- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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3 Roberts and 4 stars .
- Mac Churl
In 1947 Hollywood released two films indicting anti - Semitism . One , 'Gentlemen's Agreement ' , was honored with an Oscar for the years' best picture . The other film was 'Crossfire ' , a film that handled its' subject matter in far more violent and harsh terms . Over the years , I've read that modern day film goers and critics prefer the stark , grittiness of ' Crossfire ' over its' glossy , award - winning counterpart , and I'm no exception . There are so many spot on performances in this film , ( Young , Mitchum , Grahame , Levine , the list can really include the entire cast ) , but it's Robert Ryan's performance as an ignorant , dangerous and , ultimately , homicidal bully that really gives this film its' razor sharp fangs . In spite of the fact that both these films are endeavoring to impart the same message ,the message comes across more powerfully in ' Crossfire ' than it does in ' G.A. ' . And for that , we can thank the senseless brutality that grabs us from the opening scene . The Jews in 'G.A.' are forbidden membership to restricted clubs and rooms in equally restricted hotels . The Jew in " Crossfire " is beaten to death by a loathsome savage he just met in a bar , merely because he was Jewish . It's bad enough to be the recipient of prejudicial treatment and bias by being refused accommodations in a high class hotel , it's quite another thing to have your life snuffed out for it . A final bit of trivia .... ' Crossfire ' was based on a novel by future film director ,Richard Brooks . Brooks entitled his work ,' The Brick Foxhole ' . However , in the novel the victim was murdered , not because he was Jewish , but because he was gay . Post WW2 HOLLYWOOD was tackling more daring and adult subject matter , but homosexuality was still considered off limits .
Fast taut noir film set in the sweaty dim and smoky aftermath of war. The dialogue is brilliant, clipped and elliptical, truncated, as it catches the cadence of real American speech and shades into hues of guilt and rage and comic delusion. There are scenes that have lived with me for decades and the mood overall is summed up best by the worldly Mitchum when he says, "Tonight the snakes are loose." The bigotry angle is played with such quiet restraint and finesse that it is doubly effective. No lectures. As close to Italian neo-Realism as Hollywood gets and with the three Roberts all at their best.
- Dashiell B.
Like "Gentlemen's Agreement," this tense thriller deals with anti-Semitism with class. Of the three Robert's that star in the film, only Ryan got an Oscar-nomination as an insane bully, Grahame was also nominated for get brief work. Dmytryk helmed the film magnificently on it's shoe-string budget, making it the first B-movie nominated for Best Picture. A film that deserves equal praise as "Gentleman's Agreement" for unearthing the now-dated realities of anti-Semitism. I give it a 4.5/5.
This is a Pretty Good Movie
It kept me watching. Having Robert Mitchum in it helped. I would recommend it if you have nothing else much to do.
Good, dark and dreary. Grahame and Ryan shine