Rent Crossfire (1947)

3.6 of 5 from 83 ratings
1h 22min
Rent Crossfire (aka Cradle of Fear / The Brick Foxhole) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Years of police work have taught Detective Finlay that where there's crime, there's motive. But he finds no usual motive when investigating a man's death by beating. The man was killed because he was Jewish. "Hate", Finlay says, "is like a gun". Robert Young portrays Finlay, Robert Mitchum is a laconic army sergeant assisting in the investigation of G.l. suspects, and Robert Ryan plays a vicious bigot in a landmark film noir nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Edward Dmytryk (Murder, My Sweet) directs, draping the genre's stylistic backdrops and flourishes around a topic rarely before explored in films: anti-Semitism in the U.S. Here, Hollywood takes aim at injustice...and catches bigotry in a 'Crossfire'.
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Adrian Scott
John Paxton, Richard Brooks
Cradle of Fear / The Brick Foxhole
Universal Pictures
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
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1947 Cannes Best Social Film

Release Date:
Run Time:
82 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
B & W
Release Date:
Run Time:
86 minutes
English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
English Hard of Hearing
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.37:1
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Commentary by Film Historians Alain Silver and James Urslni, with Audio interview Excerpts of Director Edward Dmytryk
  • Featurette 'Crossfire: Hate Is like a Gun'

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Reviews (1) of Crossfire

Has everything suddenly gone crazy? - Crossfire review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
Updated 10/11/2021

Pessimistic social realism about a bigoted soldier who kills a Jewish civilian. A detective (Robert Young) investigates a group of demobbed soldiers, including an intimidating loudmouth redneck Sergeant (Robert Ryan), and the more reflective, gentle Sergeant (Robert Mitchum).  

Edward Dmytryk films the long drunken night expressionistically with out of focus,  tilted frames and camera shake. He evokes a powerful impression of alcohol induced hysteria and disorientation. Most of the film is set in interiors and the director's constantly searching camera induces a feeling of restlessness.

 If the trauma of the war is a recurring theme of film noir, it is usually approached subtly and obliquely. Here the issue is confronted directly, particularly in a long, sympathetic speech by the civilian who will be murdered. The soldiers are home, but they are still fighting, looking for a new enemy to hate.

The Sergeant warns us: 'The snakes are loose. Anybody can get them. I get 'em myself, but they're friends of mine.'  Taylor delivers a long, persuasive monologue about intolerance. In its initial years, film noir was usually about the unravelling of a tragic flaw. Now some directors were starting to look up, and out towards the world. 

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