I Became a Criminal

1947

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

4
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 1482

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 02, 2021 at 07:02 AM

Cast

Sally Gray as Sally Connor
Trevor Howard as George Clement 'Clem' Morgan
Sebastian Cabot as Club Proprietor
720p.BLU
929.26 MB
1280*944
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 6 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Howl-2 10 / 10

A little known,undervalued gem of British film-noir-THE British Gangster film.

Alberto Cavalcanti's THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE is, to my tastes, the great British Gangster movie and a contender for great Film-Noir as well. At the time of release it was probably overshadowed by BRIGHTON ROCK and THE THIRD MAN, both similar in look and attitude, but what sets FUGITIVE apart is its uncompromisingly bleak realism and pessimistic amorality.

Trevor Howard plays the part of a former R.A.F. pilot who is struggling to survive in the austere post-war era of rationing and comparative boredom of peacetime life.He offers his services to a Black Market racketeer, Narcy, a foppish but lethal character who deals in contraband under cover of his legitimate funeral business.

Narcy and his gang are characters who just didn't appear in British films until GET CARTER came along.They are portrayed as the typical film 'cockney sparrows' of the time but with a difference-they carry flick-knives,knuckle-dusters and even guns.They listen in to the police on a huge radio set. At one point they are seen to knock out a British bobby.-you'd have to be born and raised in Britain in the forties or fifties to realise how what a shock that would have caused at the time of the film's release.

Trevor Howard's character,though,is thoroughly bad in a different way.He is a hero gone wrong,a good chap who lets the side down.When he's in a fight to the death with Michael Brennan he resorts to dirty fighting (very un-British at the time) and even head-butts Brennan.As Howard is creeping into the funeral parlour for the final confrontation with Narcy and his thugs we see a sign with the words ITS LATER THAN YOU THINK,which I believe resurfaced in Herlihy's MIDNIGHT COWBOY.

In conclusion I would like to propose that THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE should be considered,along with Brighton Rock,Get Carter etc as a prime example of social realism in film.

Reviewed by Bunuel1976 8 / 10

THEY MADE ME A FUGITIVE (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1947) ***1/2

This is a relatively rare example of a British film noir, but one which can hold its own alongside the more celebrated American variety. Director Cavalcanti's background in documentaries certainly served him in good stead here, bringing complete authenticity to the situations and settings. Still, thanks to Otto Heller's outstanding camera-work and lighting, he manages a number of strikingly cinematic visuals (for instance, the scene where heroine Sally Gray is beaten up by chief villain Griffith Jones).

It features a splendid cast, all of whom deliver excellent performances: Trevor Howard is an unusual hero-type but totally credible; lovely leading lady Sally Gray may come off a bit too good to be true (she initially commits herself to the framed Howard merely because her gangster boyfriend has jilted her for the latter's own fiancée!) but she elicits all the petite sex appeal of a Veronica Lake (meanwhile her love/hate banter with Howard evokes memories of the Robert Donat/Madeleine Carroll pairing from Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS [1935]); Griffith Jones is a suave yet ruthless leader of a black-market ring (but who gets his just desserts in particularly gruesome fashion); Mary Merrall is Jones' elderly associate, whose level-headedness and experience keeps the violent gangster in check; a young Ballard Berkeley is a sympathetic Scotland Yard man, but who doesn't think twice about using Howard as bait to capture the entire gang; Peter Bull turns up for a bit as a police informer.

The general gloominess (a mainstay of thrillers emanating from the post-war era) is leavened somewhat by its constant flurry of hard-boiled dialogue courtesy of screenwriter Noel Langley. The terrific climax is set inside the gang's 'business' office - a funeral parlor, amusingly named "The Valhalla Undertaking Co.". Still, perhaps my favorite scene in the entire film is Howard's surreal encounter with the zombie-like Vida Hope - in whose household he stumbles while on the run; she turns out to be deranged, and even tries to talk our hero into murdering her alcoholic husband (Maurice Denham)!

As is typical of old films released on DVD by Kino, the quality of the print and transfer leave a lot to be desired - but one has to be grateful still, because otherwise gems such as this one would remain unavailable indefinitely...

Reviewed by Irie212 9 / 10

The dialog alone is worth a rating of 9.

What a tight, smart movie. The only criticism I can really level at it is that it's not as good as "The Third Man," and that's only because it doesn't have the gravitas of the unconscionable criminality of Harry Lime.

It does have Trevor Howard, as one of the bad guys this time. His riveting performance as a minor-league crook is matched by Griffith Jones's as a major-league mobster. Sally Gray turns in a strong performance too as the femme fatale who, at one point, takes a beating that she withstands stoically until a girlfriend cleans her up and, finally, gives her a cup of tea. It may be that kindness, or perhaps the hot tea on her split lip, you don't know, but Gray breaks down at last and you realize what the beating has done to her.

The pace is swift, but not rushed. Extraneous but fascinating scenes are included-scenes which lead nowhere-- particularly the homicidal lisping woman and her drunken husband who shelter fugitive Trevor Howard in their house for brief but very creepy period.

Every frame is composed with extraordinary care, especially in the climactic scene in the funeral parlor, a scene that reminded me of nothing so much as "Cabinet of Doctor Caligari." There's hardly a right angle in it. The chiaroscuro photography by Otto Heller ("Alfie," "Victim," "Peeping Tom," etc. etc.) is only enhanced by editing that's almost as whip-crack as the dialog.

And as for that superb dialog: film noir movies typically have wisecrack lines, but this Noel Langley screenplay is brilliantly terse-in league with Chandler's work. If any character had two sentences in a row, I didn't notice. It's all lickety-split exchanges, and every line adds definition or motivation to the character speaking.

A personal note: This is the only film I've ever watched which, after it finished, I immediately started it over and watched it again from the beginning. It was that rich, that engaging, and that satisfying.

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