D.O.A. Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 27, 2013
"I want to report a murder." "Who was murdered?" "I was." One of the great "grabber" openings in movie history doesn't disappoint, leading to a tense and fatalistic noir about a poisoned accountant searching for his own killer.
Super Reviewer
January 21, 2009
Frank Bigelow is an accountant living on borrowed time. Someone has slipped luminous toxin into his bourbon and now he has just a few days to solve his own murder. D.O.A. is over-acted, over-scripted and under-appreciated. An absolute delight!
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
An extremely exciting, suspenseful movie, a really good movie.
Super Reviewer
½ January 5, 2007
Directed by a cinematographer, and it shows. One of the best looking noirs filmed in high contrast black and white, and Edmond O'Brien is interestingly cast out of his usual whiter than white type. The only blemish is the bizarre use of a comedy flute noise every time he encounters a member of the opposite sex, which as you can imagine, does not sit very well with the otherwise grimly dark atmosphere. A great concept, well executed, and far better than the gimmicky remake.
Super Reviewer
November 2, 2006
It's always fun to watch a character with nothing left to lose in action.
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2012
Age has done a real number on it, but "D.O.A." still stands as one of the great B noirs. Edmond O'Brien is pitch-perfect as Frank Bigelow, a man put up to the dubious task of solving his own murder. The plot is expertly messy and unravels in a fun yet ingenious way and the acting is top-notch. Even if it isn't pretty to look at it, "D.O.A." is solid entertainment.
Super Reviewer
November 22, 2008
A film with a classically great hook: a man who has solved his own murder. The film doesn't really take off until the second act, but when it does, it really gets moving. In many ways, this film is grandfather to the modern action picture, which wound up borrowing a lot of its techniques. While the film is somewhat cheesy and occasionally overacted (especially in the "wolf-whistles" that accompany the passing of every attractive woman, definitely one the film's lowest attributes), its style and its great combination of hook and ending makes this a film noir classic. Recommended.
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2008
One of the best Film Noir movies ever made.
½ April 5, 2014
This Film Noir is about on a mission to find a murderer, his own! Frank Bigelow is poisoned and has only a few days to live, so he races against time to track down his own murderer and find out why. Fast paced and fun, kind of goofy, but with some great Noir cinematography. O'Brien is fine in the lead, most of the supporting cast ranges from stiff to silly, but it is a fun ride in spite of the shortcomings.
December 8, 2011
Great premise, but a plot that isn't nearly as interesting in its intricacies, although I was a little surprised at the ending. I know a lot of the great noirs were made on the cheap with B level talent, but I wish a stronger screen presence was given to the movie than Edmond O'Brien.
August 19, 2012
D.O.A. is one of the most underrated crime thrillers ever written. This 1950 film, written by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene is considered by some to be little more than a B-flick. But in a weird way, it manages to keep its audience's attention from beginning to end. And in comparison to its 1988 re-make starring Dennis Quaid, is far better. As with so many movies of that era, it didn't rely on special effects, violence and sex. It relied on good acting and storytelling. And through that, it was a success.

The story behind D.O.A. is, as noted, simple. CPA Frank Bigelow goes on a little vacation to San Francisco. While there, he is poisoned one night by an unknown assailant while spending an evening at a bar. As a result, he is left with very little time to live. So he has to find out who poisoned him and why. How and why this happens will keep viewers watching throughout the movie's near ninety-minute run time. The oddity of this movie is that in a strange way, one can't help but make some slight comparisons to the likes of the 1998 Will Smith/Gene Hackman movie, Enemy of the State. The story and action style are very similar. Odds are, there likely is no link between the two, stylistically. But it makes for an interesting discussion. Both have that standard ordinary guy gets unwittingly wrapped up in a big conspiracy, with fast paced action results. The only difference is the story.

D.O.A. sadly is not one of the most memorable crime thrillers ever written. Sure it isn't the top notch style movie that others have been over the years. But audiences must remember that B-movies are classic in their own right, too. Some of them are awful. That's a given. But then some, like this movie, aren't that bad, actually. Any viewer who has any interest in the history of crime thrillers and dramas will easily find this movie a nice addition to their library. And thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment's brand new 100Greatest Mystery Classics side-by side double box set, it can be watched any time, along with loads of other classic B-flicks.
March 6, 2010
good & interesting & suspenseful about a murder plot & solving the case... Edmond O'Brien was fantastic...
½ December 31, 2009
A very original and fascinating story - the first scene of the film is a classic. It's tense and exciting, wonderfully acted by Edmond O'Brien. Remade with Dennis Quaid and it's not up to this classic. Great pace.
½ March 20, 2009
Classics like this deserve the title. And I?m amazed that they let a movie like this get made back in its time. It is an early pure concept movie that I guess movies like Crank pay homage to, but really shouldn?t be linked unless by the unrefined like me. Plus, I love San Francisco movies, just to rep the hometown.

This movie is a great suspense and mystery movie that rolls through with reckless abandon, like the protagonist, and doesn?t let up. It has great situations where you can?t help but root for the dead guy. And how it plays out the relationship(s) of the movies are great and depraved, in only a way a murder mystery should be. Perfect classic and genre genesis.
December 8, 2008
The original idea based on the crime noir novels of the 1940s, premised in a man who has hours to live, to solve his own murder by slow toxin. The 50s version doesn't rely on special effects because they didn't have them yet. The story also seems more in line with the Cold War of the time, as follow ups and remakes really didn't have that intense paranoia carrying them. Worth having in your collection of classics.
½ May 10, 2007
All film noirs should have a scene where the main character looks at a girls butt accompanied by a slide whistle sound effect.
December 3, 2006
Why the fuck did they make a movie called "Crank" that was based off of this epic hard boiled Noir. Thats like pissin' on the bible if ya ask me.
September 15, 2006
The original classic that inspired one direct remake and a truckload of unofficial ones (an episode of "Tales from the Crypt," Crank, etc.)
½ November 9, 2014
Fabulous twist makes this a must see!
September 11, 2014
I like it when a film isn't afraid to punish the innocent & throw perfectly nice people under the bus . In this classic noir an ordinary man is consumed in a web of lies when upon being poisoned realizes he has just 24 hours to solve his own murder
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