Crack-Up (1946)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Crack-Up (1946) Poster

Art curator George Steele experiences a train wreck...which never happened. Is he cracking up, or the victim of a plot?



  • Mary Ware in Crack-Up (1946)
  • Harry Monty in Crack-Up (1946)
  • Alvin Hammer in Crack-Up (1946)
  • Crack-Up (1946)
  • Shimen Ruskin in Crack-Up (1946)
  • Mary Ware in Crack-Up (1946)

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Reviews & Commentary

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8 March 2011 | vincentlynch-moonoi
| Underrated?
Back in 1946, when this film was released, it got very mixed reviews. The notable Bosley Crowther, in particular, panned it. I find it to be a better than average film-noir with a few twists to make it interesting. First off being the topic -- art forgeries -- not your typical underworld target in films. And, for me, it was enjoyable watching Pat O'Brien in the latter third of his career, after movies became a little more sophisticated.

A test for movie mysteries for me is, is there real suspense, or do clues just inexplicably pop up so that the movie can come to a conclusion. Using reverse on the DVR, I was able to go back several times and see when certain clues came up if it was logical or simply convenient. This film passed that test.

It has a surprisingly strong cast. Claire Trevor is interesting, as is Ray Collins. Herbert Marshall is always good, but one thing to take note of here is his real limp, which in most films is not noticeable (Marshall lost a leg in WWI).

Another thing that made the film interesting was how it portrayed life back in 1946. For example, the very good scene filmed at an arcade was very era-oriented, and certainly more interesting than had the scene just been shot in a restaurant or something of the sort...which most directors would have done. The night dock scene was also nicely done. And, these "location shots", though undoubtedly done at the studio, did look real.

So why do I rate this only a 7? Well, while Pat O'Brien is good, he seems a bit old for the part. For example, in one scene he shimmies down a very long chain that would be rather unlikely for someone nearly 50 years old (and clearly out of shape). And, he's not totally convincing as an art expert. But still, it's a decent performance.

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