7.4/10
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135 user 63 critic

D.O.A. (1949)

Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Writers:

Russell Rouse (story and screenplay), Clarence Greene (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edmond O'Brien ... Frank Bigelow
Pamela Britton ... Paula Gibson
Luther Adler ... Majak
Beverly Garland ... Miss Foster (as Beverly Campbell)
Lynn Baggett ... Mrs. Philips
William Ching ... Halliday
Henry Hart Henry Hart ... Stanley Philips
Neville Brand ... Chester
Laurette Luez ... Marla Rakubian
Jess Kirkpatrick ... Sam
Cay Forester ... Sue (as Cay Forrester)
Frank Jaquet ... Dr. Matson (as Fred Jaquet)
Lawrence Dobkin ... Dr. Schaefer (as Larry Dobkin)
Frank Gerstle ... Dr. MacDonald
Carol Hughes ... Kitty
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Storyline

Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow goes to San Francisco for a week's fun prior to settling down with fiancée Paula. After a night on the town, he wakes up with more than just a hangover; doctors tell him he's been given a "luminous toxin" with no antidote and has, at most, a week to live! Not knowing who did it or why, Bigelow embarks on a frantic odyssey to find his own murderer. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture as excitingly different as its title!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead on Arrival See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Harry Popkin Productions 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

The scene in which Bigelow runs in panic through the streets after learning he has been poisoned was a stolen shot. The pedestrians had no idea a movie was being made and no warning that Edmond O'Brien would be plowing through them. See more »

Goofs

During the chase in the drugstore, you can see several bystanders watching the filming from across the street. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Homicide Detective: Can I help you?
Frank Bigelow: I'd like to see the man in charge.
Homicide Detective: In here...
Frank Bigelow: I want to report a murder.
Homicide Captain: Sit down. Where was this murder committed?
Frank Bigelow: San Francisco, last night.
Homicide Captain: Who was murdered?
Frank Bigelow: I was.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits read "The medical facts in this motion picture are authentic. Luminous toxin is a descriptive term for an actual poison. Technical Adviser, Edward F. Dunne, M.D." See more »

Connections

Edited into A Photo of Me (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
This Film Shines Like Luminescence
5 June 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

DOA was made on the cusp of Edmond O'Brien's transition from leads to character roles and it may very well be his career part.

It's a cheaply made thriller and it shows in spots. But it more than makes up for it in originality of plot and the performances of a superb cast of players.

DOA involves nothing less than Edmond O'Brien solving his own murder. He's in some kind of business and as a sideline he makes a little extra money as a notary. He notarizes a bill of sale and in doing so is a witness to a piece of evidence that a man who was a party to the sale had no reason to commit suicide.

But the perpetrator doesn't slip O'Brien something fast acting like cyanide. No he gets something called luminescent poisoning which is slow acting, but irreversibly fatal if not caught within a few hours of ingesting. When he learns what happens, O'Brien has nothing to lose in his hunt for his own killer.

Best in the cast of supporting players without a doubt is Neville Brand who invades Lyle Bettger territory in playing a psychopathic thug in Luther Adler's employ. Adler himself is always good as are good girl Pamela Britton and bad girl Beverly Garland.

The film was made on a shoestring, but occasionally those films can prove worthwhile.


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