6.6/10
779
25 user 13 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:

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Larry Marcus), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman he meets is murdered, a soon-to-ship-out sailor has until dawn to find the killer, aided by a weary dance hall girl.

Directors: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas, Bill Williams
Dial 1119 (1950)
Certificate: Passed Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An escaped mental patient causes havoc.

Director: Gerald Mayer
Stars: Marshall Thompson, Virginia Field, Andrea King
Desperate (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Steve Brodie, Audrey Long, Raymond Burr
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An electronics expert creates a huge bookie broadcast system for his crime boss, and takes over operations when his boss is murdered. His greed leads him on a deadly destructive path.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Joanne Dru, Otto Kruger
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Los Angeles socialite kills a man while home alone one night and claims he was an intruder she did not know. It seems like a clear case of self defense until the story hits the papers and people connected to the dead man come forward.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott
Red Light (1949)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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
Stars: George Raft, Virginia Mayo, Gene Lockhart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Whitney Cameron suspects his sister-in-law has poisoned his brother and niece, but without proof how does he prevent the murder of his nephew?

Director: Andrew L. Stone
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Gary Merrill
Flaxy Martin (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Unscrupulous showgirl Flaxy Martin involves young attorney Walter Colby with mobster Hap Richie. A girl is murdered, with the evidence pointing to Flaxy, and Colby takes the rap and gets a ... See full summary »

Director: Richard L. Bare
Stars: Virginia Mayo, Zachary Scott, Dorothy Malone
Harriet Craig (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Domineering Harriet Craig holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Among those she treats like household objects are her kind husband ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, Lucile Watson
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An upright car mechanic falls in love with the girlfriend of a gangster. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster, Kevin McCarthy
Cornered (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

AWOL marine Sgt. Jim O'Hearn is court-martialed for a variety of offenses that carry 143 years in the stockade or the death penalty but refuses to aid in his own defense.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Chuck Connors
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
... Nurse Julie Benson
... Bob Corey
... Steve Connelly
... Ben Arno / Lou Walsh
... Lysa Radoff
... Police Capt. Garcia
... Mrs. Blayne
... Solly Blayne
... Bonnie Willis (as Shela Stephens)
David Hoffman ... Burns
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 February 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Into the Night  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Features two future Best Supporting Actor Oscar winners: Edmond O'Brien and Ed Begley. See more »

Goofs

Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae) and Julie Benson (Virginia Mayo) are eating dinner and discussing Steve Connelly's (Edmond O'Brien) disappearance they are drinking wine and eating and there is a bottle of wine in the middle of the table next to a burning candle. Just after a close up of MacRae when it goes to a wide shot the plates are gone as is the wine bottle and the glasses. They have been replaced by coffee cups and the waiter asking if they would like more coffee. See more »

Quotes

Ben Arno: ...I figured all the business must have gone west, and I came out to look things over... found a place out on Sunset Strip... looked good. Then i tried to get a loan. No dice. "The banks like to see a sure thing," they said. "For instance?" I said. Something certain. I said, "All right. What's certain?" Two things... death and taxes. So I got to thinking, who comes to California? There's the ones who come here to live and the ones who come here to die. I couldn't get the live ones without a ...
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(1739) (uncredited)
Written by Charles Wesley and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (uncredited)
Sung during the Christmas scene at the beginning
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Male Bonding, Film Noir Style
5 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

A common cultural theme providing subtext for many a film noir was the alienation felt by servicemen returning from WWII to a world that had adapted itself to their absence. But that theme usually remained just that -- subtext. Rarely was it dealt with as overtly as in "Backfire," a modest entry in the genre from 1950, and this fact alone makes this otherwise forgettable film notable.

Bob Corey (Gordon MacRae) and Steve Connolly (Edmond O'Brien) are war buddies, Corey layed up in a veterans' hospital recovering from a spinal injury, Connolly sticking close and providing him moral support. The night before Corey's release, while in a drugged haze, Corey receives a visit from a strange, exotic woman (Viveca Lindfors), telling him that Connolly has been injured himself and is asking for Corey. The next day, as he leaves the hospital, Corey is pulled into the police station, where the head of the homicide bureau (Ed Begley) tells him of the murder of crime boss Solly Blayne and evidence incriminating Connolly as the chief suspect. Corey sets out to find his friend in an attempt to clear his name, aided by his girl Friday, nurse Julie from the veterans' hospital, played fetchingly by Virginia Mayo.

What's most interesting about "Backfire" is that though the film gives both men nominal love interests, they're much more interested in each other than either is about anyone else. It would be easy to read homosexual subtext into this film, as it is in many films noir, but it's not really played that way in the movie. The relationship between Corey and Connolly is that of two men who have had to rely on one another in literal life-and-death situations and who now do not know how to rely on anyone else.

It was refreshing to see MacRae in a film like this -- I only really knew him from his string of 1950s musicals, and he equips himself well. O'Brien, a frequent presence in films of this sort, is right at home. And Mayo is a doll, looking for all the world like a 1940s version of Laura Linney. The climax of the film is a rote shoot-em-up, but as always with movies like "Backfire," the journey is a lot more fun than the destination.

Grade: B


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed