6.6/10
845
26 user 14 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 »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 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:

Into the Night 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

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

You and the Night and the Music
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Played when Steve, Bonnie and Lysa are sitting at the table in the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Passable
20 December 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

No need to recap the plot. Those first few scenes in the hospital are charming, when not also spooky. The chemistry between Mayo and McRae is so infectious, I expected them to burst into song at any moment. But then there's that spectral visitation at the foot of McRae's bed. It's expertly staged, surpassing in impact anything else in the film.

However, both the screenplay and the direction go downhill following this promising start. It's a complicated narrative whose alternating threads between flashback and real time are clumsily woven. At the same time, focal shifts between McRae and O'Brien further dislocate the viewer, (and why is Dane Clark given top billing with such limited screen time ).

At the same time, director Sherman doesn't appear to have a feel for the material, filming in flat impersonal style despite noirish touches from cinematographer Guthrie. Good thing that fine actor Eddie O'Brien is on hand to carry the acting department. McRae is handsome and likable, but without the needed gravitas of crime drama, while the ravishing Lindfors's best scene is as the apparition.

I like reviewer Brocksilvey's comments on the male-bonding aspects that I overlooked. In my experience, it's a very real part of military life and need have nothing to do with same sex attraction. Rather it has to do, I think, with the sharing of grueling experiences and the bonds thereby established, ones which can go deeper than more conventional types. Happily, the movie suggests the very sort of bonding Brocksilvey expresses.

Anyway, in my view, the movie's a passable crime drama, but nothing more.


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