22 user 14 critic

A Cry in the Night (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 August 1956 (USA)
A deranged man kidnaps the nubile daughter of a police captain.


Frank Tuttle


David Dortort (screenplay), Whit Masterson (novel)




Complete credited cast:
Edmond O'Brien ... Capt. Dan Taggart
Brian Donlevy ... Capt. Ed Bates
Natalie Wood ... Elizabeth
Raymond Burr ... Harold Loftus
Richard Anderson ... Owen Clark
Irene Hervey ... Helen Taggart
Carol Veazie ... Mrs. Mabel Loftus
Mary Lawrence ... Madge Taggart
Anthony Caruso ... Tony Chavez
George J. Lewis ... George Gerrity
Peter Hansen ... Dr. Frazee
Tina Carver ... Mrs. Marie Holzapple
Herb Vigran ... Jensen - Sergeant at Police Desk


Owen Marks, parked at Lovers' Loop with girlfriend Liz Taggart, surprises a peeping Tom, who knocks him out and kidnaps Liz. The police leap into action when they learn the victim is a cop's daughter. Kidnapper Harold Loftus, the unhinged product of a smothering mother, makes ineffectual advances toward Liz, who staves him off as the police close in, hindered as much as helped by her overprotective father Capt. Dan Taggart. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Eighteen, nice girl, nice home - How did she fall this far?... See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ages: Natalie Wood plays an 18 year old. Wood was born in July 1938, so as of the film's release date of August 1956 she was 18 years and 1 month. Richard Anderson, who played her boyfriend, was 12 years older than Wood while Raymond Burr was 21 years older than her (his character was said to be 32), making him old enough to be her father. Burr was only 2 years younger than Edmond O'Brien who played Wood's father. Burr and a police officer refer to Anderson as "that boy" when in fact at the time Anderson had recently turned 30 years old.

Mary Lawrence, who was 38 at the time played Madge, Wood's supposed 27 year old sister. In fact, like Burr she was over 20 years older than Wood. Irene Hervey played the mother of both Wood and Lawrence. She was only 9 years older than Lawrence while O'Brien was only 3 years older than Lawrence. See more »


When Edmond O'Brien is getting ready to watch a movie on TV, he pours himself a glass of beer which is almost entirely foam. When he stands up to turn off the TV, the glass is suddenly full of beer. See more »


Boy on Motorcycle: Sock her again! They love it!
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User Reviews

"I don't stop. Not me. Not when it's my family."
31 August 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Policeman (Edmond O'Brien) hunts down the hulking brute (Raymond Burr) who kidnapped his teenage daughter (Natalie Wood). Had potential to be a sleazy thriller but doesn't live up to it. As for the acting, the special of the day is ham. Raymond Burr channeling Lenny from "Of Mice and Men" will elicit laughter from most viewers. Carol Veazie as his trashy mom is fun to watch. Overweight Edmond O'Brien's turn as the hot-headed thuggish overprotective father is impossible to stop watching. Seems like every scene he has he's grabbing someone and yelling at them. It's not good acting but the movie is much more intriguing when he's on screen. Brian Donlevy spends most of the movie telling his pal O'Brien to go home. For her part, Natalie Wood is lovely to look at and handles herself fine in a weak role. Herb Vigran is good as the comic relief desk sergeant. Somewhat interesting for its glimpse at 1950s' attitudes towards sex, parenting, and mental illness. Ultimately can't be taken seriously enough to work as a thriller and it's not quite over-the-top enough to work as camp. Watchable but nothing special.

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Release Date:

17 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cry in the Night See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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