Saturday, August 10, 2013

Still one of my all-time favorite noirs: D.O.A.

D.O.A./1950/United Artists/83 min.
Ed here: No matter how many times I see this it grips me. One of the most original and dazzling plots of all time rendered by an adventurous director and an almost perfect cast--D.O.A. is a B masterpiece.

“I don’t think you fully understand, Bigelow,” says a doctor to his shocked patient, “you’ve been murdered.”

This is the premise for 1950’s “D.O.A.,” directed by Rudolph Maté, a classic noir about a standup, solid guy from Banning, Calif., named Frank Bigelow (Edmond O’Brien) who, while on a trip to San Francisco, learns he has been poisoned with a time-released fatal toxin. He has just a few days to find his murderer. And here he thought it was just a hangover.
It’s particularly bad luck because Bigelow hasn’t served time, he doesn’t play the horses, he’s not eyeing easy money. He is a self-employed accountant in a small town near Palm Springs minding his own business. True, he does like hard liquor, is a bit of a skirt chaser and he’s on the fence about committing to doting girlfriend Paula Gibson (Pamela Britton), but those are minor flaws in the noir scheme of things.
Even though Bigelow is dying, his genetic tough-guy instinct kicks as he abandons his ledger book and adding machine to follow clues, talk tough, tote a gun and chase his prey. Clearly, he missed his calling as a macho gumshoe who could give Phillip Marlowe or Sam Spade a run for their money.
Checking in via phone calls to Paula, who also happens to be his secretary, he learns that a Mr. Phillips, an importer-exporter in Los Angeles, has been urgently trying to contact him. Bigelow returns to LA but, before he can probe for info, Phillips takes a flying leap from a tall building. So, Bigelow taps Phillips’ inner circle: his brother Stanley (Henry Hart), his wife (Lynn Baggett), his secretary Miss Foster (Beverly Garland, credited as Beverly Campbell), and co-worker Halliday (William Ching).
Turns out that Bigelow’s connection to these Angelinos is that six months prior, he notarized a bill of sale for a shipment of iridium. Phillips bought the stuff from a mysterious man named George Reynolds.

for the rest go here:‘d-o-a-’-reveals-the-


Anonymous said...

Edmond O'Brien was a fine actor relegated to a sort of "second line" due to the sheer abundance of well -schooled actors H'wood had in those days. Included in the group would also be Frank Lovejoy, Joseph Cotten, Cornell Wilde, Dane Clark and many others.

Here's a link to a good website about O'Brien that is guaranteed to lead you astray!

Mathew Paust said...

My favorite Edmund O'Brien role is Sen. Ray Clark in one of my all-time favorite movies: Seven Days in May.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Oh, I agree. best ever noir movie! And Edmund O'Brien was superb in every thing he did.