below Kansas City Confidential and 99 River Street, is one of John Payne's best.


11 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 31 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed