D.O.A. (1949)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery


D.O.A. (1949) Poster

Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.


7.3/10
9,794

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  • D.O.A. (1949)
  • Edmond O'Brien in D.O.A. (1949)
  • Beverly Garland and Edmond O'Brien in D.O.A. (1949)
  • D.O.A. (1949)
  • Edmond O'Brien in D.O.A. (1949)
  • Luther Adler in D.O.A. (1949)

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Awards

1 win.

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User Reviews


22 September 2006 | RJBurke1942
7
| D.O.A.: A convoluted mystery that gradually builds to a frenetic pace.
Fans of film noir should see this one, as this film is up there with the best.

It's a story about how a simple act can lead to disaster – in this case, death. If you've not seen it, I'm not about to tell you much except this: it has perhaps the most imaginative beginning for any murder mystery ever devised as Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) fronts up to the Homicide Bureau in Los Angeles to report a murder – his own! Thereafter, the story traces Frank's attempts to find out who is trying to kill him, and why. One of the best pieces of irony is when, having learnt that he will die soon, Frank runs and runs until he's out of breath and stops, panting, beside a newsstand where there are multiple copies of Life magazine hanging there, just beside him. The director, Rudolph Mate, had a real insider joke with that shot.

And that long tracking shot, by the way, was an excellent example of how to use fast camera work and great editing.

On another level, the movie very much fits the times vis-à-vis the portrayal of evil and where it leads: retribution is always just around the corner for those who transgress society, even if you think you're justified. When you see this movie, you'll know what I mean.

And, for the times, the acting was good, with a standout performance from Edmond O'Brien, and ably supported by the ever-competent Luther Adler (as Majak, the sharp dealer in stolen goods), and Neville Brand, as the psychopathic Chester. The rest of the cast was adequate. The only jarring note (no pun intended) are the peculiar and bizarre wolf-whistles (inserted by some demented sound engineer?) that accompany Frank Bigelow as he looks at women in his hotel at San Francisco. What was the director thinking of...?

That aside, it's a good, fast-paced action mystery that helped to keep the film noir genre very much alive. Have a go...

Critic Reviews



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Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery | Thriller

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