7.3/10
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134 user 62 critic

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.

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(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Frank Bigelow
... Paula Gibson
... Majak
... Miss Foster (as Beverly Campbell)
... Mrs. Philips
... Halliday
Henry Hart ... Stanley Philips
... Chester
... Marla Rakubian
... Sam
... Sue (as Cay Forrester)
... Dr. Matson (as Fred Jaquet)
... Dr. Schaefer (as Larry Dobkin)
... Dr. MacDonald
... 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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead on Arrival  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pamela Britton plays Paula Gibson, the insecure and pushy girlfriend of Frank Bigelow, played by Edmond O'Brien. In 1951 Britton would be cast as Marge Porter in TV's The Bigelow Theatre (1950), a series of teleplays, but which had nothing to do with the name of Edmond O'Brien's character in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Bigelow is being shot at in the factory, he returns fire once, with a single shot. At the end of the film, he shoots 6 times when he confronts Halliday. That's a total of 7 bullets fired, although the gun would have held 6. 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

Remade as D.O.A. (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great film in classic noir style
15 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

An exceptionally well thought-out and executed film noir. A man who is fatally poisoned with a slow-acting substance wants to discover who killed him -- and why. The answers seem pathetically insignificant compared to their repurcussions. O'Brien provides a solid "everyman" type leading performance that puts Gary Cooper and Glenn Ford's best attempts at the same to utter shame. Bev Garland puts in a good show too as a sort of misunderstood femme fatale in a minor key. Credit should go to director Mate and photographer Laszlo, who match the words and feelings of the story perfectly, neither showing us too much or too little at any time. The narrative force of this story is strong because it is focused on one man, with whom we can identify, who has been placed in an exciting, intriguing, and terrifying situation by events out of his control.


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