HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  D.O.A. Walking Dead
Year: 1950
Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Beverly Garland, Lynn Baggett, William Ching, Henry Hart, Neville Brand, Laurette Luez, Jess Kirkpatrick, Cay Forrester, Frank Jaquet, Lawrence Dobkin, Frank Gerstle, Carol Hughes, Michael Ross, Donna Sanborn
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) walks into a San Francisco police station and asks the way to the homicide division, goes there and requests to be taken to the man in charge. He asks Bigelow what he can do for him, and he says he would like to report a murder - his own. The detective knows immediately who he is, and allows him to give his statement, so the soon to be dead man tells all, starting with how he ended up in the city in the first place. He was a small town accountant who happened to be looking forward to a vacation there...

One of the most famous premises in thriller history was the one used by director Rudolph Maté for D.O.A., and although it was not original to this it did wind up being the most celebrated version. Being a film noir, it could quite comfortably telegraph its unhappy ending right from the opening scene, as O'Brien puts on his best "exhausted" countenance and after a whirlpool effect we are landed in a movie-length flashback to fill us in on the details of just what happened to place him in this predicament. In fact, so much setting up of this plot does he go into that you can imagine the cops saying yeah, very interesting, but what about the murder?

During that sequence before he reaches the city, we have it established that he is going through a rough patch with his girlfriend Paula (Pamela Britton), and she is reluctant to allow him off on his own - plot foreshadowing if ever there was. In a way, you could regard the whole tragedy as a punishment visited upon Bigelow for leaving his girlfriend behind in the hopes that he'll be able to live it up with someone else for the weekend, and indeed when he arrives at his hotel there is an all-night party going on throughout the building. This strives too hard to be lighthearted in that every time Frank sees a woman he's attracted to, we hear a slide whistle on the soundtrack, an effect that has put many a viewer off this film within the first act.

But stick with it and you'll see that tone of barely contained hysteria is one which is sustained: everything here is one step away from turning feverish, and at times it takes that step. At the jazz club where the performers and patrons are working each other into a frenzy Bigelow is offered a glass of whisky that turns out not to be his own, and the next day he wakes feeling woozy and with a stomach ache. The feeling won't go away, so he visits the doctor to be given the bad news we have been aware of all the time: he has been poisoned with a slow acting "luminous toxin", and has mere days, if not hours, to live. So there's that premise, he must track down his own killers before he buys it himself.

Maté worked so hard to keep that feeling of heightened emotion as life slips away that often the film becomes absurd, which will either appeal to you or cause you to reject this as a corny old movie where everyone tends to go way over the top. Look at the scene where Paula finally catches up with our victim, and he refuses to tell her that he is about to die so we get a whole rigmarole of florid romantic dialogue exchanged between the two, all difficult to watch with a straight face. But then you see something quite inspired, such as the shots of O'Brien hurtling down the busy street, bashing into pedestrians who had no idea they were in a movie, and you feel as if D.O.A., while a bumpy ride, is worth it precisely for those excesses it indulges in. The sort of movie where the hero says to a woman "You're in this up to your pretty little neck!" and you're asked to take him seriously, it's overrated, hokey, confusing, but contains hefty forward momentum and vivid support (watch for Neville Brand's debut) that commands attention. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3015 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: