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Powell's on the Prowl!
Rocky Mulloy, back in town after serving 5 years of a life sentence for armed robbery, hopes to clear his friend Danny Morgan who's still in prison for the same crime. It won't be easy. Even the witness who cleared Rocky thinks he's guilty; Danny's glamorous wife Nancy, living in a sleazy trailer court, seems lukewarm about getting Danny back; cynical cop Gus Cobb just wants to stir things up in hopes that the missing "hot" $100,000 will surface. Plenty of tough talk, night scenes, deceptive dames and double crosses in this typical film noir.
Dick Powell had such presence, I can't wait to check him out in a musical as well!
Here he's out to clear his name after getting out of prison earlier than expected. In a way he acts as the typical noir detective, although he stands to gain very little, and his interactions with the "femme" might be fatal, but the female part in Cry Danger is a refreshing take (by Rhonda Fleming).
Where some noirs, actually quite a lot, have much in common with b-movies Cry Danger is a more assured vehicle. The script is great, with everyone involved are just the right amount of seedy and the dialogue is delivered in flawless manner by a cast including such greats as Regis Toomey and William Conrad.
As in all great noirs, the camera work is something to look out for as well.
Let's get out of this sun and into a nice cool bar.
Dick Powell spent his early career mainly in musicals until he was able to reinvent his film persona with a series of film-noir roles. His first breakthrough came when he became the first actor to portray private eye Philip Marlowe in a feature film. He'd never reach the success of Humphrey Bogart, but he still managed to give us four or five very memorable hard-boiled crime films with Cry Danger definitely being one of them.
The film's plot doesn't reinvent the genre by any stretch of the imagination, but the dialogue more then makes up for it. It's smart, witty, mean spirited and comes at you at…
Maybe the only movie I've really liked Dick Powell in, but possibly only because he spends most of the runtime dispensing witty retorts courtesy of ace screenwriter William Bowers. It's like in a cartoon when a character swallows a box of tacks and spits them out like a machine gun, only less realistic. Also, kind of shocking that this close to the war and movies like BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES the filmmakers were comfortable with using the alcoholism of a disfigured veteran as consistent comic relief. LOL, getting his leg shot off in the Pacific ruined his life! If I have to register a complaint to justify rating this four instead of five stars (I haven't read the rules…
I like Dick Powell's turn as Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet but I was never all that convinced by Powell himself in the role. I take it all back having seen this, though, in which he plays a pitch-perfect Marlowe who isn't really Marlowe, but it's still fun to pretend.
A tough little crime drama, let out of prison after 5 years when his alibi finally checks out Dick Powell sets about hunting down some sort of compensation for 5 years of his life.
Dick Powell made enough of these little gems to have become a fairly reliable signifier of whether I will like a post war crime movie and while he doesn't quite convince in the part in the way he does in 'Pitfall', its still an excellent movie.
It possesses a genuinely dynamite script and an almost exclusively morally compromised cast of characters who seem to just accept each little betrayal as nothing worthy of surprise. Life keeps on trying to teach everyone the same old lessons and…
Halfway through the hazy labyrinthe plot Dick Powell constructs to get his cut of $50,000 after 5 years in the slammer, his former bookie unknowingly hooks him with "hot money." Maybe it's the shotgunning of 2 flicks prior to this melting my goofy brain, but by this point, the handling of money becomes almost ephemeral, with the hoarding of it or changing of hands morphing into a social currency more destructive than the means it takes to attain it.
William Bowers' script constructs a plot convoluted enough that the moments where we languish with Powell & his one-legged ex-marine buddy Richard Erdman shooting the shit in a dingy trailer park roar with verbal intensity and sophistication. Each scene is punctuated with a killer joke or a punch in the gut.
"What more can happen to us? We've had 5 years yanked out of our lives. That's a long time when you break it up into hours."
So says Dick Powell in this crackling RKO film noir from 1951. Powell is terrific as Rocky Mulloy, an ex-con released early from prison and out to discover who framed him for armed robbery and murder. Hoping for a good payday and going along for the ride is Richard Erdman as Delong, a wooden-legged alcoholic vet [said description sounding far more dreary than the character actually is]. William Conrad plays the local bigwig/sleazeball (who claims he is now 60% legit), while les femmes are represented by Rhoda Fleming (as Powell's old flame) and Jean…
Rocky Mulloy steps off a train in Los Angeles having just served 5 years for a crime he did not commit. Along with his heavy drinking ex marine partner Delong, Mulloy sets out to find the truth by setting sight on bad guy Castro. A much under appreciated noir excellently played by Dick Powell in the driving seat throwing away great lines like confetti with the superbly written script. Highly enjoyable with great support from Richard Erdman, William Conrad and Rhonda Fleming. I don't think that you could have any more fun in a noir than in this little gem that serves up scene after scene of clever dialogue especially from the mouth of the very talented Dick Powell. A great blu ray print and highly recommended.
Hard-boiled right down to its bones. "Cry Danger" doesn't quite make the grade a a great film but it is a really fun hard-boiled melodrama with snappy hard-boiled dialog. The wry off-hand wit of the often terse dialog and the brisk pacing propel the story through the film's hour and twenty minute running time without much chance for the audience's interest to lag.
Hard-boiled right down to its bones. "Cry Danger" doesn't quite make the grade a a great film but it is a really fun hard-boiled melodrama with snappy hard-boiled dialog. The wry off-hand wit of the often terse dialog and the brisk pacing propel the story through the film's hour and twenty minute running time.
Great noir, Dick Powell makes a great noir protagonist and it's pretty consistently compelling. Doesn't stand out completely in the genre but delivers all that you'd expect.
Can you have more of a typical noir title than "Cry Danger?" I would be hard pressed to find one. Completely unrelated to its title, the film tells the story of an ex-con just released from prison after being set up for a crime that he claims he didn't commit. He seeks retribution and freedom for his partner. What he finds is a series of set-ups and double crosses and a thickening mystery as he gets closer to his stolen money (Surprise, he totally did commit the crime! But in a noir, were you really expecting anything else?).
Shot with a relaxed ease by director Robert Parrish and his cinematographer with cinematography that doesn't redefine the genre, but does a…
A booze-soaked ex-marine, on the lookout for a quick buck, offers up a fake alibi for Rocky Mulloy in the hopes that he'll be grateful enough at getting out of jail to share the spoils of the robbery he was imprisoned for. There's just one problem - Mulloy didn't do the robbery.
This classic noir setup leads into what is essentially just an hour of awesome hard-boiled dialogue, Dick Powell spitting out line after wonderful line like it's a stand-up routine. The plot is decent, but it generally feels like most of the scenes are just an excuse for more killer lines - it's five-star dialogue in a three-star picture, but that makes for a pretty decent average.
As wonderful as the first time I saw it. Some of the consistently best dialogue to ever to be spoken.
Wow. I'm a Bill Bowers fan for life now. I love everything about this movie. It is 80 minutes long and it delivers all the texture and satisfaction of a 3 hour epic.
- Out of the Past
- The Maltese Falcon
- Touch of Evil
- Ace in the Hole
- Act of Violence
- Angel Face
- The Asphalt Jungle
- The Big Clock
Bill Georgaris of TSPDT has finally decided to start updating his film noir page. This means the old version of…
- 99 River Street
- Ace in the Hole
- Among the Living
- Angel Face
- Armored Car Robbery
(work in progress!) Films are listed alphabetically. (I'm sticking only to '40s and '50s titles.) If a movie is missing…