HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls NIte Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
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
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Deadline at Dawn All The Nice Girls Love A Sailor
Year: 1946
Director: Harold Clurman, William Cameron Menzies
Stars: Susan Hayward, Paul Lukas, Bill Williams, Joseph Calleia, Osa Massen, Lola Lane, Jerome Cowan, Marvin Miller, Roman Bohnen, Steve Geray, Joe Sawyer, Constance Worth, Joseph Crehan
Genre: Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alex Winkler (Bill Williams) is a sailor with a problem. He is due back on his ship before dawn breaks on this humid night in New York City, but has fallen asleep in a kiosk on the street, a little the worse for drink. When he is awoken by the seller in charge, he drops a thick wad of banknotes as he rises to leave, and wonders where it could have come from - then it begins to come back to him, he had spent some time with Edna (Lola Lane) and promised on going to her apartment that he would fix her radio for a fee, which he did. But he evidently took a lot more cash than she would have been happy with, so should he take it back to her? Actually, it's now a moot point, for she has been murdered...

There were some interesting names behind Deadline at Dawn, not least Clifford Odets, who had become a darling of the American theatre the decade previous with such works as Golden Boy (which was also filmed); here he took script duties, adapting a pseudonymous novel by pulp thriller expert Cornell Woolrich. A mixture of one man's knack for a cracking good yarn and another man's very exacting way with dialogue sounds like it should have had the makings of a classic, but a minor cult item was all this could muster, that in spite of legendary theatre director Harold Clurman having been coaxed behind the camera for the first and only time before returning to his stage origins.

William Cameron Menzies, the art director turned actual director, assisted Clurman, and the results were identifiable as of a piece with his stylised manner, both visually and in the way the characters interacted. Meanwhile in front of the lens was Susan Hayward making her comeback after a brief time away from the limelight thanks to maternity, and about as hard boiled as it was possible for her to get without her leading lady actively murdering somebody: she was not the femme fatale here, though with a few plot tweaks she could very well have taken that role. Not to say there were no shady females contained within, but they were more in support as Hayward essayed a bad girl gone good.

Maybe "bad girl" as a description was pushing it, but as the taxi dancer Alex takes refuge in the arms of, she was not about to take any bullshit from anybody, as we see when she negotiates her way out of a potential stalker's attentions on the dancefloor. So when the sailor innocently chats away to her, she wonders what his angle is, yet he is on the level, he just wants someone to talk to and reassure him that he hasn't done anything wrong tonight, and little by little that tough exterior begins to melt. First things first, she takes Alex back to Edna's apartment to return the bills, and that's where they find her strangled body. Now, we think we know who has murdered her thanks to a scene at the beginning where her creepy ex-husband was most displeased to learn she had lost the hundreds of dollars owed him.

However, as the night progresses we grow less sure as the script threw in a bunch of red herrings that had us wondering if the real culprit had been included somewhere along the line and we had not realised. Which turned out to be the case, only the explanation was so out of the blue unless you had been really paying attention - to the extent of taking mental notes and weighing up the options - then you would start to doubt the credibility of the material. That was not to say it was unenjoyable, on the other hand, as it took on a dreamlike atmosphere as befitting its early hours setting, with random folks showing up either to throw us off the scent, such as the man who escapes in a cab at high speed only to be revealed as trying to reach the vet's before his beloved cat passes away, to the woman who appears at the victim's apartment (where, curiously, everyone gets very used to the corpse on the floor) and draws a gun to get away. You were only going to get along with this if you accepted early on how off-kilter it was, if you could, you'd appreciate its oddball qualities. Music Hanns Eisler.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2118 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
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: