1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rising above the level of a B Movie,
This review is from: Crossfire (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.