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

The Phillips Export-Import Co. where Bigelow is sent in Los Angeles has its offices in the Bradbury Building, an iconic office building in Los Angeles designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and the scene of numerous movie shoots from the 1940s into the 2000s. Among the most famous movies with scenes shot in the Bradbury are Blade Runner, Chinatown and I, the Jury. See more »

Goofs

At 28:31 the way the doctor holds the paper changes. 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

Referenced in Death and Penelope (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Utterly brilliant thriller!
5 September 2003 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Forget the crappy 1980s remake starring Dennis Quaid, this is the real deal! From the fantastic opening sequence ("I want to report a murder" ... "Who was murdered?" "I was") to the inevitable end, this is an utterly brilliant thriller that will have you riveted to your seat! Edmond O'Brien, a great character actor who was in everything from the classic rock'n'roll movie 'The Girl Can't Help It' to Peckinpah's western masterpiece 'The Wild Bunch' (he played the old coot, you probably won't recognize him here), is the "hero" who is told he has been poisoned and has days, maybe even hours to live. He frantically tries to find out who did it and why. Some people complain that O'Brien's character isn't all that likable, but I think that makes the movie even stronger. When you DO find out the who and why it doesn't really make that much sense but I don't think it matters all that much in the end, the journey is the thing, and only a very picky Noir fan could be disappointed with this. On top of that, Neville Brand, who later in the 1950s played Al Capone in 'The Untouchables' TV series, and later still starred in Tobe Hooper's gonzo cult classic 'Death Trap' (a.k.a. 'Eaten Alive'), plays one of the most memorable screen villains of all time, the dim witted Chester, a real nasty piece of work! 'D.O.A.' comes with my highest recommendation. If you like thrillers you'll LOVE this!


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