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

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 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
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00097DY0M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,492 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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 dames...you know the kind."
"I'm not sure that I do.
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Format: DVD
One of the classic Film Noir from the late 1940s. A Jew is beaten to death in a New York Hotel and Detective Robert Young suspects three soldiers of the murder.

Shot entirely at night, the film oozes style, tension and atmosphere, enhanced with the use of camera techniques by director Edward Dmytrek. Although the film is rather talkie, it does manage to hold the viewers attention throughout. It was also the first film to explore the implications of Racial Bigotry.

Superbly cast with Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and the lovely Gloris Grahame film makers and actors in those days showed what could be achieved on low budgets.

Much of the picture as I have said, is rather dark but clear, although print does show its age in certain scenes. Sound is mono, but alright on a Home Cinema System switched to Normal Stereo Channels.
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By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The fact that this 1947 film was designated by RKO Head of Production, Dore Schary, as B-movie material (20 day shoot and $250K budget) – something that director Edward Dmytryk was happy to go along with – merely makes it all the more remarkable that, with its strong anti-fascist message, sterling acting performances and tight (and deeply cynical) script, Crossfire turned out to be an outstanding example of the film noir genre. Indeed, although the Hollywood production code dictated that Schary had to change screenwriter John Paxton’s script (based originally on Richard Brooks’ controversial novel, The Brick Foxhole) such that its anti-homosexual tale became an anti-Semitic one, Dmytryk’s film remains one of the most compelling dissections of blind, irrational hatred (fascism, even – and thence maybe anti-Communism, even) to ever reach the big screen.

Two particularly striking things about Crossfire are the film’s intimate, claustrophobic and exaggeratedly dimly-lit (courtesy of cinematographer J Roy Hunt) settings (we literally never see anything resembling the light of day!) and its character- (there are at least 10 intriguing and well-drawn characters here) and vignette-driven plot (I lost count of the number of interesting two-hander scenes there are) – indeed, the film’s lack of 'action’ might turn some people off, but, for me, its 82-minute duration is totally engaging with hardly a second of 'flab’. As to plot, it could hardly be simpler – Robert Ryan’s (not so) 'crypto-fascist’ Montgomery murders a Jew he (and fellow ex-army colleagues) happen upon in a bar, then tries to incriminate insecure fellow soldier George Cooper’s Mitchell, whilst Robert Young’s suave detective Finlay attempts to uncover the truth, and Robert Mitchum’s ambivalent Sergeant Keeley consoles Mitchell.
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