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||IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from 1,260 votes
||Release: 9 May 1947 (USA) /
||Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
||Director: Anthony Mann,
||Stars: Audrey Long, Douglas Fowley, Freddie Steele, Ilka Grüning, Jason Robards Sr., Lee Frederick, Paul E. Burns, Raymond Burr, Steve Brodie, William Challee
||Synopsis: When mobster Walt Radak tries to trick independent trucker Steve Randall into transporting stolen furs, Steve alerts the police, and Walt's young brother Al is caught and held for a cop-killing. When ruthless Radak tries to extort Steve's help in clearing Al, Steve and his young wife flee for their lives, only to find that the police are also in pursuit. With every man's hand against them, Steve and Anne must repeatedly abandon their temporary refuges. Finally, one midnight, the showdown... Written by Rod Crawford <[email protected]>
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Watch Desperate - Alternative Versions.
Hot on the heels of RKO's beeping radio tower astride the globe, `Desperate'
flashes on the screen, ragged letters smeared along a rising diagonal. In
1947, that was all audiences needed to alert them that one of the short,
swift and stylish products of a new division of the film industry (not yet
termed film noir) was about to unspool.
Teamster Steve Brodie takes a call to do a night hauling job; since it's his
four-month anniversary, he demurs at first, but the pay is too good to pass
up. He should have, for the indispensably creepy Raymond Burr and his gang
are using him and his truck in a warehouse heist. When Brodie catches on,
his attempts to thwart the burglary result in the capture of Burr's kid
brother, who has just shot a policeman. Roughed up by Burr, Brodie must
convince the police that he's the killer or his bride (Audrey Long) will
suffer Burr's wrath; Burr brandishes a jagged bottle to cinch the threat.
But Brodie makes a break for it.
What follows is a protracted cat-and-mouse game played out from Chicago to
Minnesota farm country, with Burr in pursuit of the newlyweds. It's the
classic story of just plain folks caught up in a sinister web of
circumstances, and its director is Anthony Mann, working up to his legendary
collaboration with John Alton (his able cinematographer here is George
In the basement where Burr works Brodie over, a wildly swinging ceiling lamp
floods the action with a harsh glare then plunges it into darkness, adding
immeasurably to the dread. Near the end, when Burr plans to kill Brodie at
the stroke of midnight the precise moment when his own brother will die in
the electric chair a montage of faces and eyes ratchets up the tension as
the seconds tick by. Mann shows his native talent for the film medium in
every frame, and he's abetted by Brodie, Burr and that old pro Jason Robards
(Sr.) as a police detective. There are flashier and more resonant films in
the noir cycle, but for rough, bare-bones entertainment, Desperate is hard
Tags for Desperate Full Movie
, Douglas Fowley
, Freddie Steele
, Ilka Grüning
, Jason Robards Sr.
, Lee Frederick
, Paul E. Burns
, Raymond Burr
, Steve Brodie
, William Challee
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