6.5/10
414
18 user 5 critic

Edge of Doom (1950)

A mentally unbalanced young man kills a priest. One of the priest's colleagues sets out to find the killer.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Leo Brady (novel), Philip Yordan
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dana Andrews ... Father Thomas Roth
Farley Granger ... Martin Lynn
Joan Evans ... Rita Conroy
Robert Keith ... Detect. Lieutenant Mandel
Paul Stewart ... Mr. Craig
Mala Powers ... Julie
Adele Jergens ... Irene
Harold Vermilyea ... Father Kirkman
John Ridgely ... 1st Detective
Douglas Fowley ... 2nd Detective
Mabel Paige ... Mrs. Pearson
Howland Chamberlain ... Mr. Murray, the Funeral Director
Houseley Stevenson ... Mr. Swanson, the Florist (as Houseley Stevenson Sr.)
Jean Inness Jean Inness ... Mrs. Lally (as Jean Innes)
Ellen Corby ... Mrs. Jeanette Moore
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Storyline

A poor and alienated young man (Farley Granger) who is driven to murder when a priest refuses to give is deceased mother an expensive funeral. The film explores the crippling poverty that has prevented the youth from marrying or providing his mother with enough comforts, and has led to his crime. Dana Andrews plays the compassionate assistant of the slain priest who brings about the tormented killer's repentance. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | based on novel | See All (2) »

Taglines:

100 BREATH-TAKING MINUTES OF "EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT" SUSPENSE AND PULSE-POUNDING MYSTERY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf des Schicksals Schneide See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Granger gets caught in a mob gathering outside the Galaxy movie theater. The marquee shows it is playing "Our Very Own," which was the movie Farley Granger and Joan Evans made prior to this film. See more »

Goofs

Ned Moore assaults the priest, Father Thomas Roth, in the rectory and as the priest falls to the floor, his Roman collar falls open and hangs loose. He stands up to continue the fight with his collar fully intact. See more »

Quotes

Father Thomas Roth: You may have given up on God, but he won't give up on you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Skid Row Rag
(uncredited)
Music by Paul Sprosty
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It doesn't take much to poison a young man's soul.
15 January 2014 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Edge of Doom is directed by Mark Robson and adapted to screenplay by Philip Yordan from the novel written by Leo Brady. It stars Dana Andrews, Farley Granger, Joan Evans, Robert Keith, Paul Stewart, Mala Powers and Adele Jergens. Music is by Hugo Friedhofer and cinematography by Harry Stradling.

Give evil a root and it will grow and thrive.

Relentlessly grim in thematics and mounted in classic film noir style by Robson and Stradling, if it were not for the heavy religio angle then we would be talking about one of film noir's highlights. Bookended by pious pontifications as Dana Andrews' priest offers his wisdom to a new understudy, everything in between is tinged by a bleakness as Granger's poverty stricken young man desperately tries to arrange a "big" funeral for his just deceased mother.

With a mother fixation firmly planted on his shoulders, Martin Lynn trawls through the oppressive and unforgiving city looking for help but finding none. His employer, the church, nobody, so when his temper finally snaps he also has to contend with guilt and the police circling him like a straight-jacket. All the while Father Roth is hanging around to show the good side of the church, even turning into the punching preacher at one point. But can he grant salvation to a frantic Martin Lynn as his soul begins to fracture?

Samuel Goldwyn effectively stopped backing the picture and Granger pretty much disowned it, unsurprisingly it flopped at the box office and has sort of languished in noir purgatory ever since. Shifting too much of the focus onto Father Roth really hurts the film, where Goldwyn had Robson do a re-edit and hired Ben Hecht to spruce up the religious theme. There's also a problem with Granger over acting at times, while Andrews is a touch miscast in a role tailor made for Pat O'Brien. Though the support players, particularly Keith and Stewart, more than compensate.

There's enough bite in the narrative to do justice to the excellent visuals, a cynicism that haunts the shadows of this seamy side of the city, but this really should have, and could have, been so much better. 7/10


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