6.6/10
2,061
75 user 24 critic

Quicksand (1950)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 24 March 1950 (USA)
After taking 20 dollars from his employer to go on a date with plans to repay it the next day, an auto mechanic falls into increasingly disastrous circumstances for more and more money which rapidly spirals out of his control.

Director:

Irving Pichel

Writer:

Robert Smith (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rooney ... Dan
Jeanne Cagney ... Vera
Barbara Bates ... Helen
Peter Lorre ... Nick
Taylor Holmes ... Harvey
Art Smith ... Mackey
Wally Cassell ... Chuck
Richard Lane ... Lt. Nelson
Patsy O'Connor Patsy O'Connor ... Millie
John Gallaudet ... Moriarity
Minerva Urecal ... Landlady
Sidney Marion Sidney Marion ... Shorty
Jimmie Dodd ... Buzz (as Jimmy Dodd)
Lester Dorr ... Baldy
Kitty O'Neil Kitty O'Neil ... Madame Zaronga
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Storyline

Motor mechanic Dan Brady lacks funds for a heavy date with new restaurant cashier Vera, the type whose life's ambition is a mink coat; so he embezzles twenty dollars from his employer with plans to repay it the next day. To make up the shortage, he goes in debt for a hundred. Thereafter, every means he tries to get out of trouble only gets him deeper into financial difficulties that lead to bigger crimes as everyone he meets is out for themselves. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A guy who yields to temptation just once...... ....and finds it's once too often! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(At around twenty-four minutes) In the bar scene, there are cases of Pepsi in the background. The ditty Shorty sings on the way to his car is the Pepsi jingle of the era with different lyrics. See more »

Goofs

When Helen is walking with Dan to the car after he was shot her hair is flipped up in the back, but as soon as she gets in the car her hair is turned under. See more »

Quotes

Vera Novak: I want that coat. And I'm gonna get it.
Daniel 'Dan' Brady: For two thousand dollars?
Vera Novak: For whatever it takes.
Daniel 'Dan' Brady: Hey, wait a minute. You... you really do want it, don't you?
Vera Novak: You bet I do.
See more »

Connections

References The Lucky Stiff (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Low Bridge, Everybody Down
aka "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal"
Lyrics and Music written by Thomas S. Allen
Performed by Sidney Marion
(uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
A crunchy little B movie with a candied film noir coating but a melodrama center.
4 July 2005 | by Ham_and_EggerSee all my reviews

Quicksand is immediately at pains to establish that auto-mechanic Dan Brady (Mickey Rooney) is a *very* average guy, there's no monotone narrator to say, "Be careful or this may happen to you" but there might as well be. The first fifteen minutes or so drag along interminably through a lunch-counter and a mechanic shot before Dan "borrows" a twenty from the register to take a blonde out dancing, thus beginning a brief but intense criminal career.

Rooney is surprisingly convincing as the dissatisfied, and really quite dishonest, mechanic. He doesn't try anything cute, playing this role as straight as any I've ever seen out of him (admittedly not much), though his "inner monologue" narration rapidly wears out its welcome. Despite his being set up as an everyman character, I found him pleasingly sneaky, cowardly, and unlikeable.

The afore-mentioned blonde is Vera Novak (Jeanne Cagney). Brady has already been provided with a self-sacrificing brunette good girl that he's trying to get rid of, so right away you know that the only question you've got to answer about the blonde Vera is whether she's a broad, a dame, a floozie, or a hussy (turns out she's two of the four, but I'll let you find out which). Cagney is really only passable as the manipulative, materialistic, femme fatale.

Peter Lorre shows up, barely, as Nick, the crooked owner of a penny arcade where Vera once worked. Lorre and Rooney engage in some minor fisticuffs over Cagney (who must have been thinking that her brother could take them both with one hand tied behind his back).

After the tepid opening Quicksand actually does build up a decent head of steam as Dan Brady sinks deeper and deeper into the eponymous morass. It's clearly a written-to-order morality play but it moves quickly, punches hard enough to get the job done, and isn't entirely unbelievable. In the end melodrama beats film noir by a nose, or is it a couple furlongs? I couldn't help thinking Quicksand zigged when it should have zagged.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quicksand See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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