- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
A tautly directed, fairly exciting crime drama that is typically over sold by Eddie Mueller as a minor classic of the noir genre. First, let's deal with our terms. There is simply too much daytime stuff as well as a really annoying, unbelievable happy ending for this to be called a noir. And Crane Wilbur's screenplay, about which Mueller waxes gaga, while properly laconic and fast moving, does not provide many memorable lines beyond the one example Mueller cites (Where Chuck Bronson evinces a desire to give Phyllis Kirk a haircut with his gun) while also having to answer for putting an attractive but dull loyal helpmeet (Kirk) where a femme fatale oughta be, as well as that odious and unconvincing ending where Sterling Hayden, after having been marvelous playing a hard ass cop, suddenly turns all Ex Cons Are People Too on us. However, there are some distinct pleasures to be had from this film. Andre De Toth's direction, as mentioned above, never slows or backs up on the viewer and, aside from the always great Hayden, there is nice work from everyone else in the cast other than Phyllis K. and Timothy Carey whose clenched teeth psycho bit (which he never varied except in "Paths Of Glory") is like him wearing a sign on his backside that says "Kick me, I'm Camp!" And, of course, as the previous reviewer wrote, the early 50s L.A. and especially Glendale location shooting is indelible. Give it a solid B.
Great movie if you love Glendale
- Kelso 99
So many shots of Glendale and surrounding area in the early '50s. Many if not most of the buildings been have been removed for 70s and 80s style buildings, but the Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake is still there....about minute 66.And the streets....Broadway, Brand, Verdugo. They don't change either.
Film That Accomplishes Its Goal !
- DON RILEY
Oh, boy, do you come to despise Ted De Corsia and Charles Bronson, in this one. You really get the feeling you want them to "just leave" when they invade the apartment of our central couple. I liked this movie. Sterling Hayden's part works well here, as the "tough" cop. I did have a bit of problem with how easy it was to finish off the "bad guys" in the bank robbery, after what De Corsia describes as seven years of planning. They just fell like bowling pins, with no real fight. Ok, the police were ready, but it just seemed so "limp". So different a married couple in this one, then in "The Killing" which also stars Hayden, De Corsia and Timothy Carey. Also, the finish certainly a "wipe the sweat from the brow" and say ......"that was close"..!!!.............But it also was a tad unbelievable. As Hayden turns in a Hyde to Jekyll turnaround ........as the film concludes. A few negatives, overall ......but........this was really a decent, little movie. I gave it four stars, maybe a little high, but I liked it !
strange thing is..
it might seem real enough to bore you.
Sterling Hayden Rides Crime Wave
- Kate Dooley
Hayden is always a pleasure for me to watch in any film. I don't care if he's a cop or a con, he's a superlative part of any film he is in. Hayden may be an acquired taste for other people...For me he's the total package as an actor. Good looks but not a pretty boy and he uses his size to threaten and cajole and menace in this film with perfect heaviness. I like the casting in Crime Wave; everybody is very good in their roles. The script is a little weak, the lighting and cinematography really good. Taut direction keeps it moving and California of the 1950's adds such a gritty feel to the film. Overall Crime Wave is a good noir film deserving of more than 2 stars. It's way better than average. Yes, it wouldn't be much without Sterling Hayden. In Crime Wave, he's a big savvy law & order cop/brute that takes up so much of the screen and if you don't like him as an actor, this movie isn't for you. For us Sterling Hayden fans, it feels like Christmas!
Eye candy for LA history buffs
Not the greatest film - the acting is a little on the melodramatic side and the story is trite, but where this film excels is in its visual representation of Los Angeles. The film features lots of location filming that helps document the way the city looked in the early 1950's. You'll enjoy picking out the familiar and not so familiar landmarks. I just wish this one was released on DVD or Blu-Ray so it could be paused to examine the details more closely! DVR it if you can.PS: Crime Wave was directed by Andre de Toth who also directed Warner Bros.' seminal 3D motion picture "House Of Wax" which starred Phyllis Kirk as well.
Production Code AWOL in this one
- John Barry
Phyllis Kirk and Gene Nelson in the same bed, in 1953. Where were the PC bluenoses? Probably too busy watching porn.
I never liked Sterling Hayden. He, like Robert Ryan, always played an angry cop, angry soldier or just a mean so-and-so. It's no different here. He is a mean cop convinced Gene Nelson, an ex-con on probation, is guilty and still running with a gang committing robbery. I don't know what Phyllis Kirk is doing in this film, except for the eye-candy necessary in a film noir. The appearance of a baby-faced Charles Bronson, one of the gang members, is a surprise and he is very good in this film. I like "Crime Wave" but it's not a favorite. There are better noir films out there.
**** I like this one alot. First time I saw this one. Always like anything Sterling Hayden is in. This one keeps me on my seat the whole time. Yes, I would see this one again and again.
Crime Wave-Excellent 50's Noir
- Bruce Reber
I saw "Crime Wave" (Warner Bros. 1954) on TCM Sunday night 7/8/12, and it's a neat, compact and somewhat obscure Film Noir, not as well known as others of the genre. Sterling Hayden plays a tough L.A. cop who's trying to persuade an ex-con (Gene Nelson) to give up some info about some of his prison buds who are planning a bank heist. This is Hayden a decade before he played the lunatic commie-hating General Jack Ripper in the classic doomsday comedy "Dr. Strangelove". Nelson is probably most famous for his singing and dancing in WB musicals during the 40's and 50's, and "Crime Wave" was his first dramatic role. He also went on to become a director in the 60's, directing the 1964 Hank Williams biopic "Your Cheatin' Heart". Director Andre de Toth, producer Bryan Foy, Phyllis Kirk and Charles Buchinsky (just before he changed his last name to Bronson) had teamed a year before "Crime Wave" in the classic thriller "House of Wax". BTW TCM, could you please bring back Darkness After Dawn. It used to air on Saturday mornings and spotlighted all of the great Film Noirs. I and many other Noir fans would really appreciate it!