7.2/10
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44 user 21 critic

The Damned Don't Cry (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 May 1950 (USA)
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A New York socialite climbs the ladder of success man by man until a life among rich gangsters gives her what she thought she always wanted.

Director:

Vincent Sherman

Writers:

Harold Medford (screenplay), Jerome Weidman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Ethel Whitehead aka Lorna Hansen Forbes
David Brian ... George Castleman aka Joe Caveny
Steve Cochran ... Nick Prenta
Kent Smith ... Martin Blackford
Hugh Sanders ... Grady
Selena Royle ... Patricia Longworth
Jacqueline deWit ... Sandra
Morris Ankrum ... Jim Whitehead
Edith Evanson Edith Evanson ... Mrs. Castleman
Richard Egan ... Roy
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Storyline

The murder of gangster Nick Prenta touches off an investigation of mysterious socialite Lorna Hansen Forbes, who seems to have no past, and has now disappeared. In flashback, we see the woman's anonymous roots; her poor working-class marriage, which ends in tragedy and her determination to find "better things." Soon finding that sex appeal is her only salable commodity, she climbs from man to man toward the center of a nationwide crime syndicate...a very perilous position. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's the Private Lady of a Public Enemy! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 May 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Victim See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,233,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,540,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,211,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

When Ethel Whitehead first sees Martin Blankford working in the office of her firm, there is a photo of a building behind his desk. That building is the original Phelan Building, which stood at the corner of Market Street and O'Farrell Streets in San Francisco. The photo was taken about 1890. It was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fire. A larger and more impressive Phelan Building was constructed on the same site. It is now an historic landmark. See more »

Quotes

Ethel Whitehead: Don't talk to me about self-respect. That's something you tell yourself you got when you got nothing else. What kind of self-respect is there living on aspirin tablets and chicken salad sandwiches?
[beat]
Ethel Whitehead: Look Marty, the only thing that counts is that stuff you take to the bank, that filthy buck that everybody sneers at, but slugs to get.
[beat]
Ethel Whitehead: I know how you feel. You're a nice guy. But the world isn't for nice guys. You've got to kick and punch and belt your way up because nobody's going to ...
See more »


Soundtracks

Make Love with a Guitar
(uncredited)
Music by María Grever
Played by the band at Grady's
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Nice-Looking Noir-Melodrama
24 January 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

For me, the best part about this film was the exceptional lighting which made this a great movie to see on DVD. The great black-and-white photography reminded of films like The Sweet Smell Of Success and To Kill A Mockingbird. The camera-work in this movie does not take a backseat to those great films, believe me.

Story-wise, it's a somewhat-familiar Joan Crawford movie with a bit more emphasis on the melodrama than the film noir, a la Mildred Pierce. That's a compliment because "Mildred" was a well-crafted story and so is this. It's an effective mixture of drama and noir. However, unlike "Mildred," this Crawford character ("Ethel" aka "Mrs. Forvbes") has a worldly edge to her with a chip on her big shoulders. It's tough to sympathize with her in this story, frankly.

Kent Smith plays her naive, wimpy dupe for much of the film but when David Brian enters the scene, the movie really picks up. Gangster Brian is nobody's patsy and he's fascinating, portraying the most intense character in the story.

This is another one of the fine classic movies that never got a VHS showing but finally got a break with a recent DVD release, which is all the better since the camera-work is deserving of the nice look this transfer gives it. Once more, another impressive movie from 1950, one of the better years Hollywood ever had.


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