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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.

Director:

Frank Tuttle

Writers:

David Dortort (screenplay), Whit Masterson (novel)
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Cast

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 Carol Veazie ... Mrs. Mabel Loftus
Mary Lawrence 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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cry in the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Owen's car that he takes Elizabeth in to "Lover's Loop" is a 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner. Original MSRP was $2,459 ($21,850 in 2016). Despite being very popular with over 58,147 being made, in excellent condition at auction in 2016 one can easily fetch over $60,000. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Capt. Ed Bates: How do ya tell a guy that his kid has been grabbed?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This 50's time capsule is a prelude to "Psycho"
14 June 2010 | by benoit-3See all my reviews

This little-known sordid shocker played as part of a Natalie Wood homage on TCM. The action is set in Los Angeles, "although it could be any city, your city", intones the voice-over. Yeah, right. Natalie, 18, is abducted from lovers' lane by a voyeur-psycho (Raymond Burr) who slugs her beau (Richard Anderson) and absconds with his car. Her father (Edmond O'Brien) is a police captain who happens to be a sexist, macho, insensitive, over-protective, overbearing, filthy, repulsive S.O.B. and probably a Republican to boot. He is neglectful to his wife and has shouted down his sister into the life of a sterile old maid - a plan he seems to be enacting again with his daughter. He would probably also be a homophobe if he had any notion that such a thing as homosexuals even existed.

The details of police procedure are laughable. The slugged-out beau gets first mistaken for a drunk and put in the drunk tank. When a doctor intervenes and diagnoses a concussion, his story checks out but he still has to contend with the captain's brutality, fatherly possessiveness and attempts at psychological castration.

Meanwhile, through another coincidence, the police stumbles on the abductor's mother - an even more unhealthy version, although living, than "Psychos"'s dead and embalmed mama, which leads to a break in the case. We are asked to believe that those cops - who don't have the slightest element of psychology or know how to raise their own children - immediately associate a missing 32-year-old male living with his possessive mother with a potential sexual psycho who is probably the abductor. They turn out to be right.

Given what Natalie has to put up with at home, one has to wonder if she wouldn't be better off with her abductor for understanding and comfort. She limps through half the movie in a torn-up skirt, thus fulfilling the obligatory prurient cheesecake element for a film of that genre, budget and period.

The climax takes place in a brickworks factory, the dirt and slime being a fitting visual complement to what goes on in the male characters' minds.

David Buttolph's incidental music tries hard to make this sound like "Rebel Without A Cause" but is too generic to make a mark.

The film as a whole is a priceless - if laughable - time capsule of attitudes towards crime, sex, cops, victims, perpetrators and anything and anyone that is slightly out of the ordinary. It's enough to turn any "Momma's boy" into a "pinko commie" or a "psycho"...


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