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Crossfire (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 15 August 1947 (USA)
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A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Richard Brooks (adapted from a novel by)
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Young ... Finlay
Robert Mitchum ... Keeley
Robert Ryan ... Montgomery
Gloria Grahame ... Ginny
Paul Kelly ... The Man
Sam Levene ... Samuels
Jacqueline White ... Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie ... Floyd
George Cooper ... Mitchell
Richard Benedict ... Bill
Tom Keene ... Detective (as Richard Powers)
William Phipps ... Leroy
Lex Barker ... Harry
Marlo Dwyer ... Miss Lewis
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Storyline

Homicide Capt. Finlay finds evidence that one or more of a group of demobilized soldiers is involved in the death of Joseph Samuels. In flashbacks, we see the night's events from different viewpoints as army Sgt. Keeley investigates on his own, trying to clear Mitchell, to whom circumstantial evidence points. Then the real, ugly motive for the killing begins to dawn on both Finlay and Keeley. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Some people carry blind, ugly HATE inside of them...like a loaded gun. And when they carry it around too long, it goes off AND KILLS...the way it killed a stranger last night!" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 August 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cradle of Fear See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the film's tight shooting schedule, it was able to beat the similarly-themed Gentleman's Agreement (1947) into theaters by 3-1/2 months and stole some of its thunder. However, that year's Oscar acclaim went to Gentleman's Agreement (1947), which won three out of its eight nominations, including Best Picture, whereas this film was overlooked for all five of its nominations. See more »

Goofs

When Finlay breaks the window with his gun, pieces of broken glass are left around the edges of the window frame. In subsequent shots there is no broken glass in the window frame. See more »

Quotes

Finlay: This business of hating Jews comes in a lot of different sizes. There's the "you can't join our country club" kind and "you can't live around here" kind. Yes, and the "you can't work here" kind. And because we stand for all of these, we get Monty's kind. He's just one guy, we don't get him very often, but he grows out of all the rest.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in JFK (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Shine
(uncredited)
Written by Cecil Mack, Lew Brown, and Ford Dabney
Performed Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band
Played in Red Dragon dance hall when Mitchell first meets Ginny
See more »

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User Reviews

A gem from the past
21 July 2003 | by insomniaSee all my reviews

'Film Noir' is a much-used (and misused), catch phrase, coined to describe

Hollywood films of the forties and fifties. These films were invariable in black and white (hence the paucity of such films on Australian commercial TV), and shot on tiny budgets in a matter of a few weeks. The plots are generally formulaic. Someone is murdered, someone else will be framed for that murder, and a

'dame' figures somewhere in the proceedings. "Crossfire" is low budget, and shot in black & white: admirably so by J. Roy Hunt. And yes, there's a 'dame' involved. What sets "Crossfire" apart from most of the other films of that era, is that it's not just another murder mystery, however well executed. This is a film about

religious intolerance. That people are killed is but the flesh on the bones of a film about (without preaching), racial vilification. The director, Edward Dmytryk was a fine, and now, a sadly neglected director. He knew how to work within the confines of the studio system, and turn out a

quality film like "Crossfire" The original thrust of the films' message, was, apparently, about homophobia. This upset the Hays Office. and religious

persecution was substituted instead. There is not a wasted frame in this picture. It runs a taught 86 minutes. For my money, Robert Young, who plays the detective charged with solving who

murdered whom, and why, is a standout. This in face of an understated Robert

Mitcham, and a powerful performance by Robert Ryan as the psychotic

Montgomery - think of his role as Claggart, in the film "Billy Budd". Believe me when I say that it was truly refreshing to see a film (thank god for late night TV), where the actors can act, the dialogue is intelligent, and where

computer graphics and special effects were not used as a substitute for plot


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