Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Parrish|
|Screenplay by||William Bowers|
|Story by||Jerome Cady|
|Cinematography||Joseph F. Biroc|
|Edited by||Bernard W. Burton|
Cry Danger is a 1951 film noir thriller shot in twenty-two days in Los Angeles. Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming co-starred. The film was directed by Robert Parrish, a former child star and later editor in his debut as a director.
Rocky Mulloy was sentenced to life in prison for a robbery and murder that he did not commit. He is released five years later when an "eyewitness", a one-legged ex-Marine named Delong, appears and provides a fake alibi. Delong wants a share of the missing loot: $100,000. Rocky insists he was not involved and sets out to find who framed him, hoping to free his friend Danny Morgan, still in prison for the same crime.
They go see Morgan's wife Nancy, a former love of Rocky's, who now lives in a trailer park. Police Lt. Gus Cobb tells Rocky he will be under 24-hour surveillance.
Rocky believes that bookie Louis Castro is the mastermind. He demands $50,000 at gunpoint. Castro only gives him $500 to bet on a longshot on a fixed horse race. Rocky collects $4000, but he soon finds out that the money is from a payroll robbery, gives it all back to the police, and is nearly arrested.
Later, two men shoot at Delong and his girlfriend Darlene near Rocky's rented trailer. Driving away to escape, they are shot at and crash. Delong is injured and Darlene is killed. Nancy realizes they were mistaken for Rocky and her. Rocky then plays Russian roulette with Castro, with the gun always pointed at the bookie, until Castro reveals where the robbery money is. He also claims Morgan participated in the robbery and committed the murder and that Nancy has his share. Rocky orders Castro to telephone Cobb and tell him he will make a full confession. Cobb instead calls his henchmen, the ones who killed Darlene. However, Rocky is not fooled. He calls Cobb himself, and the two killers walk into a police trap.
Then Rocky goes to see Nancy and tells her he could not find Castro. Nancy confesses she has the money. She says she loves him and begs him to run away together with the loot. Rocky pretends to agree, but leaves her for the law.
- Dick Powell as Rocky Mulloy
- Rhonda Fleming as Nancy Morgan
- Richard Erdman as Delong
- William Conrad as Louie Castro
- Regis Toomey as Detective Lt. Gus Cobb
- Jean Porter as Darlene LaVonne
- Jay Adler as Williams, Trailer Park Manager
- Joan Banks as Alice Fletcher
- Hy Averback as Harry, Bookie
The film was shot in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles. The "Crosley" Hotel, built as the Nugent, stood at 3rd and Grand. The Los Amigos bar was at 3rd and Olive. Clover Trailer Park was not in Bunker Hill, but was at 650-700 N. Hill Place in Chinatown. Also seen is "China City", a Chinese themed spinoff of LA's Olvera St,, no longer extant, 500 feet north of Olvera St on Alameda St.
When the film was first released, the staff at Variety magazine liked the film and said, "All the ingredients for a suspenseful melodrama are contained in Cry Danger...Robert Parrish, erstwhile film editor, makes a strong directorial bow.
Time Out's modern on-line magazine review says: "it's the kind of movie in which, told to expect someone extra for dinner, delicious Fleming smiles 'OK, I'll put more water in the soup'. With excellent support players like a young, thin (for him) William Conrad and Jay Adler, this is a fast, crisp and laconic delight."
Restoration and 2011 re-release
A restored version of the film was released in 2011. The film was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, in coöperation with Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros., funded by the Film Noir Foundation. The new print was made "from two 35mm acetate composite master positives."
- "Cry Danger: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 19, 2014.
- Cry Danger on IMDb.
- Variety. Film review, February 21, 1991, excerpted from original 1951 review. Last accessed: June 21, 2012.
- Time Out film review. Last accessed: November 27, 2009.
- Todd Wiener. "UCLA Film & Television Archive: Cry Danger (1951) Kiss tomorrow Goodbye (1950)". Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- "Recent Restorations: Treasures From The UCLA Festival Of Preservation » Cry Danger". Archived from the original on 2012-03-31. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
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