- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- ASIN: B0044LZL1O
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,800 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
DEADLINE AT DAWN (Region 2) Paul Lukas, Susan Hayward,
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Region 2 Spanish import, plays in English without subtitles. Alex, a sailor on leave, recovers from a drink-induced blackout with a large sum of money belonging to Edna Bartelli, a b-girl who invited him home to "fix her radio." He tries to return it with the reluctant aid of June Goth, a sweet but oh-so-tired dance hall girl; they find Edna murdered. Not quite sure he didn't do it himself, Alex and June have four hours in the dead of night to find the real killer before his leave ends. Their quest brings them into contact with a sleazy kaleidoscope of minor characters; clues get more and more tangled
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Although a serviceable PAL version is available from Odeon Entertainment, it's well worth seeking out Warners' Film Noir Classics Collection 5 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] which that does the photography full justice with a quite superb transfer that makes the film look like it was made only yesterday, and includes seven other features including Cornered, Desperate, Phenix City Story and Armored Car Robbery.
Although a PAL import is available, it's well worth seeking out Warners' Region 1 US NTSC Film Noir Collection Volume Five which that does the photography full justice with a quite superb transfer that makes the film look like it was made only yesterday, and includes seven other features including Cornered, Desperate, Phenix City Story and Armored Car Robbery.
Bill Williams, as sailor on shore leave, endeavours to return some money he took from his previous night's pick-up, only to discover that she's been murdered. Aided by a spirited dance hall girl,played by Susan Hayward, he decides to try and trackdown the culprit before he himself is accused of the crime.
So far, so good. But the problem begins here, because the plot, such as it is, just doesn't stand up at all - it's riddled with confusion and is just full of too many co-incidences and chance happenings. It becomes tortuously complicated and the revelation of the murderer, when it comes, struck me as so unlikely and implausible as to be verging on the ridiculous!
On the plus side, the film is nicely photographed in the noir style and Susan Hayward is as good as ever, in her hard boiled style. Bill Williams is however rather wooden in the lead and delivers his lines as if reading them from an auto-cue- maybe he was!
I bought this film just because of Susan, a big favourite of mine, and if you like her you will want this - she looks great - it's just a shame that the plot lets it down so badly. From a writer like Clifford Odets, you really would have expected more. The DVD transfer itself is good quality, both sound and picture.
The story is hilarious in that more and more impossible things happen that just make no sense at all. It doesn't happen once...or twice...or three times...the whole story is ridiculous. From the moment Williams brings back Hayward to return some money to Lola Lane (Edna) and they find her dead, the film just gets more and more far-fetched. Williams deduces that a man did it and how he would be feeling after it and where he would go and what he would do. At this point, it is already insulting to the audience but it doesn't stop. I can't go on. Hardened escort girl Hayward even falls in love with this backward boy - NO WAY! There is a plot to follow if you want to but the film tries to be clever at the same time as being incredibly stupid.
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