HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sputnik
Seducao da Carne
Yes, God, Yes
Five Graves to Cairo
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  Knock On Any Door Live Fast Die Young Leave A Good-Looking Corpse
Year: 1949
Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready, Allene Roberts, Candy Toxton, Mickey Knox, Barry Kelley, Jimmy Conlin, Chester Conklin, Dooley Wilson
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: There has been a commotion in this deprived area of the city tonight, one where a robbery was botched and an investigating policeman was shot dead as a result. His colleagues round up some suspects, among them the most likely culprit, a young punk called Nick Romano (John Derek), who has been in trouble with the law before, but he professes his innocence and asks to call a lawyer of his acquaintance, a man who has gotten him out of scrapes before. That man is Andrew Morton (Humphrey Bogart), but initially he is reluctant to be involved, for he has been let down by Nick too many times. But his wife (Candy Toxton) silently pleads with him to take the case, and he relents...

Knock On Any Door was what was known as a problem picture, not because it was a problem to make or watch, but because it dealt with social issues, the sort of thing star Bogart had been involved with before during the heyday of the gangster movie which usually had a message to impart to the audience about building a better community. Therefore it was natural for him to pick the book this was based on as the first project for his shortlived Santana production company, which released seven films from this to Beat the Devil in a matter of four years; for some stars, their very own company might have been considered a vanity project, but Bogart seems to have been very serious about its output.

He hired up-and-coming director Nicholas Ray to helm this, slotting into his resumé of films where he preferred to deal with social problems, the most famous of which was Rebel Without a Cause, for which you could view Knock On Any Door as a loose dry run for that James Dean favourite. Alas, John Derek was no James Dean, and down the years viewers have had trouble warming to his Nick character as he was so inconsistently written that he was difficult to trust: by the end he's more of a symbol of the terrible effect crime can have both personally and in a wider sense for the nation, which didn't leave much room for nuance. Derek tried a career as a leading man and won a following thanks to his brooding good looks, but never really caught on.

Which is why if you recognise his name it will be down to his relationships with his famous wives who he liked to present as world-beating sex symbols, Ursula Andress who didn't particularly need the assistance, then Linda Evans who would go on to TV fame in Dynasty, earning her more renown than Derek ever offered her, then most infamously Bo Derek for whom his plans finally came to fruition in his self-directed efforts. OK, they were a laughing stock cinematically, but they were successful, and it was nice he made someone's dreams come true after decades of trying, if only his own. Looking back on his acting, you can see why he never made it as a star himself; on this evidence, his handsomeness aside there wasn't much too appealing about him.

Given better roles, of which Nick would have been a step in the right direction seeing as how with this flashback-heavy framework he's basically the protagonist, then Derek might have made a decent fist of celebrity, but when you're sharing a movie with a performer of the charisma of Bogart then you're chasing a futile goal if you want to be the main draw since all the time Derek was on the screen acting out his hard luck tale you found yourself wondering when Bogie was going to reappear. In effect this was a courtroom drama which used the flashback technique to fill in backstory to what they hoped would be typically how a young criminal is made: poor upbringing, deprived conditions, unsympathetic society, but taking that last into account Morton treats him very well and he still slips into lawbreaking, suggesting the answers were far more insurmountable than perhaps the film was trying to convey. With George Macready cobra-like as the prosecutor, there were nice acting moments and its heart was in the right place, but you were not wholly convinced. Music by George Antheil.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1858 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: