June 23, 2015
Review #715: Crossfire.
Robert Young (Captain Finlay), Robert Mitchum (Sgt. Peter Keeley), Robert Ryan (Montgomery), Gloria Grahame (Ginny Tremaine), Paul Kelly (Mr. Tremaine), Sam Levene (Joseph Samuels), Jacqueline White (Mary Mitchell), Steve Brodie (Floyd Bowers), and George Cooper (Cpl. Arthur Mitchell) Directed by Edward Dmytryk.
For some of you reading this at home, a b-movie refers to a movie that was low-budget, or a movie that wasn't exactly promoted as the marquee for a studio's year, though b-movies could also be profitable, given that they were fast and cheap to make and screen to theaters, ranging from science fiction to westerns, while used as part of a double feature. Ah, a film noir. But it is not so much a film noir as it is a comment on perception of others and how hatred sometimes meshes with that perception, with deadly results like this film. It's a quick movie, but it's a movie that knows what it wants to do, and it succeeds at being an effective look into people and prejudice. Young and Mitchum are good at chemistry in regards to solving the case, and the time they have on screen together is riveting. For a movie that has few characters, Crossfire manages to be engaging and compelling enough to watch to the end, to the inevitable conclusion, though at least it's a movie that tries to deliver a message while being quick and enjoyable. Whether it succeeds at being engaging is up to the viewer, but it does in my book. And I avoided making references to the board game Crossfire for the entirety of the review, which I guess is surprising. As for the movie, I'd recommend it for anyone looking to watch late 40's cinema with a touch of noir.
Overall, I give it 8 out of 10 stars.