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Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | August 1950 (USA)
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Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screenplay), Victor Trivas (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Det. Mark Dixon
Gene Tierney ... Morgan Taylor
Gary Merrill ... Tommy Scalise
Bert Freed ... Det. Paul Klein
Tom Tully ... Jiggs Taylor
Karl Malden ... Lt. Thomas
Ruth Donnelly ... Martha
Craig Stevens ... Ken Paine
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Storyline

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon always wanted to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But for a good guy, he's awfully vicious. After several complaints over his roughing people up, his boss, Insp. Nicholas Foley, demotes him. Foley tells him he's a good man, but needs to get his head on straight and be more like Det. Lt. Thomas, who has just gotten a promotion. Meanwhile, Tommy Scalise has an illegal dice game going and is looking to make a sucker out of the rich Ted Morrison, who was brought in by Ken Paine and his beautiful wife Morgan. She figures out too late her husband is using her as a decoy. Paine strikes her when she refuses to play along. The chivalrous Morrison intervenes but Paine knocks him out cold. That seems to be the worst of it, but later it turns out the guy is dead; and Paine looks guilty. Soon Dixon has fallen in love with Morgan - but not before losing his temper again and committing a terrible deed that he tries to cover up. Morgan's father... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only a woman's heart could reach out for such a man!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Cry See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,475,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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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

Robert F. Simon's film debut. See more »

Goofs

By the sign near the door, Willie goes into the "45th Street Hotel" early in the film, where Tommy has his floating crap game. But, after the incident there, Mark is dispatched to the "43rd Street Hotel". See more »

Quotes

Insp. Nicholas Foley: [to a beaten-up Dixon] Look at ya! You're all bummed up like a barrelhouse vag!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits start as chalk writing on a sidewalk, with someone walking over them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Für Elise
(uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Expertly done film noir classic!
7 March 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

I'm a big fan of fan of film noir, and this film by Otto Preminger easily stands as one of the best that I've seen! Preminger has reunited two of his stars from the hit 'Laura' - Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews, for an entirely different sort of crime film. Laura was based around love, and this film is based around hate; as we watch police detective Mark Dixon, a copper already suffering scrutiny from his superiors for his heavy handed tactics, accidentally kill a suspect and try to pin the murder on a known criminal; a man by the name of Tommy Scalisi. The plot is brilliantly worked, and Preminger excellently balances several plot points; but it all comes back down to the main moral implication surrounding our main character. The fact that the film is set in the criminal underground means that the plot is given an excellent base to work from, and director Otto Preminger expertly captures the sleazier side of life by showing the main characters gambling, beating one another (and their women), shooting and more - and this also helps to offset the film from the earlier 'Laura', which was very much set in upper class society.

The role of Mark Dixon gives Dana Andrews one of the most interesting parts of his career. Here, we have a character that is difficult to like as he's so cold - but the fact that we can understand his motives ensures that he's easy to sympathise with, and that allows the audience the ability to plug into his plight. The character development is well timed, and as we've follows this character and his motivations throughout the film; everything makes sense by the end. His co-star is the beautiful Gene Tierney, who isn't given as much to do in this film as she was in Laura; a film that made Tierney its linchpin. She does well with what she's got, however, and the lead duo's chemistry is excellent and Tierney helps to complete every scene she's in. I can't say that this is a better film than the earlier Laura; that's a hard act to follow, but this film certainly fits into the film noir formula better than Preminger's earlier film. The film also makes a good comparison piece for Laura; as just about everything in this film is opposite to the 1944 movie, yet it's all strangely familiar. Highly recommended to all!


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