6.6/10
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27 user 15 critic

Backfire (1950)

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay) (as Larry Marcus), Ivan Goff (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview:
Viveca Lindfors ... Lysa Radoff
Dane Clark ... Ben Arno / Lou Walsh
Virginia Mayo ... Nurse Julie Benson
Edmond O'Brien ... Steve Connelly
Gordon MacRae ... Bob Corey
Ed Begley ... Police Capt. Garcia
Frances Robinson ... Mrs. Blayne
Richard Rober ... Solly Blayne
Sheila MacRae ... Bonnie Willis (as Sheila Stephens)
David Hoffman ... Burns
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Storyline

Bob Corey, recovering from a series of operations in a Veterans' hospital, learns that his friend, Steve Connelly, with whom he intended to buy a ranch, has disappeared under circumstance that indicate he may have been involved in a murder. Accompanied by his nurse, Julie Benson, with whom he has fallen in love, Bob follows a series of clues and incidents, including three more murders, that leads to a gambler, masquerading as an undertaker to avoid taxes on his illegal income, has a whole lot to do with his friend's predicament. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

That "White Heat" girl turns it on again!..


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Somewhere in the City See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Gambler Solly Blayne (Richard Rober) is shot from outside the living room window as he relaxes in his Los Angeles home, which is exactly the same way that gangster Bugsy Siegel was killed in Beverly Hills in 1947. See more »

Goofs

Every time one of the principals takes a cab, it's always the same 1936 De Soto which had been part of the WB studio inventory since the mid-1930s, and was still being used in films, although by the time this one was made, post-WWII 1946-1947-1948 De Sotos had become the norm on most city streets. Likewise, the police chief of Los Angeles is still running around in another long time pre-WWII WB veteran vehicle, a 1940 Buick 4-door sedan. See more »

Quotes

Police Captain Garcia: [to Sgt. Pluther, who's firing a fleeing suspect] Hold it. You're liable to hit a taxpayer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Major Crimes: Poster Boy (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

April in Paris
(uncredited)
Music by Vernon Duke
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Played after Steve sends Dick Manning on his way at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Warners noir, not very effective
23 July 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Vincent Sherman was a solid director, but unfortunately, he missed the boat with "Backfire" because a backfire it was and went unreleased for two years. By the time it was released, Edmond O'Brien had enjoyed some big success - but in this, he doesn't have much of a role.

Actually, the beginning of the movie is the best part. O'Brien is Steve Connelly, just back from the war and hoping to buy a ranch with his wartime body, Al Corey (Gordon MacRae). Al was badly injured and has been in the hospital a while. Steve takes off and says he will contact him. But eight weeks go by, and no communication.

One night, while Al is asleep in the hospital and they have given him something to help him sleep, a woman rushes into his room and wakes him up. She tells him that Steve has been injured, he's in terrible pain, and he wants to die. She doesn't know what to do.

Groggily, Al tells her that he is due to be released soon, and Steve should hold on. He points to a pad where she can write down the address. In the morning the paper is blank, and Al's nurse (Virginia Mayo), among others, is skeptical about his story.

Once released, Al sets off to find Steve. He walks into sticks of dynamite getting ready to explode. He learns that Steve became involved with gamblers, and is wanted for murder of a big shot who wanted what he believed was owed him.

The problem is that once they started in on the flashbacks, the film became confusing. Most of the time going back and forth like that in a film is easy to follow, but for some reason, this wasn't.

The film also stars Dane Clark as another war buddy and Viveca Lindfors who is involved with someone named Lou Walsh, a mystery figure responsible for a great deal of mayhem.

"Backfire" seems too long at 91 minutes because the pace was off. MacRae did an okay job but he needed a little more guidance; this would never be his milieu. Viveca Lindfors is stunning -- it's a shame her film career didn't carry her further, but she wasn't one to play Hollywood games. She was an award-winning stage actress and for some time did a one-woman show that toured around the country. Even into old age she did television and small roles in films.

A disappointment all around.


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