6.8/10
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47 user 21 critic

Desperate (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller | 20 June 1947 (USA)
A young married couple flee both police and a gangster out for revenge.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Harry Essex (screenplay), Martin Rackin (additional dialogue) | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Steve Brodie ... Steve Randall
Audrey Long ... Anne Randall
Raymond Burr ... Walt Radak
Douglas Fowley ... Pete Lavitch
William Challee ... Reynolds
Jason Robards Sr. ... Det. Lt. Louie Ferrari (as Jason Robards)
Freddie Steele Freddie Steele ... Shorty Abbott
Lee Frederick Lee Frederick ... Joe Daly
Paul E. Burns ... Uncle Jan
Ilka Grüning ... Aunt Klara (as Ilka Gruning)
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Storyline

When mobster Walt Radak tries to trick independent trucker Steve Randall into transporting stolen furs, Steve alerts the police, and Walt's young brother Al is caught and held for a cop-killing. When ruthless Radak tries to extort Steve's help in clearing Al, Steve and his young wife flee for their lives, only to find that the police are also in pursuit. With every man's hand against them, Steve and Anne must repeatedly abandon their temporary refuges. Finally, one midnight, the showdown... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NIGHTMARE OF FEAR (original print ad-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flight See more »

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

This was the only theatrical feature film in which Steve Brodie received top billing. See more »

Goofs

When the gang is trying to convince Steve to go to the police, he says 'you're crazy, I'm getting out of here' and a punch is thrown, making the light sway back and forth. While the light is moving, Walt's lips are moving but there is no dialogue. See more »

Quotes

Walt Radak: You ran out on us.
Steve Randall: I never was in with you.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A good film-noir, dominated by Raymond Burr
23 December 2002 | by pzanardoSee all my reviews

"Desperate" is a low-budget but fairly good film-noir. The director Anthony Mann, at the beginning of his career, shows his talent, soon to be consecrated in a sequence of splendid western movies.

The story is simple, but has a steady pace and a good suspense. At times the troubles of the cruelly chased hero and heroine are straightforward, not to say boring, but the movie considerably improves whenever the gangsters are on the screen. All along the film we find an excellent, stylish black and white photography. The waving lamp spreading a dire light on the impassive faces of the criminals, while we hear the off-screen noise of an horrible beating, should be a cult-scene in a more celebrated movie. Another remarkable moment is the brutal intrusion of the gangsters into the rural peace of an amiable old couple. A feeling of violation and fear is created, with no use of visual violence. The final scene, though a bit unrealistic, is masterly filmed and provides a satisfactory ending.

Steve Brodie and Aubrey Long make an adequate job as the couple of the good ones. However, the film is physically dominated by Raymond Burr, with his immense shoulders and his scaring poise. What a great villain he is! Of course, we are also delighted by Burr's side-kicks, with their wonderful gangster-faces.

"Desperate" is recommended for film-noir fans and can be a nice view for anyone fond of good, old-style, accurately-made cinema.


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