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  • Crossfire [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Crossfire [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00097DY0M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 179,869 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
Perhaps the first of the social injustice movies Hollywood began turning out in the late Forties, Crossfire is one of the few in my opinion which still hold up. That's because the social message, against hate in general and anti-Semitism in particular, doesn't become too preachy and get in the way of the story. Unlike Gentleman's Agreement (anti-Semitism), Boomerang (legal and class injustice), Pinky (racial prejudice) and others, Crossfire tells a taut story first, in this case about a murder, and features some first-rate acting, especially from Robert Ryan.

The murder mystery is straightforward and there's little doubt about who the killer is. We know a man named Samuels (Sam Levene) has been beaten to death. We know the suspect, Corporal Arthur Mitchell (George Cooper) is one of four recently discharged soldiers who met him in a bar. We know one of the four is a big, edgy guy, Sergeant Montgomery (Robert Ryan), who laughs too much and likes to verbally poke at people he thinks are weak. The body is discovered, evidence points to Mitchell as the killer and police Captain Finlay (Robert Young) goes to work. One of Mitchell's buddies, Sergeant Peter Keeley (Robert Mitchum) doesn't think Mitchell could be a killer. In a cautious way he starts working with Finlay to establish an alibi for Mitchell, and then to concentrate on Montgomery. One of the biggest issues is what could Montgomery's motivation be. It turns out Montgomery doesn't like civilians, doesn't like "hillbillies," and hates Jews. He's a bigot. When Montgomery complains about "those kinds of guys", Finlay asks, "What kind of guys?"
"You know the kind." Montgomery says. "Played it safe during the war, keepin' themselves in civvies, nice apartments, swell know the kind."
"I'm not sure that I do.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 20 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
Crossfire remains one of the best Hollywood message movies because, unlike the admirably intentioned Gentleman's Agreement, which it beat to theatres by a few months, it chooses to send its message via the form an excellent noir thriller rather than have an outraged star constantly saying "It's because I'm Jewish, isn't it?" It's much easier to get the message that hate is like a loaded gun across when the dead bodies are actual rather than metaphorical. Novelist Richard Brooks disowned the film over the shift from a homophobic murder to an anti-Semitic one, but it's interesting to note that while the victim is killed primarily because he is Jewish, there's little doubt in Sam Levene's performance that the character is in fact also gay - not a mincing caricature, but there's definitely a two lost souls aspect to his scenes with George Cooper's confused soldier. There's not much of a mystery to who the murderer is: even though the killing is carried out in classic noir shadows, the body language of the killer is instantly recognisable, but then the film has its characters drift to the same conclusion before the halfway point: the tension comes from proving it and saving the fall guy.

There's an element of Ealing Films to the gang of soldiers teaming together to get their buddy out of a fix (you could almost see that aspect as a blueprint for Hue and Cry), but the atmosphere is pure RKO noir.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Scott-presland on 28 April 2009
Format: DVD
Filmed in 1946, released in 1947, this is one of the first Films Noirs to get to grips with urgent contemporary issues; famously the issue of racism but also the situation of soldiers discharged from the army and having no role and no future, of no-hope girls who would have worked in munitions and other factories in the war, but now have no option but the Dance Hall.

There is no doubt that this is a proper film noir, from the urgent opening, a beating-up (to death) filmed off-kilter in shadow, the table lamp in the foreground, everything else off-frame. From then on, the hunt for the killer of the Jewish Samuels unfolds at a comparatively leisurely, reflective pace, but exposing the corruption and emptiness of everyone's lives on the way, in a script that crackles with wit and glows with good sense (based on a novel by Richard Brooks, who went on to be a pretty good director himself). One notable aspect of the script is its silences; pauses for reflection, but also pauses to see which way the cat will jump. The final sting, filmed against the staircase (how Noir loves its staircases!), is most effective.

Edward Dmytryk was one of the Hollywood Ten, left-wing writers and directors whose careers were blighted by Joseph McCarthy's House of Unamerican Activities Committee and its communist witch-hunt. Shortly after this film he went to prison for several months rather than grass on fellow-leftists. Later he changed his mind, and his friends never forgave him; but who can say they would be any braver than he was?

Dmytryk's left leanings are at the core of the movie, and racism is not only the theme, but the key to solving the murder: who would kill someone they didn't know?
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