7.3/10
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D.O.A. (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 21 April 1950 (USA)
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

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

Just for fun: Back in the 1980's, there was a short-run independent TV series that provided voice-overs with new dialog and plots for old movies. For D.O.A., Edmond O'Brien was "Rickie," Pamela Britton was "Ethel," and "Rickie" was running around California trying to find "Lucy," who was kidnapped or something. When "Rickie" finally collapsed at the end at the police station, the file was stamped D.O.A. in bold letters, with the title on the screen stating "D.O.A.: Death from Over Acting." See more »

Goofs

When Frank is being rushed out of the room after being captured by Chester, the short henchman briefly looks into the camera. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Capitalism: A Love Story (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Classic noir film with suspense and a first-rate starring
20 July 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The tale concerns about a lengthy flashback where the protagonist (Edmond O'Brien) after leaving his girlfriend (Pamela Britton ) goes to San Francisco . There is given an extremely slow-action poison . The starring relates his own murder and becomes himself in detective , spending his ending moments trying to uncover his hit men . As his time runs out , he has only hours to identify , he desperately seeks to discover who is responsible his death . The search for the suspect is further complicated by thrilling facts , numerous intrigues , deceits and confrontation against mobsters (Luther Adler , Neville Brand) .

It's an exciting B-thriller of vibrating pace that unites various elements as the fatalism , cynicism , corruption with a noir vision of America from the time . The original title belongs the notes about the deceased person . Magnificent interpretation by usually secondary Edmond O'Brien as when he is frantically running by San Francisco streets . The scene in which he 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 . Nice secondary cast , being film debut of Beverly Garland and Neville Brand . The film gets a good black and white (though available colorized) cinematography with some excellent close-ups (the jazzmen) by Ernest Lazslo . Atmospheric music by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin . The movie is well done by Rudolph Mate , a famous and habitual cameraman . It's followed by inferior remakes as ¨Color me dead¨ (1969) with Tom Tryon and 1988 version with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan . The motion picture will appeal to dark noir movies fans . Rating : Notable and well worth seeing.


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