6.4/10
573
31 user 8 critic

Edge of Doom (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 August 1950 (USA)
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
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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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Farley Grainger heads to the church, he first hears a brass band playing the gospel song "Yield not to Temptation." Then a choir sings the chorus of another old gospel song, "Bring them In." The lyrics to both songs are appropriate for the situation. See more »

Goofs

The framing device with the uncertain priest sets the story in the past, even though it clearly has a contemporary setting. See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Back Alley Jump
(uncredited)
Music by Paul Sprosty
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User Reviews

A very personal view of EOD
2 November 2006 | by songwarrior52See all my reviews

My dad wrote the book that EOD is based on. It is interesting to me that a film that was declared a resounding failure still elicits some interesting commentary. The view that it is possibly the most depressing noir-type film around sounds like a huge compliment to me, given what noir is always striving to do, and indeed it IS a dark film (which makes the above comment about the Stradling cinematography kind of puzzling). Also, the IMDb trivia statement that the film has never been shown on TV can't possibly be true, since I remember seeing it on TV when I was a teen.

The novel Edge of Doom used a Crime and Punishment narrative style to tell a contemporary murder story revolving around poverty in a large American city—the template was Philadelphia—and to raise issues about how devotion to church alone can not solve the ills of a modern society. The subject matter is indeed bleak, and indeed ahead of its time. It's certainly a brooding tale, but the novel as literature was considered significant in its day. How Goldwyn came to produce it as a film is a story unto itself, but there can be no doubting that if the film's creative team had stuck to their noir-ish guns, and focused more artfully on the message, it would have been a much better film, not to mention a film that might've actually raised noir above its melodramatic station. (Noir is great, of course, and it's fun to view its style, but a lot of the entries in the genre are tough to watch nowadays, simply because the dialogue is so corny.) Bookending the movie with the corny priest scenes ruined the film's chance to actually probe the poverty theme with seriousness. By soft-pedaling its style, Mark Robson and Philip Yordan failed to capture what was important about the novel. Here was yet another example of Hollywood so afraid of box-office impact that they made a difficult situation worse, when what they might've had was a critically well-received work that would have also failed at the box office but at least might've been counted as art.

I can't say I agree with the above post that hails the work of Farley Granger. Granger has been publicly vitriolic about the movie, but in my view he did nothing to help it. He's wooden and self-conscious, and, let's face it, he was never a good actor even when Hitchcock directed him. However, I am also open to the possibility that, had Robson had any conceptual idea about how to best tell this tale, Granger might've made for an interesting screen subject. The Yordan screenplay tweaks trivialized the message and shortchanged the potential for a visual style. Even then, if Robson had brought a creative approach to things, even the screenplay issues might've been overcome.

EOD the film remains a historical curiosity, but it's mostly an example of what happens when unsympathetic, apparently clueless, filmmakers are hired to tackle a subject of seriousness, which they can only reduce to cinematic hackwork. It could have been, it SHOULD have been, a much better movie.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Edge of Doom See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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