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Crossfire [Import USA Zone 1]
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Crossfire (Caught In The Crossfire), 1 Blu-ray, 81 minutes
Deux enquêteurs de la brigade criminelle de Détroit découvrent le meurtre d'un membre d'un gang dans lequel est impliqué un groupe de policiers véreux. Un gangster devient leur indic et les aide à retrouver les policiers corrompus. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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Academy Award Nominations for Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor (Ryan), Supporting Actress (Grahame) & Screenplay.
Under the production staff of:
Edward Dmytryk [Director]
John Paxton [Screenplay]
Richard Brooks [Novel]
Adrian Scott [Producer]
Roy Webb [Original Film Music]
J. Roy Hunt [Cinematographer]
Harry W. Gerstad [Film Editor]
Albert S. D'Agostino [Art Direction]
Alfred Herman [Art Direction]
1. Edward Dmytryk [Director]
Date of Birth: 4 September 1908 - Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada
Date of Death: 1 July 1999 - Encino, California
2. Robert Young [aka: Robert George Young]
Date of Birth: 22 February 1907 - Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death: 21 July 1998 - Westlake Village, California, USA (respiratory failure)
3.Lire la suite ›
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The murder mystery is straightforward and there's little doubt about who the killer is. We know a man named Samuels (Sam Levene) has been beaten to death. We know the suspect, Corporal Arthur Mitchell (George Cooper) is one of four recently discharged soldiers who met him in a bar. We know one of the four is a big, edgy guy, Sergeant Montgomery (Robert Ryan), who laughs too much and likes to verbally poke at people he thinks are weak. The body is discovered, evidence points to Mitchell as the killer and police Captain Finlay (Robert Young) goes to work. One of Mitchell's buddies, Sergeant Peter Keeley (Robert Mitchum) doesn't think Mitchell could be a killer. In a cautious way he starts working with Finlay to establish an alibi for Mitchell, and then to concentrate on Montgomery. One of the biggest issues is what could Montgomery's motivation be. It turns out Montgomery doesn't like civilians, doesn't like "hillbillies," and hates Jews. He's a bigot. When Montgomery complains about "those kinds of guys", Finlay asks, "What kind of guys?"
"You know the kind." Montgomery says. "Played it safe during the war, keepin' themselves in civvies, nice apartments, swell dames...you know the kind."
"I'm not sure that I do."
"Some of 'em are named Samuels, some of 'em have funnier names."
It isn't long before we realize that Montgomery is a psychopath who hates just about anyone who is different. With Keeley's help, Finlay finally is able to lay a clever trap for Montgomery.
Young does a fine job as the cop. He's seen probably too much. He's tired. He's a decent man who relies on his training. "I've been at this job too long," he tells Keeley. "I go about it the only way I know how. I collect all the facts possible...most of them are useless." Mitchum, laconic but alert, makes a nice partner for Finlay. He's ready to stand by a buddy he thinks is incapable of killing, and he really doesn't like Montgomery.
Robert Ryan makes you feel uncomfortable from the moment you see him. There's something too friendly about him, something too hidden, something too ready to explode. You're not surprised when he suddenly beats Samuels to death with his fists. The difference between the part of Keeley and the part of Montgomery is, I think, the difference between a role that can lead to a reputation as a movie star and a role that can lead to a reputation as a movie actor. I think it was only when Mitchum took on unsympathetic roles in Night of the Hunter and Cape Fear that many critics realized he was a first-rate film actor, not just a star. By that time, Ryan already had the actor reputation, but major stardom had eluded him.
In a smaller part, Gloria Grahame is excellent as a dance hall hostess who might give Mitchell an alibi. With her cat eyes and pouty lips, Grahame always was distinctive. She and Paul Kelly as a man who may or may not be her husband bring an uneasy and almost surreal quality to their scenes.
Crossfire is a solid looking noir. The DVD presentation is very good.
There's an element of Ealing Films to the gang of soldiers teaming together to get their buddy out of a fix (you could almost see that aspect as a blueprint for Hue and Cry), but the atmosphere is pure RKO noir. Set over one long sweltering night, the film has a great look filled with deep dark blacks and shadows born as much out of economy as style (it cut back on lighting time and allowed director Edward Dmytryk more time to work with the actors) and the excellent cast make the most of the fine script: a laid-back but quietly charismatic Robert Mitchum, Robert Young's Maigret-like detective, Gloria Grahame's tramp and the perpetually creepy Paul Kelly as her compulsive liar admirer, a guy who tries on stories the way other people try on ties. But the lasting impression is of Robert Ryan's excellent performance as a guy who could do with a good leaving alone as he does his best to help the wrongly accused man all the way to death row. A big surprise hit in 1946, as a reward, Dmytryk and producer Adrian Scott found themselves investigated by the HUAC, which itself had a notable tendency to target Jews. So much for crusading...
Warners' DVD boasts a good transfer despite some print damage at one point, a brief retrospective featurette on the film and an audio commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini that (like the featurette) includes excerpts from an interview with Edward Dmytryk.
Director Edward Dmytryk's stark, hard-hitting examination of a hate crime was way ahead of its time in 1947, and has lost neither its topicality nor its punch in the years since. Based on a Richard Brooks novel ("The Brick Foxhole") about the senseless murder of a gay man, the script dropped the book's sub-theme of homophobia to focus on the more cinematically "acceptable" topic of anti-Semitism. Despite this concession to the Production Code, what emerged was a mature, pungent indictment of all crimes motivated by discrimination and blind hated that was nominated for five Oscars: Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Robert Ryan), and Supporting Actress (Gloria Grahame). Also deserving award consideration were top-billed Robert Young (arguably giving the best performance of his decades-long career as a taciturn police detective) and supporting actor Robert Mitchum, as well as J. Roy Hunt's masterful black and white cinematography.
The Warner Brothers DVD release of this classic film noir is, in all honesty, a major disappointment, mainly because the film-to-video transfer is not up to their usual high standard of quality. There is very distracting jump in one of the earlier scenes, apparently caused by a break in the film which was subsequently spliced together by an amateur; one or two scenes are unacceptably grainy; and there is a flurry of horizontal visual "snow" toward the end of the movie. Surely such a key title deserved a little restorative work before being transferred to DVD! (That's a statement, not a question.) Furthermore, the DVD does not include a Theatrical Trailer; however, it does contain a very informative snippet from an interview shown on TCM featuring director Dmytryk reminiscing about the film's production. There is also an audio commentary by film noir authorities James Ursini and Alain Silver. Overall, despite the inadequacies in the master print, "Crossfire" remains a must-see film, and therefore this DVD edition is definitely recommended.