- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Quaker star of Noir
- Kristin H
With his rugged good looks and his college training as a boxer, Robert Ryan fills the bill as a Noir bad guy. But he was always a bad guy with a fascinating complexity of character. In real life, being a Quaker, Ryan had nothing to do with violence, but he always said the roles helped him pay the rent.Act of Violence is one of his best films. A Noir with an underlying psychological background story. The film has great drawn out suspense, as we see Ryan and Heflin struggle, both with each other and their own personal demons, as they eventually limp towards the sad denouement.
Act of genius!
- Jay Allen
It's hard to believe that the director of "Oklahoma", Fred Zinneman, directed this movie miracle. "Act of Violence" tells the story of a limping stalker out for revenge against an old war-buddy who went turncoat to save his hide. And eat, as his fellow soldiers, starved. "Act of Violence" bombed. Little wonder. The decade determined to see the war in primary colors, couldn't deal with Zinneman's shades of grey take on the war, and the greatest generation. "Everyone has their reasons", one character says, "even the Nazis". The film concludes with Robert Ryan managing to re-bond with his former superior. And this, at the very moment he gets what he wants at the hands of another. Brilliant, and perfect for a PTSD seminar.
his hate dies with you.
Robert ryan plays the Ahab of film noir. van hefflin is the whale and he is starbuck. for most of the story there is no definitive bad guy. a person can really think who is the persecuted and who is the antagonist. the idea of the story has been used so badly in other projects ..it has lessened this movie and that is not right. there are moments in the story that reflect a reverse high noon. the solid.. earnest depth of feeling without going over the top was very nice. it was sad but the ending seemed foretold. the way the two male leads played their characters was like they both swallowed an insect and the taste never went away. it was just so disgusting a feeling for them to have. someone once said..when you hate somebody.. you lose yourself.. and yourself is the biggest thing you will ever have.
Well-done film of ex-POWs,and vengeance.
Great Acting ! Very good Phyllis Thaxler !
- DON RILEY
Phyllis Thaxler and Robert Ryan, Van Heflin, Mary Aster, Janet Leigh, all outstanding. But, I have to say Ryan's speech detailing the account of Heflin's betrayal is absolutely beautiful, so well done. He just tells the story so perfectly. I really liked Thaxler in this, also. I didn't love the entire story so much but the acting is first rate and makes this a "must see".
Great Film Noir
One of the great movies that most people have never heard of. All of the major players do some of their best work for an outstanding director early in his career. Van Heflin and Robert Ryan are in peak form, but the three ladies, Janet Leigh, Phyllis Thaxter, and Mary Astor are almost as impressive as the male leads. The suspense builds to an exciting climax, and the theme of the after-effects of guilt over war-time behavior is intense and thought-provoking.
movies not yet on dvd
- joan dalton
another great movie!waiting for it to come out on dvd to purchase!
Ryan v Heflin,wrongs being righted,WWII POWs meet again to resolve differences,stalking,man on run,soliciting murder,ends tragically,but a powerful statement.Needs to be on DVD,esp with an intro by Mr Osbourne.He mentioned this flick on Wed salute of Mary Astor and her decision on costume and depiction of her role.
CHECK IT OUT.................
- Michael Steven
"ACT OF VIOLENCE"is a part of the film-noir era of Hollywood.By the late 40's-early 50's............things were changing.Van Heflin gives a GOOD performance,as does Robert Ryan,Janet Leigh.But it's Mary Astor,at age 55,STEALS the show.Mary was at MGM at the time,& she was getting VERY tired of making the types of movies she'd been making at this studio.She spent 2 weeks working on this film with director Fred Zinnemann,& ENJOYED IT!It was Mary,who came up with the final look of her character.Zinnemann was taken aback when Mary turned up on the set,looking the way she did.He said,"What the hell have you got that kind of an outfit on for?What's the matter with you anyway-you look like a two-bit tart!"Mary responded back with"I was very pleased."Sadly,this period of time,would mark the downside of Mary Astor's best years in Hollywood.She just didn't enjoy it anymore.Personal problems aside...........she spent her remaining active years perfoming on stage,television,& the occasional film or two.Her last film was"HUSH,HUSH,SWEET CHARLOTTE,'in 1964.She died in 1987,at the age of 81."ACT OF VIOLENCE",is not the type of film MGM was known for making,YET,it stands out.For lack of better description................IT'S INTERESTING.CHECK IT OUT.
Furious film noir classic
There are a lot of merely good film noirs, but this is one of the greats. The suspense is there from the get-go, and keeps on the boil till the (literally) final shot.Robert Ryan is menacing and brooding as usual in his role as a vengeful war veteran, and Van Heflin convincingly goes slowly but surely down the drain as his veneer of respectability begins to peel away.Add superb shadowy camerawork and dramatic score and you get a real noir gem