(aka 'Cradle of Fear')
This taut little murder mystery, shot on a tiny budget in twenty days, was the first Hollywood movie to broach the subject of anti-Semitism, and it was a surprising box-office smash. Watching it now, it seems too talky, and the already meager plot is stretched rather thin. But it has Robert Mitchum, an excellent scary performance by Robert Ryan, and an inventive use of darkness and shadow that has come to be identified with "film noir." The detective who sorts things out is played by Robert Young, and he has a toughness and virile charm here that is light-years away from his later TV image. All in all, a good illustration of "less is more," - one of the movies produced by Dore Schary at RKO that would bring a grittier style to postwar film. The anti-Semitic angle is approached subtly, up until the point where Young is required to make a big speech about prejudice which seems embarrassingly overdone nowadays. In fairness, the subject was so hush-hush in those days that they really had to spell things out for audiences. The film was adapted from a book in which the victim was not Jewish, but homosexual - well, there were some subjects Hollywood just couldn't touch.
Theatrical Release: July 22nd, 1947 - USA
DVD Review: Manga - Region 2 - PAL
Thanks to Herb Kane for the screen captures!
|DVD Box Cover||
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|Distribution||Manga Films - Region 2 - PAL|
Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.56 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 1.0)|
screen in Spanish