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Edmund O' Brien stars as Frank Bigelow in this film noir thriller directed by Rudolph Mate. Bigelow wakes up one morning after a heavy night drinking, only to discover that he has been given a dose of lethal, slow-acting poison which takes 25 hours to kick in and kill. This leaves the dying Frank with time to try and find out who his own murderer is...
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Top Customer Reviews
This is O'Brien's movie and he is rarely absent from the screen. He does a superb job of holding things together displaying what an under-rated actor he was. Rudolph Mate's direction is exemplary.
I loved the fact that the ideas in the film were new and fresh, Frank Bigelow heads out to San Francisco for a holiday but becomes mysteriously poisoned and finds out he only has 48 hours left to live. So Frank turns from accountant to detective in order to find out his murdered before he dies.
Needless to say you are with Frank for every step of the way, and this film really keeps you on the edge of your seat every second. With none of special effects from today's Hollywood the film is much more connective with you. Basically this film is a must see even if are normally a blockbuster type of person.
Thus is the story of this cracking mystery thriller, Edmond O'Brien is Bigelow and layers it perfectly, from Frank's calm soaking in of the events to the frantic slam bangery as he draws closer to his goals, it's a great show. The pace is perfect from director Rudolph Maté as he eases us gently thru the first third, and then ups the pace to keep us alive to the fraught nature of Bigelow's plight. Genuine menace drops into the picture in the form of Neville Brand's hit-man Chester, whilst Pamela Briton as Paula Gibson is a solid female presence in amongst the grimy feel of the story.
Hugely enjoyable. 8/10
"D.O.A." tells the story of Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) who has been murdered by poison. When doctors tell Bigelow he has only days to live, he sets out on a frantic, determined course to find his killer.
Bigelow's life becomes meaningful only when he faces the certainty of his impending death. He had been an accountant in a small town who drank heavily and who flirted incessantly with whatever pretty woman came his way. He had a lovely lady friend, Paula, (Pamela Britton) but was unsure of his feelings for her. When Bigelow took a vacation to San Francisco to drink and flirt, he was poisoned. He realized at last his feelings for Paula and he found meaning in determining and finding his killer before he died.
The story of the murder, the motive, and Bigelow's investigation is told frenetically as befitting a person on the verge of dying and in a sense already dead.. The main attractions of the film are the cinematography, the development of the primary character, and the tough acting. The film features a long group of villains in addition to the killers.
The story is told as a flashback as, in the opening scene, Bigelow walks down the long cold hallway of the Los Angeles police station to report his own murder. This opening scene is famous as is the scene in a San Francisco jazz club called the Fishermen.Read more ›
Topped and tailed with a flavour of Billy Wilder's masterpiece Double Indemnity, as having identified himself to questioning police as a murder victim, Bigelow recalls in flashback his sorry tale and Maté's film sets in train a plot so convoluted as to make The Big Sleep look like an episode of Coronation Street, whereby, following a business trip to San Francisco (and a 'hip' and 'jiving' jazz club), Frank discovers himself suffering from luminous poisoning (courtesy of a mickey at the night club), and thereafter starts to uncover a plot involving an underhand transaction for the purchase of iridium (to which Frank was 'party' via his auditing business). We then get shots of O'Brien running through the San Francisco streets (for some reason) to Dimitri Tiomkin's rousing score, some evocative night-time shots courtesy of cinematographer Ernest Laszlo and our hero being rebuffed at every turn in his pursuit of his 'murderer'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This original story was brilliant, and I loved for the 2 or 3 rd time, can't remember how often I've seen itPublished 2 months ago by ann harris
Great film, keeps you on your toes, bit dramatic ending when he dies, a bit overboard.Published 8 months ago by Denise Honeyball
"Beautifully restored from the producer's negative"? Well, the Image Entertainment DVD is no better than it has to be: dirt, scratches, and jitter abound, not enough to ruin the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Roochak
The product was in excellent condition. It arrived ahead of schedule and was exactly what I expected from reading the description on the Amazon website.Published 20 months ago by s moss
Found the DVD was damaged on arrival - tried playing it but the picture steadily got worse until you could not see the filmPublished 22 months ago by John Hanson Bussey
I enjoyed this. A good fast paced mystery-thriller.
Sure, there are some unlikely situations / responses from certain characters but it all rolls along very nicely. Read more