7.1/10
2,181
36 user 17 critic

Pushover (1954)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 August 1954 (USA)
Undercover cop falls for the beautiful moll of a bank robber on the run and together they double-cross the hood and the cops.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writers:

Roy Huggins (screenplay), Thomas Walsh (novel) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An upright car mechanic falls in love with the girlfriend of a gangster. This forces him to participate in the criminal underworld.

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Mickey Rooney, Dianne Foster, Kevin McCarthy
The Burglar (1957)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dan Duryea and his cronies rob a fake spiritualist and then take it on the lam to Atlantic City.

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Dan Duryea, Jayne Mansfield, Martha Vickers
Nightfall (1956)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a series of bizarre coincidences, an artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, Brian Keith
The Lineup (1958)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a psychopathic gangster and his mentor retrieve heroin packages carried by unsuspecting travelers.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Eli Wallach, Robert Keith, Richard Jaeckel
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in an affair with a co-worker's wife following a murder on a train where they meet.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner
Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Paris police detective Cassin has a well needed vacation at a rural inn, where the owners' adult daughter shows interest in him but she has a jealous boyfriend. Will Cassin need his skills?

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Steven Geray, Micheline Cheirel, Eugene Borden
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Julia Ross secures employment, through a rather nosy employment agency, with a wealthy widow, Mrs. Hughes, and goes to live at her house. 2 days later, she awakens - in a different house, ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: Nina Foch, May Whitty, George Macready
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man with an asthmatic voice telephones bank clerk Kelly Sherwood at home and coerces her into helping him steal a large sum from her bank.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Stefanie Powers
The Big Heat (1953)
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Tough cop Dave Bannion takes on a politically powerful crime syndicate.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Jocelyn Brando
Jubal (1956)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A new foreman rejects the sexual advances of a frustrated rancher's wife, which leads to conflicts that could get him killed.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Ernest Borgnine, Rod Steiger
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When 2 detectives steal $80,000 from a dead robber, one of them suffers from a guilty conscience which could lead to murder.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Ida Lupino, Steve Cochran, Howard Duff
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fred MacMurray ... Paul Sheridan
Philip Carey ... Rick McAllister (as Phil Carey)
Kim Novak ... Lona McLane
Dorothy Malone ... Ann Stewart
E.G. Marshall ... Police Lt. Carl Eckstrom
Allen Nourse Allen Nourse ... Paddy Dolan
Edit

Storyline

A bank heist yields $210,000. Soon, sultry Lona McLane, girlfriend of one of the robbers, meets Paul Sheridan and has a torrid affair. When she finds out Paul's a cop, to save herself she sets out to corrupt him. He's a pushover. But it won't be easy for Paul to get his hands on the money when he's part of a complex, peeping-tom stakeout. Soon, he's in much deeper than he'd planned, amid atmospheric night scenes. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You can have the money and me...just pull the trigger! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killer Wore a Badge See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the sources for the film was the novel "The Night Watch" by Thomas Walsh, which was serialized under the title "The Killer Wore a Badge", in the Saturday Evening Post from November 10 to December 15, 1951. See more »

Goofs

When Paul calls Lona in her apartment during the stakeout, it is clearly raining. When he meets her on the roof a few minutes later, it is not raining and there are stars in the night sky. See more »

Quotes

Rick McAllister: Money? It's nice, but it doesn't make the world go around.
Paul Sheridan: Doesn't it? Do you know anybody who's happily married who hasn't got plenty of it?
Rick McAllister: Sure, my old man...
Paul Sheridan: Yeah? My folks hated each other. Fighting all the time... and always about money.
See more »

Connections

References It Should Happen to You (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

There Goes That Song Again
Music by Jule Styne (uncredited)
Played by duo pianists at the cocktail lounge
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
In some ways a perfect crime/noir film, though vaguely unoriginal, too.
18 May 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Pushover (1954)

An early widescreen black and white film noir gem. It comes late in the noir cycle but it crackles with precision and sharp acting. Though the details of the plot differ, it is an obvious echo of "Double Indemnity" with the leading man, played again by Fred MacMurray, sucked into a risky plot for big money and alluring love. And of course things don't go as planned.

MacMurray is an interesting choice in both films, because he really is more of an everyman than a noir type. Noir types are variable, I know, but you can range from Mitchum to Bogart to Dana Andrews to a whole bunch of minor actors who all have a kind of coolness or hardness to them, and you never see a regular fellow like MacMurray (the closest might be Mickey Rooney, of all people, in a neglected oddball noir, the 1950 "Quicksand"). MacMurray would later find his true calling as the dad in "My Three Sons" but when you see him in these early film roles there is something wrong and some perfect about his presence.

I don't mean to neglect the femme fatale here, a young Kim Novak, in her first full role. She's terrific, really, a bit cool (which was her style) but more convincing, to me, than her more famous appearance across from Sinatra in "Man with the Golden Arm." Maybe it's partly how well matched she is as an actress to MacMurray, though if there is a flaw to the film , it might be the unlikeness of these two falling in love, even with $210,000 to persuade them. But love is love and who's to say? The two of them, often playing in separate scenes (talking on the phone, or MacMurray watching her through binoculars), make this a full blooded drama as well as a crime noir.

The pace and editing of this movie, and the script and story, are perfect. It's easily the kind of film you could study for its structure, and for the writing, which isn't filled with noir doozies but with believable fast lines between two people looking to get through a growing debacle. It's a conventional structure, but its precision is comparable (for its precision) to "The Killing," that famous Stanley Kubrick film from 1956. And if it isn't as inventive, and if it lacks that amazing ending, "Pushover" is resilient because it is so reasonable. It could very well happen, and these relatively ordinary types (Novak being admired for her looks, but there are lots of lookers like her out there, especially gangster's girls) make it all the more compelling.

The filming is great, Lester White not known in particular in the cinematography world but shot a whole slew of decent and unamazing westerns (as well as the Ida Lupino "Women's Prison" which has it moments). Little known director Richard Quine made lots of lightweight and comic fare (he worked a bit with both Blake Edwards and Mickey Rooney, then later with Jack Lemmon) and this might be his most serious 1950s film, in tone. It's certainly the kind that you can't look away for a second because it clips along without a lull for an hour and a half.


7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 36 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed