MURDER at any moment! SUSPENSE... in every step!!!
An innocent trucker takes it on the lam when he's accused of robbery.
An innocent trucker takes it on the lam when he's accused of robbery.
Steve Brodie Audrey Long Raymond Burr Douglas Fowley William Challee Jason Robards Sr. Freddie Steele Lee Frederick Paul E. Burns Ilka Grüning Ernie Adams Erville Alderson Leon Alton George Anderson William Bailey George Barrows Jack Baxley Robert Bray Kay Christopher Robert Clarke Grahame Covert Dick Elliott Charles Flynn Carol Forman Ralf Harolde Hans Herbert Leza Lidow Teddy Infuhr Cy Kendall Show All…
In an effort to protect his wife and unborn child from a perverse criminal, a man is made to take the fall for the robbery-related killing of a police officer, and now has to escape. From this basic premise, which Mann fully takes advantage of, he crafts a good thriller with some good amount of tension and, as is his wont, a healthy dose of humor. I bought into the relationship between Brodie and Long to some extent, and I thought Burr was convincing as a dangerous criminal. Once again, the cinematography is excellent, particularly in that climactic stairwell scene.
All in all, another solid film noir entry in Mann's canon that demonstrates his ability to direct some solid material.
"Well, you're in it now, Steve. With both feet!"
For noir connoisseurs, RKO was the gift that kept on giving, churning out crime dramas that moved like clockwork and featured some of the best available talent both in front of and behind the camera. Director Anthony Mann was certainly among the studio's finest, so it's no surprise that Desperate is as fast-paced and economical as the title suggests. True, this 73-minute tale of a long-hauler accidentally mixed up in theft - of course he’s tricked into associating with a gang of crooks moving hot merchandise - has plot holes big enough to drive a truck through, as Noir Alley's Eddie Muller points out. But even so, the finale is peak…
Desperate did a lot less for me than it seems to have done for most folks, but I did find the unconcealable weakness of Walt Radak, Raymond Burr's big bad, interesting. As is always the case with Burr, even in his early, more svelte days, his height and voice make him an imposing presence, and there's an inherent authority to him that is difficult to resist. In Desperate, however, every time someone either disagrees with his plan, offers an alternative idea, or refuses to give into his pressure, Walt folds. He's so shockingly uncertain and malleable that it's hard to imagine how he came to command the group of thieves he leads, as his physical authority and superficial confidence are…
Surprisingly optimistic noir from Anthony Mann, a director I've sort of accidentally fallen in love with since he did so many classical era noirs and westerns.
A recently married husband gets suckered into transporting stolen goods, and when the job goes sour he and his wife have to go on the run to escape further entanglement with the criminals who lured him in. It's a bit of a twist on the Quicksand model that I keep talking about, where an initial poor decision leads to a downward spiral sustained by socio-economic inertia. Here, the couple is definitely struggling for cash, but the difference is that they don't know they're making a bad decision until it's too late.
This makes our…
There was a little noir/And it had a little truck driver/Right in the middle of its story/And when he was good, it was very, very bad/And when he was bad, it was terrific.
I wrote last week (when talking about Ten Cents a Dance (1931), that a problem modern audiences have with studio-era films is that everything happens too quickly. People fall in love too quickly, fall apart too quickly, fall into crime too quickly. It elicits cynical giggles. And in Anthony Mann’s Desperate – made between his formative T-Men and the wonderfully textured, doom-laden Raw Deal – there are a half-dozen times that you can smugly mutter, “Well that escalated quickly.” There are two reasons why you…
The applicability of this film’s title is both ambiguous and all-pervasive. Protagonist Steve Brodie is desperate to get his pregnant wife Audrey Long to safety after he falls afoul of psychopathic criminal Raymond Burr, who holds Brodie responsible for his younger brother Larry Nunn’s upcoming execution. Brodie unknowingly agreed to help Burr, Nunn, and their gang transport stolen furs, but when he discovered what they were up to, Brodie alerted a police officer, who was promptly killed. He then drove away, leaving Nunn behind. Burr is a desperate criminal, relentlessly tracking Brodie down to get even with him. All that desperation makes this a typical noir. It’s also the film director Anthony Mann, one of the masters of noir, regarded…
An ex-GI trucker is forced into driving for a heist and gets the blame when a cop is shot, he takes his wife on the run to escape both the cops and gangsters.
Very well shot, with Mann seeming to hit you with shot after shot that could stand as exemplars of classic Noir cliche, the way he overloads the central characters homelife with frills and light and kitsch before switching to the shadows, high constrast and tight angles of Raymond Burr's gangster crew. The scene of them working Brodie's hero over by the light of swinging lamp is the sort of thing a director these days would use to tell you 'This is Noir' but it doesnt feel old…
That title is an all purpose one size fits all for film noir, I can't think of one it wouldn't fit, and the somewhat thin plot and characters share that same sense of universality. But Mann gives it a highly specific sense of tension, and there are few actors capable of being actually, truly scary in crime story heavy roles like Raymond Burr. Dare I say ... a little bit Hitchcockian??
Short and sweet B-noir with a couple of stand-out segments that rival anything the style produced, thanks to Mann's excellent instincts and Diskant's imagery. In a way, it's almost more at home with the Hitchcock "wrong man" film than noir, since the central character is never anything but good in his motivations. But the underworld it depicts, the unrelenting cynicism of even its police, and the darkness of its shadows certainly put it firmly in noir territory. Despite a bit of a mid-picture slowdown, things remain mostly tense and engaging, but only improve when Raymond Burr's heavy gets more directly involved.
Darling, if I lied to you it's because I want you to be happy
After being bamboozled into involvement in a robbery, a newlywed truck driver with bad luck and poor decision-making skills goes on the run with his pregnant wife.
Domesticity and dark shadows. Minor but entertaining noir filled with a plethora of fun side characters. I kind of loved the conniving private dick and the awkwardly-inserted plot device Mr. Insurance.
Burr is physically intimidating but curiously ineffective as the increasingly unhinged antagonist. The P.I. stands up to him and he caves. His lackey says "too far!" and he caves. He's an odd character.
If you're offered too much money for a simple job ($690 in 2023 dollars) it's…
Anthony Mann starting to find his game with Steve Brodie on the run from criminals wanting revenge. While being Brodie only starring cinema feature, it was also the break-through role for Mr. Perry Mason himself, Raymond Burr! The two worked together on Code of the West (1947) and a mutual respect grew out of that, resulting in them appearing in this suspense thriller, which delivered a rather grueling cat and mouse chase. Definitely a very competent job from the Mann.
A couple on the lam thriller done by Anthony Mann in mode closer to Hitchcock than Lang. Lighter in tone than the title might suggest, more about the stylistic possibilities open than the sense of entrapment that befall the main character.