*** Five Academy Award nominations, including Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress ***
English Audio, DVDRip, Duration 1:37:20
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Includes (1) Featurette "Crossfire: Hate is Like a Gun"
(2) Commentary on 2nd Audio track by Alain Silver and
James Ursini with Director Edward Dmytryk Film-Noir
Classic Hollywood "Film-Noir Murder Mystery" with a twist.
*** Historically significant as the first major-studio effort to confront Anti-Semitism (beating the Oscar-winning Gentleman's Agreement by several months). Also noteworthy because there was not a single Jew in the cast. "Crossfire" and director Edward Dmytryk are considered pioneers of the "Film-Noir" genre.
When first released, the staff at Variety magazine gave the film a positive review, writing, "Crossfire is a frank spotlight on anti-Semitism. Producer Dore Schary, in association with Adrian Scott, has pulled no punches. There is no skirting such relative fol-de-rol as intermarriage or clubs that exclude Jews. Here is a hard-hitting film [based on Richard Brooks' novel, The Brick Foxhole] whose whodunit aspects are fundamentally incidental to the overall thesis of bigotry and race prejudice - Director Edward Dmytryk has drawn gripping portraitures. The flashback technique is effective as it shades and colors the sundry attitudes of the heavy, as seen or recalled by the rest of the cast."
Additional Torrents of Interest may be found at
New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther lauded the acting in the drama, and wrote, "Mr. Dmytryk has handled most excellently a superlative cast which plays the drama. Robert Ryan is frighteningly real as the hard, sinewy, loud-mouthed, intolerant and vicious murderer, and Robert Mitchum, Steve Brodie and George Cooper are variously revealing as his pals. Robert Young gives a fine taut performance as the patiently questing D. A., whose mind and sensibilities are revolted—and eloquently expressed—by what he finds. Sam Levene is affectingly gentle in his brief bit as the Jewish victim, and Gloria Grahame is believably brazen and pathetic as a girl of the streets."
Critic Dennis Schwartz questioned the noir aspects of the film and discussed the cinematography in his review. He wrote, "This is more of a message film than a noir thriller, but has been classified by most cinephiles in the noir category - J. Roy Hunt, the 70-year-old cinematographer, who goes back to the earliest days of Hollywood, shot the film using the style of low-key lighting, providing dark shots of Monty, contrasted with ghost-like shots of Mary Mitchell (Jacqueline) as she angelically goes to help her troubled husband Arthur."
Taut and organically gripping, Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire is a distinctive suspense thriller, an unlikely "message" movie using the look and devices of the noir cycle.
This drama features a standout performance from Robert Ryan as a bigoted soldier on the run. Monty Montogomery (Ryan) is a violent and unstable soldier who, while out on a pass, goes on a drinking spree with three buddies, Floyd (Steve Brodie), Arthur (George A. Cooper), and Leroy (William Phipps).
While boozing it up in a tavern, the four men meet Joseph Samuels (Sam Levene) and strumpet Ginny (Gloria Grahame), who invite the soldiers back to their apartment for a party. Monty, however, has a fierce hatred of Jews, and he later goes into a drunken rage in which he beats Joseph to death. Monty's friends can barely remember the incident through their liquor-shrouded memories, but they recall just enough to make themselves scarce when police detective Capt. Finlay (Robert Young) begins making the rounds looking for information on Joseph's murder.
Sgt. Kelly (Robert Mitchum), a soldier who knows the four men, begins to suspect that something is up, and he works with his wife and Finlay to help ferret out the killer in his ranks, while Monty kills Floyd when he becomes convinced that he's going to talk to the authorities. While director Edward Dmytryk showed real bravery in bringing this story to the screen, it had greater repercussions than he might have expected; the film's controversial themes led to Dmytryk's denunciation by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy-era investigations of the 1950s. Luckily, unlike other filmmakers who suffered similar accusations by HUAC, Dmytryk continued to work steadily through the '50s and '60s.
Film Info & Links
Runtime: 86 mins
Writers: John Paxton (screenplay)
Richard Brooks (novel)
Release Date: 22 July 1947 (USA)
Genre: Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
Keywords: Crime,Drama,Murder,Mystery,Film-Noir,Antisemitism,Jews,Jewish,Army,Three Roberts
Video : XviD MPEG4, 592x448 (4:3), 23.976 fps, 833 Kbps, Black & White
Audio 1: MP3, 48 KHz, 86 Kbps VBR
Audio 1: MP3, 48 KHz, 104 Kbps VBR
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Robert Young - Capt. Finlay
Robert Mitchum - Sgt. Peter Keeley
Robert Ryan - Montgomery
Gloria Grahame - Ginny Tremaine
Paul Kelly - Mr. Tremaine
Sam Levene - Joseph Samuels
Jacqueline White - Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie - Floyd Bowers
George Cooper - Cpl. Arthur Mitchell
Richard Benedict - Bill Williams
Tom Keene - Dick (detective) (as Richard Powers)
William Phipps - Leroy
Lex Barker - Harry