7.4/10
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57 user 47 critic

Crime Wave (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 March 1954 (USA)
Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director:

André De Toth

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (screen play), Bernard Gordon (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Det. Lt. Sims
Gene Nelson ... Steve Lacey
Phyllis Kirk ... Ellen Lacey
Ted de Corsia ... 'Doc' Penny
Charles Bronson ... Ben Hastings (as Charles Buchinsky)
Jay Novello ... Dr. Otto Hessler
Nedrick Young ... Gat Morgan (as Ned Young)
James Bell ... Daniel O'Keefe
Dub Taylor ... Gus Snider (as Dubb Taylor)
Gayle Kellogg Gayle Kellogg ... Detective Kelly
Mack Chandler Mack Chandler ... Detective Sully
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Storyline

Three San Quentin escapees (Penny, Hastings and Morgan) kill a cop in a gas-station holdup. Wounded, Morgan flees through black-shadowed streets to the handiest refuge: with former cellmate Steve Lacey, who's paroled, with a new life and lovely wife, and can't afford to be caught associating with old cronies. But homicide detective Sims wants to use Steve to help him catch Penny and Hastings, who in turn extort his help in a bank job. Is there no way out for Steve? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before your shocked eyes--the city blasted SIN-SIDE OUT! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to TCM Noir Alley, one of André De Toth's greatest talents as a Director was his extraordinary instinct for casting. His films often featured actors appearing in unexpected roles that, in hindsight, seem inspired. For example, Gene Nelson, well known song-and-dance man, makes his only detour into Film Noir in Crime Wave as lead Steve Lacey. See more »

Goofs

When Gat Morgan comes to Steve and Ellen Laceys' apartment he brandishes a Smith & Wesson .38 special with a 2.5" barrel. When Steve's parole officer arrives detective Lt. Sims holds and hands the gun that Steve Lacey took from Morgan to parole officer O'Keefe. The revolver now has a 4" barrel and appears to be a Colt Police Positive. See more »

Quotes

Steve Lacey: How come the smart guys are inside and the dopes outside?
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Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Film Noir (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

'S Wonderful
Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Ira Gershwin
Performed by Doris Day on record
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User Reviews

 
Well paced, well cast late noir from underrated Andre De Toth
27 November 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

It's too bad Andre De Toth didn't contribute more to the noir cycle, because on the evidence he was a natural (plus he was married to early-noir icon Veronica Lake). The Pitfall, made in 1948, looks more and more like one of the best, and most central, movies in the cycle, but (except for the early, more gothic Dark Waters) De Toth only returned to it once, with Crime Wave. Its story is not a fresh one: an ex-con trying to go straight (Gene Nelson) is coerced by circumstances to aid and abet a gang of his former cellmates. The uncomfortable spot he finds himself in lies between them and the law, personified by Sterling Hayden as a tough, unforgiving police detective. There's much more attention to character in the film's hour-and-a-quarter running time than in many full-length features of the era; Jay Novello, as an alcoholic veterinarian who doubles as an underworld sawbones, is especially memorable. By any reckoning Crime Wave is a minor film -- even a minor second feature -- but De Toth lavishes easy expertise on it; it's surprisingly well paced, well shot, as well interestingly cut. Why so many talented directors (many of them refugees from Europe) were relegated, in the 1950s, to "genre" movies -- crime dramas, 3-D schlockfests and westerns -- is a puzzle. In any case, I'd give any three of De Toth's westerns AND his House of Wax for just one more film noir boasting his directorial credit.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Cry, Baby See more »

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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