6.5/10
693
23 user 8 critic

Red Light (1949)

The former employee of a trucking company, currently in prison for embezzling the company, plans his eventual revenge against his former boss.

Director:

Roy Del Ruth

Writers:

Don 'Red' Barry (story "This Guy Gideon") (as Donald Barry), George Callahan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Raft ... John Torno
Virginia Mayo ... Carla North
Gene Lockhart ... Warni Hazard
Raymond Burr ... Nick Cherney
Harry Morgan ... Rocky (as Henry Morgan)
Barton MacLane ... Strecker
Arthur Franz ... Jess Torno
Ken Murray ... Ken Murray
Stanley Clements ... Bellboy
William Frawley ... Hotel Clerk
Arthur Shields ... Father Redmond
Frank Orth ... Stoner
Phillip Pine ... Pablo Cabrillo
William 'Bill' Phillips William 'Bill' Phillips ... Ryan (as Wm. S. Phillips)
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Storyline

Nick Cherney, in prison for embezzling from Torno Freight Co., sees a chance to get back at John Torno through his young priest brother Jess. He pays fellow prisoner Rocky, who gets out a week before Nick, to murder Jess...who, dying, tells revenge-minded John that he'd written a clue "in the Bible." Frustrated, John obsessively searches for the missing Gideon Bible from Jess's hotel room. Meanwhile, Nick himself gets out with murder still in his heart. But another factor is in play that none of them (except the murdered Jess) had planned on. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RAFT takes everything he wants... and MAYO takes everything he has in "Red Light" See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Gideon See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sharp-looking car Johnny is driving when he gives the cops the slip by having one of his trucks block them in is a 1948 Packard Custom Eight Convertible. See more »

Goofs

When Det. Strecker pulls up at the trucking terminal to see Johnny (about 1 hour into the film), a clear reflection of the boom microphone is visible in the police car's windshield. See more »

Quotes

Foreword: This is the story of one of the most unusual cases in the criminal records of San Francisco. The criminal, a cruel sadistic killer, was never apprehended, judged or convicted by the law - yet on the books the case is marked "closed," to which someone has added the words "Man Proposes and God Disposes." A prison is a place where crime usually ends, but in our story this is where it began...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing scene a neon sign reads "24 HOUR SERVICE". When the film ends another neon sign lights up with "THE END" below it. See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Schubert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
George Raft is not like a box of chocolates...
30 May 2011 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

... because you always know what you're going to get. However, that doesn't mean that I don't really enjoy his movies. Nobody, I mean nobody does revenge like Raft. Here he plays businessman Johnny Torno, proud older brother of young Jess Torno, a priest recently returned from being a chaplain in WWII. Four years earlier Torno's bookkeeper Nick Cherney (Raymond Burr) was sent to prison for embezzling from Johnny's company - he was embarrassingly guilty and it was really a lot of money. Instead of blaming the man in the mirror, Nick blames Johnny for his fate and crafts a particularly cruel revenge. If he kills Johnny, Johnny's troubles are over. However, if he kills what is precious to him - brother Jess - he can plunge Johnny into a living hell of grief. He sends a hit man (Harry Morgan) out to do the killing. Johnny finds Jess just before he dies. Of course Johnny wants to know who did this so he can kill them in revenge - he tells Jess so - and Jess tells him the answer is written in a Bible.

Now at first Johnny thinks Jess means his own personal Bible, but after searching through it he finds nothing. He then realizes that Jess probably meant the Gideon Bible that is found in every hotel room. This starts Johnny on a search for the missing Bible and all of the guests in the hotel room since Jess' death who might have taken it. Nick, now out of prison, along with the hit man, are right on Johnny's heels hoping their plans are not discovered.

It is very odd to see later TV good guys Harry Morgan and Raymond Burr playing such sinister characters but the performances ring true. So does Virginia Mayo as a girl Johnny befriends along the way as the voice of reason and even redemption. Raft wrestles here not only with bad guys and a mystery but with God Himself - he treats the Almighty either like a traffic cop that he thinks can be bribed or an unreliable employee that he doesn't fire because he enjoys blaming him for his troubles, depending on his mood.

A good noir and good stuff from Raft - highly recommended.


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