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


THE TEEN-AGE DATE IN LOVERS' LANE THEY'LL NEVER LET HER FORGET! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


According to a 2016 biography of Natalie Wood, she began dating Raymond Burr during this production. See more »


Toward the end of the film, two police officers chase after Raymond Burr and Natalie Wood. Both officers race together until they get to a flight of stairs, then one officer continues while the other stops inexplicably. The officer racing up the stairs is shot, and a second later and then falls down the stairs (thus providing an explanation as to why the second officer stopped the chase, so he wouldn't be hit as the actor portraying the officer who was shot rolled down the stairs). In reality, both officers would have continued their pursuit.

In addition, police chasing a known armed suspect (the gun thug had already fired one round) would have their guns out at the ready. Once the gun thug appeared at the top of the stairs sans the hostage, they would have opened fire. See more »


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User Reviews

Would-be noir, well cast but otherwise insubstantial...
16 April 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Policeman's daughter, out on Lovers' Loop late one night with her secret boyfriend, is kidnapped by a somewhat simple-minded behemoth with a mommy-complex. Curiously old-fashioned and corny bit of police business masquerading as a gritty noir (and advertised as a juvenile delinquent flick: "18...A nice girl...How did she fall so far?"). As the lonely, tormented abductor, Raymond Burr actually manages a thoughtful performance, however this case is wrapped up so quickly (with the movie clocking in at a scant 75 minutes) that neither Burr nor victim Natalie Wood has a chance at carving out a three-dimensional character. Wood, who faints from a slap across the face, is made to be the stereotypical weak female, while over-protective father Edmond O'Brien and police captain Brian Donlevy overact mercilessly. Poor screenplay, by David Dortort--adapting a book by Whit Masterson, the uncredited "All Through the Night"--doesn't seem to know much about police procedures or personalities, and the sequences set at the station are hopelessly mediocre (what with an eyeball-rolling desk sergeant and a hilariously overeager police psychiatrist). Though distributed by Warner Bros., this doesn't have the solid production values usually associated with the studio; it feels cheap and under-populated, like an early episode of "Dragnet", with only Burr's forceful work and a decent climax putting it above typical television fare. ** from ****

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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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