"A picture as excitingly different as its title!" For once, the picture actually lived up to its advertising.
A doomed man races against time...Edmond O'Brien discovers he's been slipped a slow-acting poison, then spends his final hours trying to find out who killed him. And, maybe more important, why. O'Brien is excellent as the corpse-to-be. So are Beverly Garland (billed here as Beverly Campbell) and Neville Brand. Dmitri This terrifically taut landmark film never lets up for a minute. A great script and beautiful score by legendary composer Dimitri Tiompkin makes this one of the finest noir films ever made. Beautifully restored from the producer's negative. Ernst Laszlo's moody camerawork help set the picture's cynical, sinister tone. Location shooting on the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco add immeasurably to the overall effect.
Director Rudolph Mate was known as a top cinematographer (The Pride of the Yankees and Foreign Correspondent, among others) before turning to directing. And it certainly shows in D.O.A. 's striking visuals.
In lesser hands, D.O.A.'s plot could have made for a gimmicky, ridiculous film. This point was proven by the picture's two remakes, 1968's Color Me Dead (great title, though) and D.O.A. (1988). But the original, restored here from 35mm, still stands as quintessential film noir.
• Edmond O'Brien
• Pamela Britton
• Lynn Baggett
• Beverly Garland
• Neville Brand
• Luther Adler