Crossfire

Overview

This DVD is the best film noir release yet in the format to come from a major label, and it's to the credit of Warner Bros. that they've gotten it released this way. Beyond the film-to-video transfer, which is as good as anything yet to come out of the RKO library, or the generous 22 chapters accorded the 85-minute movie, or the easy-to-use menu, the platter comes with one of the best two-man commentary tracks ever put together for a release like this. Film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini carry on a ...
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Overview

This DVD is the best film noir release yet in the format to come from a major label, and it's to the credit of Warner Bros. that they've gotten it released this way. Beyond the film-to-video transfer, which is as good as anything yet to come out of the RKO library, or the generous 22 chapters accorded the 85-minute movie, or the easy-to-use menu, the platter comes with one of the best two-man commentary tracks ever put together for a release like this. Film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini carry on a lively wall-to-wall discussion about film noir, the movie itself, its sources, the blacklist (which hovered over the careers of several key players in this movie, in front of and behind the camera), the Red Scare, and the era that gave rise to pictures such as Crossfire and the violent political reaction to them. They're aided with archival interview quotes from the director, Edward Dmytryk; between the three voices, the lively talk, and some good editing, the commentary track ends up as entertaining as the movie. There's also an appended mini-documentary about the making of Crossfire that cover some of the same territory, but the main bonus feature is that audio track, which is worth the price of the disc and the equivalent of a month or two of film history classes, and a lot of fun, too.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary by film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini Audio interview excerpts of director Edward Dmytryk; Featurette: "Crossfire: Hate is Like a Gun"; Subtitles: English, Français, and Español (feature film only)
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Edward Dmytryk's classic noir on anti-Semitism in the military was adapted from a Richard Brooks novel, The Brick Foxhole, whose actual subject was homophobia in the army, which RKO found too hot to handle at the time. Like many noirs, it's steeped in the malaise of returning GIs, still recovering from the trauma of war and trying to adapt to a changed world. Dmytryk evokes a miasma of angst with the noir vocabulary of looming shadows, oblique angles, and low-key lighting. Robert Young's professorial detective leads the investigation, which takes on a collective quality as Robert Mitchum's sergeant becomes involved, the film counterpointing their quiet sanity against the disorientation of the mustered-out soldiers and the raging paranoia of the murderer. Robert Ryan is most impressive as the latter, a matrix of festering resentments of which his anti-Semitism is only one. The residue of the original story remains in a slightly off-kilter scene, apparently detached from the narrative, in which a GI George Cooper discusses his alienation with a sympathetic stranger Sam Levene. The first film to address the subject of anti-Semitism, it remains effective despite moments of preachiness. Test screenings of the film for Jewish audiences revealed their well-grounded concern that the association of such blatant pathology, as the murderer's with anti-Semitism, would allow viewers to ignore the far more commonplace and insidious forms of that prejudice. Due to the film's content, in October 1947, producer Adrian Scott and director Dmytryk were called to testify before HUAC and became the first two members of the famed Hollywood Ten, a group of producers, directors, and writers, including Ring Lardner Jr. and Dalton Trumbo, all of whom initially refused to testify against their colleagues, and were sentenced to prison terms. In return for an early release in 1950, Dmytryk identified former colleagues as Communists, and in 1951, named Scott, his friend, and the producer of his three best films, as a member of the Communist party. Scott never produced another film, while Dmytryk resumed his career, never to repeat the quality of his earlier work.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/5/2005
  • UPC: 053939724929
  • Original Release: 1947
  • Rating:

  • Source: Turner Home Ent
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Young Capt. Finlay
Robert Mitchum Sgt. Peter Kelley
Robert Ryan Monty Montgomery
Gloria Grahame Ginny Tremaine
Paul Kelly The Man
Sam Levene Joseph Samuels
Jacqueline White Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie Floyd Bowers
Richard Benedict Bill Williams
William Phipps Leroy
Lex Barker Harry
Marlo Dwyer Miss Lewis
Robert Bray M.P.
Don Cadell Military Police
George A. Cooper Arthur Mitchell
Carl Faulkner Deputy
Harry Harvey Tenant
Tom Keene Detective Dick
Kenneth MacDonald Major
George Meader Police Surgeon
Philip Morris Police Sergeant
Bill Nind Waiter
Jay Norris M.P.
Richard Powers Detective
Allan Ray Soldier
George Turner M.P.
Technical Credits
Edward Dmytryk Director
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Gordon Bau Makeup
Russell A. Cully Special Effects
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Harry Gerstad Editor
Alfred Herman Art Director
Roy Hunt Cinematographer
John Paxton Screenwriter
Clem Portman Sound/Sound Designer
Dore Schary Executive Producer
Adrian Scott Producer
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
John Sturtevant Set Decoration/Design
John E. Tribby Sound/Sound Designer
Roy Webb Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits [1:16]
2. Murder Scene [4:48]
3. Everybody's the Type [5:14]
4. Guys in a Bar [4:04]
5. Only Story I've Got [4:10]
6. Helping Mitchell Escape [3:39]
7. Too Used to Hating [4:07]
8. Blurring Into Ginny [3:44]
9. Free Dance [3:11]
10. Ginny's Husband [4:15]
11. Snakes Are Loose [2:02]
12. Crazy Monty [5:27]
13. Balcony Reunion [6:14]
14. Questioning Ginny [6:58]
15. Those Guys Got Ways [2:28]
16. Hate Enough to Kill [3:54]
17. Questioning Leroy [3:38]
18. Real American History [3:05]
19. Saying Nothing [4:08]
20. Looking for Floyd [3:05]
21. Right House, Right Killer [5:27]
22. Cast List [:30]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary by Alain Silver and James Ursini With Edward Dmytryk
      Crossfire: Hate Is Like a Gun
   Languages
      Spoken Languages: English
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Français
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
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