Crossfire

1947

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Mystery

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 7348

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 27, 2021 at 11:56 PM

Director

Cast

Robert Young as Finlay
Robert Mitchum as Keeley
Gloria Grahame as Ginny
Robert Ryan as Montgomery
720p.BLU
786.77 MB
988*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 25 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7 / 10

Another Sadly Missed Type Of Movie.

RKO's "Out Of The Past" (1947) is regarded by many as the finest Noir ever to come out of Hollywood. But CROSSFIRE, made just prior to it the same year, was a fair contender for that coveted title. Produced by Adrain Scott for RKO, the recognized home of Noir, it was magically photographed in beautifully defined black and white by J.Roy Hunt. Written for the screen by John Paxton from a novel by Richard Brooks it was stylishly directed by Edward Dmytryk and was fleshed out with an imaginative cast headed by the three Roberts - Young, Mitchum and Ryan plus Gloria Grahame, Sam Levene and Paul Kelly.

A Jew (Levene) is murdered in a hotel room by anti-Semitic GI Montgomery (Robert Ryan) leading to pipe smoking detective Robert Young investigating three soldiers who are suspects. Interestingly, in the original novel it is a homosexual that is murdered, but in 1947 homosexuality was very much a taboo subject to put on the screen so the murder victim was changed to be Jewish. The change had little effect on the story's impact for it is still a dynamic and potent drama.

CROSSFIRE is not only a fascinating well produced motion picture but it also has a fascinating look to it. Taking place entirely at night the deserted dark wet streets, filmed with a bug-eyed lens, together with the shadow filled interiors make for some of the most startling and vibrantly shot sequences ever seen in pictures. Also, though it is sparsely scored by RKO's resident Noir composer Roy Webb there is a thundering and punchy Main Title and a reflective love theme. Webb must have been saving himself for his masterpiece "Out Of The Past" which would come later that year. Also heard in the night club scenes in CROSSFIRE is the great New Orleans trombonist Kid Ory (1886/1973) And His Creole Jazz Band (uncredited) playing some wonderful jazz numbers. And later in Grahame's apartment Ory can be heard again on the radio playing the marvellous Jelly Roll Morton composition "Whinin' Boy Blues" which lends a persuasive atmosphere to the drab surroundings.

Performances are generally good! Robert Young is excellent in what is probably his best remembered role as the detective. But disappointing and wasted is Robert Mitchum! He doesn't really have very much to do in what amounts to nothing more than being cast in a sombre and subdued role. The acting honours however must go to Robert Ryan's blistering performance as Montgomery the violent Jew hating GI. His sneaky and scary portrayal deservedly earned him an Acadamy Award nomination. Also effective is Sam Levene as Samuels the ill-fated Jew and Gloria Grahame as the girl in the night club who picks up the naive George Cooper. And watch out too for a young Lex Barker in one of his first film appearances.

Not as good as the magnificent "Out Of The Past" that came later that year but still an engrossing and tight little thriller from that once great RKO studio in Hollywood who produced exceptional movies that we can never forget and which now, sadly, Hollywood itself seems to have forgotten.

Reviewed by BruceCorneil 8 / 10

A viewing treat

Definitely a "must see" for all fans of film noir.

Thanks to a fine script and crisp, razor sharp direction, a top cast comes together and works like a well oiled clock to produce a crackerjack psychological thriller. Wonderful characterizations articulate the movie's powerful message about the dangers of racial and religious intolerance.

It's difficult and almost unjust to single out any one, particular performance because there isn't a weak link in the entire company. But Robert Ryan as the hateful and violent white supremacist is truly spine chilling.

Making this film in the 1940s would have taken a lot of courage. Now,all these years later, at a time when contemporary movies are dominated by a ridiculous over abundance of foul language, bare breasts, crummy acting and deafening soundtracks, it's refreshing to get back to the basics of quality film making with a viewing treat like "Crossfire".

Another low budget gem from the Hollywood archives .

Reviewed by imogensara_smith 8 / 10

A study of hate crime through the lens of film noir

As a rule, there are few things more dispiriting than Hollywood's attempts to be courageous. Mixing caution with heavy-handedness, "message movies" pat themselves loudly on the back for daring to tackle major problems. CROSSFIRE is not entirely free from this taint; it includes a sermon on the nature of senseless hatred that is embarrassingly obvious, assuming a level of naivity in its audience that's depressing to contemplate. As late as 1947, it was a big deal for a movie to announce that anti-Semitism existed, and that it was bad. (It was unthinkable, of course, for Hollywood to address the real subject of the book on which the movie was based—its victim was a homosexual.) Nevertheless, thanks to good writing and excellent acting, CROSSFIRE remains a persuasive examination of what we would now call a hate crime.

Postwar malaise was one of the major components of film noir, and CROSSFIRE addresses it directly. The film is set in Washington, D.C. among soldiers still in uniform but idle, spending their days playing poker and bar-crawling. Joseph Samuels (Sam Levene), an intelligent and kindly Jew, explains that the end of the war has created a void: all the energy that went into hating and fighting the enemy is now unfocused and bottled up. Samuels meets three soldiers in a bar: the sensitive Mitchell, who is close to a nervous breakdown, the weak-willed Floyd Bowers, and Montgomery, a tall, overbearing bully who nastily belittles a young soldier from Tennessee as a stupid hillbilly. The three soldiers wind up at Samuels' apartment, where the drunken Monty becomes increasingly abusive, calling his host "Jew-boy." Samuels is beaten to death, and Mitchell disappears, making himself the prime suspect for the killing.

Unraveling the crime are Detective Finlay (Robert Young), dry and by-the-book, and Sergeant Keeley (Robert Mitchum), a thoughtful and experienced friend who knows Mitchell is incapable of murder. Among the pieces of the puzzle are Ginny (Gloria Grahame), a nightclub hostess who met Mitchell and gave him her apartment key, and Floyd (Steve Brodie), who as a witness to the crime holes up terrified in a seedy rooming house. While there is no real "whodunit" suspense, the story remains gripping, and the trap laid for the killer is extremely clever.

The strong noir atmosphere saves the movie from feeling didactic or sanctimonious. The cinematography is a striking shadow-play, with inky darks and harsh lights, rooms often lit by a single lamp filtered by cigarette smoke. World-weariness is as pervasive as noir lighting. "Nothing interests me," Finlay says quietly; "To nothing," is Ginny's toast in the nightclub. Gloria Grahame, the paragon of noir femininity, nearly steals the movie with her two scenes. Platinum-blonde, jaded and caustic, she's the quintessential B-girl, poisoned by the "stinking gin mill" where she works ("for laughs," she says bitterly), her sweet face curdling when Mitchell tells her that she reminds him of his wife. Now and then a wistful kindness peeks through her defensive shell, as when she dances with Mitchell in a deserted courtyard, then offers to cook him spaghetti at her apartment. When he goes there, he meets a weasely, crumple-faced man (Paul Kelly) who seems to sponge off Ginny, and whose conversation is a dense layering of lies and false confessions. Gloria blows Mitchell's good-girl wife off the screen in a scene where she's asked to give Mitchell an alibi. Slim and frail in her bathrobe, with her girlish lisp, she lets us see just how often Ginny has been insulted and dismissed as a tramp.

Robert Young is a nondescript actor, and he stands no chance against Mitchum's charisma, but he does a good job of keeping his pipe-smoking character, saddled with delivering the movie's earnest message, this side of pompousness. Mitchum, meanwhile, gets some cool dialogue, but not nearly enough to do; still, even when he's doing nothing but lounging in a corner you can't take your eyes off him. The third Robert, Ryan, creates a fully shaded and frighteningly convincing portrait of an ignorant, unstable bigot; we see his phony geniality, his bullying, his resentment of anyone with advantages, his "Am I right or am I right?" smugness; how easily he slaps labels on people and what satisfaction he gets from despising them.

CROSSFIRE's message seems cautious and dated now, though not nearly so much as the same year's A GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT. Finlay's speech about bigotry cops out by reaching back a hundred years for an instance of white victimhood, reminding us that Irish Catholics were once persecuted; next it could be people from Tennessee, he says, or men who wear striped neckties. Or maybe blacks, or Japanese, or homosexuals, or communists? The script seems afraid to mention any real contemporary problems. It sweetens its message by making the Jewish victim saintly, as though his innocence were not sufficient; and it takes care to exonerate the military, having a superior officer declare that the army is ashamed of men like Montgomery, and stressing that Samuels served honorably in the war. Still, it did take some guts to depict, immediately after World War II, an American who might have been happier in the Nazi army, and the movie's basic premise is still valid. If Monty were alive today, he would have gone out on September 12, 2001, and beat up a Sikh.

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