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D.O.A.

Edmond O'Brien , Pamela Britton , Rudolph Maté    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

A faceless figure marches down an endless hallway as dark, driving music underscores his doom. It's stocky, stalwart Edmond O'Brien, who plows through the police detective's office like he's got nothing to lose. "I want to report a murder," he demands, grim and sleepy-eyed. Who was killed? "I was." It's a brilliant opening to a memorable film noir classic. O'Brien is a CPA who flees his dull job and small California town for a wild weekend in San Francisco, only to be poisoned and doomed to certain death. With only days to live, his incredulity morphs into a searing drive to find his killers and stinging regrets for what might have been. O'Brien is a familiar noir face, but he usually plays figures of authority: a cop in White Heat; an investigator in The Killers. He's a little stiff here, but his blunt, unglamorous persona is perfect for the Everyman who is randomly visited by death. Rudolph Maté, a cinematographer turned director, moves from sun-bright day scenes to busy nighttime locations with few visual flourishes, but when he takes the camera into the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco the film is energized with a gritty, restless vigor. It's one of the most relentlessly dark films noir ever made--taut, edgy, and low budget. Watch for the Bradbury building in the film's climax, made famous by its memorable use decades later in the sci-fi noir classic Blade Runner. --Sean Axmaker

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Forces Beyond Our Control. Oct. 13 2003
Format:DVD
A man named Frank Bigelow (Edmund O'Brian) shows up at Los Angeles police station to report a murder: his own. Frank is dying of luminous toxin poisoning. He recounts to police the incredible story that brought him to be at the brink of death in this police station in a strange city. Just a few days ago, he was a small business owner in a little town called Banning. He had an adoring girlfriend, Paula Gibson (Pamela Britton), who was also his personal secretary. But Frank had cold feet about marrying Paula and decided to take a little vacation to San Francisco to give himself some air. Paula called to tell him that a man named Phillips was desperately trying to reach him, but the name didn't ring a bell. The next day, Frank found out that he had been fatally and irreversibly poisoned. Frank's increasingly frantic search for the identity and motivation of his murderer takes him to two cities, into the criminal underworld, and onto the wrong end of several pistols before all is done.
Rudolph Mate's "D.O.A." is a film noir classic. And it takes the cynical view typical of the genre. Frank is a man whose fate is entirely beyond his control. As the audience roots for Frank to solve the mystery and find his murderer, fate unabashedly mocks his efforts. Frank is a dying man; what earthly difference will it make if he finds his killer? Whatever Frank does, the result will be the same. And it's all because he notarized a bill of sale...one out of hundreds of bills of sales. Who knew what being a notary could lead to? But for a movie with such a cynical story to tell, "D.O.A." has always been immensely popular. I think that's because Frank Bigelow is an "everyman" who rises to the occasion when difficult circumstances require it. He's not too smart and not too dumb. He has a nice girlfriend...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A film noire classic in every sense of the word Sept. 26 2003
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
1950's D.O.A. is classic film noire, one of the true classics of the genre. The characters are intense, everyone is up to something, and the clock is ticking for one Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien), who must attempt to find his own murderer before his last grain of sand trickles to the bottom of the hourglass. Bigelow is an accountant who up and takes a week off to visit San Francisco, ostensibly to get away from his secretary and incredibly needy, codependent, marathon-talking girlfriend Paula (Pamela Britton). Once he arrives at the hotel, he's like an elephant in a peanut factory, trying to go every direction at once in order to have a good time with every woman he sees. While the neurotic Paula broods, Bigelow goes out to paint the town red with a gang of his hotel neighbors, only to wake up the next morning feeling less than healthy. A trip to the doctor's office instantly changes his entire perspective on life, for he finds out that he has been poisoned with a luminous toxin, for which there is no cure whatsoever. With anywhere from a day to two weeks to live, he starts off on a relentless quest to discover his murderer. The plot takes a number of twists and turns, and it can get a little confusing at times because of all the characters and all the shenanigans each of them are pulling. Bigelow has nothing to lose, though, and he refuses to give up as long as he has a breath in his body.
D.O.A. starts off a little slow, and the fact that a silly musical wolf call greeted the appearance of any woman early on had me doubting the merits of this film, but when things really get going, they really get going. The action and suspense build inexorably with each passing minute of the film, and the background music only reinforces the gripping effect upon the viewer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One OF The best Film Noir's Ever Made! Sept. 29 2001
By A*
Format:DVD
D.O.A. starts off with one hell of a bang a hulky and overwhelmed Edmund O'Brien musters his way into a ploice station. As h emakes his way through the marble paved floors and pass the columns and the passage ways he finally arrives at the end of his journey. The journey to get him there is one that is so tight and compelling that when O'Brien announces that he has already been murdered the film turns into to a stark tail of death and lust told in flashback! O'Brien is Frank Bigelow an accountant who takes a trip to forget about his lover and just have a casual afair or two while in San Francisco. While in San Francisco heh finds a few hot ladies at his hotel and then he is whisked away to a Jazz club where he is poisoned and there isn't as antidote! the film moves ahead at whiplash speed from here. Shadows are cast over O'Briens hulking frame and sweat pours over his brow as he begins his trek to find his killer. th eplot and dialogue is as tight as any top grade Noir. But the most shoking element of the whole film is O'Brien he never once lets the viewer down he follows through with pure human emotion and if it seems like he is over actingn to some he is just playing a real life scenario oout on screen if you wer just poisoned would you be calm! Excellent Noir's have all the elements of the past from the sharp cut suits to the sheen of the telephones and with D.O.A. O'Brien seems to make all these elements seem ever more stark and fleeting with the fact that O'Brien is dying his precious reunion with the love he left for a good time seems more like fate instead of like the last time he will be in complete bliss! O'Brein is so powerful and commanding that i nver wanted him to die even though i knew it was inevitable now that makes the film as a whole a masterpiece!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars As Socrates once said "I drank what?"
Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien, you may remember him as Winston Smith in `1984' 1956) realizes after he had a one night fling that he does not feel so good. Read more
Published 8 months ago by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars The Film Noir Without Peer!
I'd love to give this wonderful film full marks(as it deserves),but this DVD release comes up a bit short on the technical and the extras side,as you will see.
D.O.A. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2009 by Robert Badgley
5.0 out of 5 stars D.O.A.
As Socrates once said "I drank what?"

Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien, you may remember him as Winston Smith in `1984' 1956) realizes after he had a one night fling that... Read more
Published on Sept. 13 2004 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusually cynnical film noir
The concept of a murder victim who functions as his own detective, gives to D.O.A. a unique point of view and also gives it a major status.
The inspiration for D.O.A. Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
5.0 out of 5 stars based in false facts but superb
This movie is a clear demonstration of how it's possible to make excellent cinema based on premises frontally opposite to the movies of today. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2004 by Carlos Vazquez Quintana
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't read the other reviews about D.O.A.
The reviews earlier than this one (shown below this review) reveal too much of the plot of D.O.A. See the movie first then read the remaining reviews. Read more
Published on May 8 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars D.O.A.
D.O.A. is quintessential 1950's film noir (though it was shot in 1949) and in my opinion the best of the genre. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2001 by Rix Roundtree-Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars I . T . S . O . K .
Why does this movie, in my opinion, deserves five stars ? Because, if you're a film noir fan, you cannot be but astonished by the treatment of the subject. Read more
Published on June 11 2000 by Daniel S.
3.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Three Stars
A classic example of 'Film Noir'; a movie where a poisoned man searches for his killer. Contains the immortal line, "I'm sorry Mister Bigelow -- but you've been... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2000 by FilmFool
4.0 out of 5 stars inventive murder mystery with great plot twist
If you obsess so much over the "funny clothes" that people wear in old movies that you can't follow the plot, this film is not for you. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 1999
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