Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joseph Lerner|
|Produced by||Irving Lerner
|Screenplay by||Berne Giler|
|Narrated by||Dean Jagger|
|Music by||Gail Kubik|
|Edited by||Geraldine Lerner|
Laurel Films Production
|Distributed by||Film Classics|
C-Man is a 1949 American quasi-semidocumentary crime film noir directed by Joseph Lerner featuring Dean Jagger, John Carradine, Lottie Elwen and Rene Paul. Gail Kubik based his Pulitzer Prize winning Symphony Concertante on his score for C-Man.
U.S. Customs Department Agent Cliff Holden's (Dean Jagger) childhood best friend and boss is murdered while chasing down jewel thieves. He's assigned to find the thieves and solve the murder. The plan is for him to fly to Europe, then catch the same return flight suspect Matty Royal (Rene Paul) will be taking.
- Dean Jagger as Cliff Holden, alias William Harrah
- John Carradine as Doc Spencer
- Lottie Elwen as Kathe van Bourne
- Rene Paul as Matty Royal
- Walter Vaughan as Customs Inspector Brandon
- Adelaide Klein as Minnie Hoffman
- Edith Atwater as Lydia Brundage
- Harry Landers as Owney Shor
- Jean Ellyn as Birdie Alton
- Walter Brooke as Joe
The film critic for the New York Times, panned the film when it was first released, writing, "According to yesterday's newcomer at the Rialto, C-Man, the Treasury Department's typical customs agent is a suave, amiable sleuth who takes knives, pistols and slugging in stride and roguishly admits that it's all in a day's work. Well and good, but we'll wager that most C-Men are a lot smarter than Dean Jagger ... Miss Elwen and newcomer Harry Landers, a juvenile Richard Widmark, try hard, but most of the actors perk up only at the prospect of another chase. And in view of the material they had to work with, the Treasury Department will probably forgive them."
Recently, film critic Dennis Schwartz gave the film a mixed review. He wrote, "A lively crime fighting programmer featuring a Custom Agent tracking down a jewel thief and a murderer. It was good on the action part, but there was not much brain-work put into the story and no feel for the characters. It was a routine B-film done on a modest budget in a quasi-documentary style and in a flat black-and-white tone, with nothing much to recommend it except for its atmospheric treatment of New York City and by using authentic locations ... The film didn't make much sense, but it was watchable."
- C-Man on IMDb.
- Helm, Everett. The Quarterly of Film Radio and Television, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Spring, 1955), pp. 263, University of California Press via JSTOR. Accessed: July 20, 2013.
- The New York Times. Film review, May 28, 1949. Accessed: July 20, 2013.
- Schwartz. Ozus' World Movie Reviews, January 1, 2002. Accessed: July 20, 2013.