Crack-Up

Overview

Art critic and forgery expert George Steele Pat O'Brien is apprehended by the police as he desperately tries to break into the Manhattan Museum in the opening scene of Crack-Up, a noir mystery directed by Irving Reis. Steele does not understand his own bizarre actions, but explains that he was in a train wreck and had to get back to the museum. Questioned by Lt. Cochrane Wallace Ford, who tells him there have been no train wrecks in months, Steele relates, in flashback, the events leading up to the incident. ...
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Overview

Art critic and forgery expert George Steele Pat O'Brien is apprehended by the police as he desperately tries to break into the Manhattan Museum in the opening scene of Crack-Up, a noir mystery directed by Irving Reis. Steele does not understand his own bizarre actions, but explains that he was in a train wreck and had to get back to the museum. Questioned by Lt. Cochrane Wallace Ford, who tells him there have been no train wrecks in months, Steele relates, in flashback, the events leading up to the incident. Earlier in the day the head of the museum had suspended him for alienating wealthy patrons by criticizing "art snobs" in a lecture. He then received a phone call informing him that his mother was sick, and caught the train to the hospital, but never got there. Though suspicious of Steele, Cochrane is persuaded by the shadowy Mr. Traybin Herbert Marshall to release him so he can follow Steele. The next day Steele retraces his steps and discovers that someone had set him up to be discredited, though he knows neither who nor why. Following the murder of a friend who was trying to help him, he discovers that forgeries of some very famous paintings are at the heart of the matter, but getting to the culprit is a more difficult task.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
While it falls short of being a classic, Crack-Up is a very good mystery thriller and a welcome treat for fans of the genre looking for something a bit off the beaten path. Although often classified as a film noir, Crack-Up doesn't fully fit into that category; it's placed there generally because of the exceptional work of cinematographer Robert de Grasse. His masterful, chiaroscuro lighting and unexpected angles are firmly in the noircamp, and his atmospheric work is distinctive and original throughout. Director Irving G. Reis takes full advantage of de Grasse, and the two make a formidable team; the train wreck sequence especially displays how well the to go together. Reis, whose work is often uneven, is in full control here, and it's probably his sharpest, tightest work. Reis makes Crack-Up a gripping little thrill ride, helping to smooth over some noticeable cracks in the plot and to help the audience accept certain far-fetched convolutions of the story. The cast is also a big asset, from Pat O'Brien's put-upon Everyman victim to Claire Trevor's dedicated girl friend to Herbert Marshall's shadowy Traybin. Crack-Up may not quite be "top shelf," but it's a suspenseful and enjoyable train ride.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2010
  • UPC: 883316270868
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:33:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 10,684

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Pat O'Brien George Steele
Claire Trevor Terry Cordeau
Herbert Marshall Traybin
Ray Collins Dr. Lowell
Wallace Ford Cochrane
Dean Harens Reynolds
Damian O'Flynn Stevenson
Erskine Sanford Mr. Barton
Mary Ware Mary
Chef Joseph Milani Joe
Shimen Ruskin Wide-Eyed Man
Dick Ryan Butler
Fred Somers
Joseph Kamaryt Waiter
Harry Monty Midget
Lee Elson Man
Alf Haugan Man in Audience
Fred Hueston
Alex Akimoff
John Ardell Man
Edward Gargan Cop
Robert Bray Man with Drunk
Tommy Noonan Vendor
Bob White Drunk
Eddie Parks Drunk
Carl Hansen Gambler
Roger Creed Gambler
Horace Murphy Conductor
Alvin Hammer Milquetoast
Tiny Jones Old Lady
Dorothea Wolbert Old Lady
Sam Lufkin Detective
Carl Faulkner Detective
Harry Shannon Cop
Tex Swan Cop
George Bruggeman Cop
Bob Pepper Intern
Frank Moran Bartender
Kernan Cripps Ticket Clerk
Rose Plummer Impatient Woman
Frank Shannon Gateman
Sam McDaniel Porter
Bonnie Blair Dorothy
Dick Rush Ship's Captain
Delmar Costello Deck Hand
Jimmy O'Gatty Mate
Guy Beach Station
John Indrisano Detective
Richard Ryen Butler
Ellen Corby Maid
Jack Cheatham Attendant
J.C. Fowler Man
Harry Harvey Moran
Al Hill Gambler
John Ince Man
Philip Morris Cop
Technical Credits
Irving G. Reis Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Bengal Screenwriter
Russell A. Cully Special Effects
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Robert de Grasse Cinematographer
Jack J. Gross Producer
Leigh Harline Score Composer
Frederic Knudtson Editor
Jack Okey Art Director
Michael Orenbach Set Decoration/Design
John Paxton Screenwriter
Renie Costumes/Costume Designer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
Ray Spencer Screenwriter
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