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4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Beverly Garland, Lynn Baggett
  • Directors: Rudolph Maté
  • Writers: Clarence Greene, Russell Rouse
  • Producers: Harry M. Popkin, Joseph H. Nadel, Leo C. Popkin
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305770328
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,911 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

A businessman who has been given a lethal dose of radium by a hired assassin tracks down his killer in a chase through the streets of Los Angeles.


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

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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. comes from a 1931 german film entitled Der mann, der seinen morder sucht, directed by Robert Siodmak (The dark mirror).
People manipulated by forces they are unable to control and comprenhend; that's a another important component of the film noir's profile.
This film, altogether with Kiss me deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) are the best exponents in remarking this point, because also establish a crossroad about the unknown consequences derivated from the technology.
Don't miss this weird story; an unvaluable gem and also well done film of Rudolf Mate.
Edmond O' Brien is top-notch.
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By Bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Sept. 13 2004
Format: DVD
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. He feels bad enough to see a doctor. Yep he is D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival) as he has been poisoned and only has a little time left to live.

Obsessed with finding out who did it and why, Frank has to reconstruct his wild night. Will he find out in time? If so what then?
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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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Format: VHS Tape
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. We will see the protagonist to react as a madman when he finds out that someone has poisoned him with an terrible, fluorescent, imaginary toxin. Also I doubt very much that can be real the attitude of the physicians dealing with such a case in saying crudely to the patient that he has only a few hours of life, and I don't dare to enter in ethical considerations. This movie doesn't admit microscopic vision.
And nevertheless and against all these, the spectator follows this unreal plot and remains magnetized by the movie. How is this possible? The response only can be one: an enormous amount of talent. Let's rest in peace the unfortunate DOA, he has deserved it after 90 minutes of a nightmare that we do not understand but fascinates us. Today, with all the special effects and computers of the world the same results aren't reached.
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Format: DVD
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. This film combines an unusual plot (with a twist at the beginning), good performances (Edmund O'Brien drips in desperation), a great villain (Neville Brand over the top), real locations (including the Bradbury Building), and other elements which combine to make this authentic film noir.
I've noticed at least two DVD versions of D.O.A. I have the Roan Group version which has an "Introduction by Beverly Garland". She is billed in this film as Beverly Campbell. In this extra, she talks about the movie and her early film career. I have seen another version which says "Introducing Beverly Garland". I don't know if this version has the extra segment.
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