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Crossfire

Robert Young , Robert Mitchum , Edward Dmytryk    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
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Crossfire was nominated for the 1947 Best Picture Oscar won by Gentleman's Agreement. Gentlemen may propose, if not agree, that Crossfire was better. Like its upscale rival, the film noir raises the specter of anti-Semitism in America: just after World War II, an affable Jew (Sam Levene) is beaten to death by one of several GIs out "crawling." Solving the crime takes all night, but for the audience the killer's identity is scarcely in doubt; Robert Ryan's chilling study in psychopathic bigotry scored him his lone Oscar nomination. He's nearly matched in creepiness by Paul Kelly as an odd nightbird married to sultry Gloria Grahame. Two other worthy Roberts--Young and Mitchum--respectively play the police detective and the Army sergeant wondering which of his guys is a murderer. Incidentally, the hot button in the Richard Brooks novel was not anti-Semitism but homophobia--a sweaty subtext in Edward Dmytryk's film. --Richard T. Jameson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
RKO Radio Pictures presents "CROSSFIRE" (22 July 1947) (86 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- Edward Dmytryk's shadowy noir deals with a righteous homicide cop (Robert Young) investigating a murder --- Evidence points to a racist demobbed soldier Robert Ryan and his cronies - their motive, Antisemitism --- Robert Mitchum is the sergeant attempting to protect his charges while finding out the truth for himself --- This is a classic B-movie, using flashbacks and minimal lighting, making a virtue of its small budget --- It's the subject matter and the way it is dealt with that stays with you, explicitly and without apology drawing parallels between the soldiers back from a war and the enemy they were fighting --- Great performances all around --- Brave and impressive stuff.

Academy Award Nominations for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Ryan), Supporting Actress (Grahame) & Screenplay.

Under the production staff of:
Edward Dmytryk [Director]
John Paxton [Screenplay]
Richard Brooks [Novel]
Adrian Scott [Producer]
Roy Webb [Original Film Music]
J. Roy Hunt [Cinematographer]
Harry W. Gerstad [Film Editor]
Albert S. D'Agostino [Art Direction]
Alfred Herman [Art Direction]

BIOS:
1. Edward Dmytryk [Director]
Date of Birth: 4 September 1908 - Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Death: 1 July 1999 - Encino, California

2. Robert Young [aka: Robert George Young]
Date of Birth: 22 February 1907 - Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death: 21 July 1998 - Westlake Village, California, USA (respiratory failure)

3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rising above the level of a B Movie July 17 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I had been looking forward to seeing "Crossfire" for a number of years; it never seemed to be available on any of the channels I had access to. I finally got my wish and I was duly impressed. This is a very good movie that tells the story of what hate can do if left unchallenged. It is, thus, a message that is timeless in its' relevance. However, as I understand it, the screenplay altered the book ("The Brick Foxhole" by Richard Brooks) because the subject matter was ahead of its' time. In the book, the murderous anger is directed against homosexuals which would, to me, make for a more effective movie than the one that was presented. That comment aside, the elements of fear, prejudice, anger and superstition are all woven well together along with some very good acting. Robert Ryan is the dominant character both on the screen and in the plot. Playing almost an opposite personality is the low-key, almost bored, yet quite efficient policeman played by Robert Young. In between those two extremes is the role played by Robert Mitchum. This was from the era when Mitchum seemed at his peak in acting abilities and his role in "Crossfire" underscores his strength on the screen. The other roles are played with varying abilities. The transformation of the Ryan character from bully to desperate was very well done. There is a very small but interesting twist to the plot that caught me off-guard and helped me understand how the perpetrator was to be brought to justice. This is one of those film noir movies that shows the darker side of humanity. Its' message works very well thanks to good acting, directing, writing, and camera work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redefining the Enemy April 21 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Unlike most film noir, Edward Dmytryk's Crossfire, adapted from a novel by Richard Brooks, is not nearly as concerned with its murder mystery, which, at first sight, might seem superficially formulaic to the casual viewer, as it is with the complex motives of its characters and the oppressive ambience of its accurately rendered post-WWII setting, evoking feelings of disorientation, loneliness and entrapment. Under its classic noir exterior, it is about hardened and aloof veterans' struggle with postwar reintegration, utterly unable or unwilling to put their traumatic experiences behind them, and about their desperate attempt to redefine their goals. For those who define themselves by who their enemies are, such as hateful loner Montgomery (the brilliant Robert Ryan), this necessitates establishing a new one, a role filled here by Jewish intellectual Joseph Samuels (Sam Levene), who becomes the regrettable victim of a senseless hate crime.
At first the film appears to simply be going through the motions: After the ambiguously shot opening murder scene all evidence points, for reasons I cannot presently remember, to Corporal Arthur Mitchell (George Cooper). Captain Finley (Robert Young) investigates and is soon joined by the idealistic Sergeant Peter Keeley (Robert Mitchum), who is certain of Mitchell's innocence. Two minor military characters, Floyd Bowers (Steve Brodie) and Bill Williams (Richard Benedict) are also somehow involved. Monty murders the former, while the latter, after a stern, Hugh Beaumontesque talking-to, reluctantly aids Finley and Keeley in setting a trap for the dastardly ne'er-do-well. Or perhaps it was the other way around -- I watch so many movies that Bowers and Williams might as well have been stranded in the South Seas and mistaken for Gods by the natives.
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