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Crossfire Reviews

Page 1 of 5

Super Reviewer

November 30, 2007
When a Jewish man is beaten to death in a hate crime, police detective Robert Young finds his suspicions as to the culprit difficult to prove. Although it has many of the visual trappings of Film Noir, Crossfire is more of an examination of prejudice and its repercussions in society. The crux of the film is Young's "hate is a gun" speech that highlights the dangers of blind hatred, and as such it's a very well meaning as well as well written film. Young gives a solid performance as the sardonic cop, as does Robert Mitchum as a soldier caught up in events although his dominating presence is a little too thin on the ground. The ever reliable Gloria Grahame also appears as a bitter vamp and Paul Kelly is an interesting supporting character but it's Robert Ryan's show all the way whose chilling portrayal of a racist psychopath was nominated for an Oscar. Perhaps lacking a focal character, Crossfire is still a very interesting and thoughtful detective story with a timeless message.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2009
A man is found beaten to death in his apartment. The last people he was seen with were four soliders. One of them did it, but which one? Robert Young as a police detective, in a better performance than I would normally expect out of him, wants to find out. Even though it's pretty obvious who the killer is early on, I won't give it away here. This film about prejudice and Anti-Semitism should remind all of us how dangerous intolerance like that can be if taken to the extreme.

Super Reviewer

June 25, 2008
A social commentary that pretends to be a murder mystery. Crossfire's main purpose is explaining prejudice or hatred of somebody just because they are a member of a certain group. For that emphasis, it's a very interesting movie and sets it apart from most films in its' time, but its minor storyline is more compelling.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2006
It's not quite noir but Robert Ryan as an anti-semetic psycho is worth the viewing
John B

Super Reviewer

July 18, 2013
Another of the great film noirs of the period and also one of the earliest to take on anti-semitism. Roberts Young and Mitchum are tremendous.

Super Reviewer

July 5, 2008
Clearly antisemitism was a major issue in 1947, as two of the five Best Picture nominees from that year were explicitly about the subject. This and Gentleman's Agreement are both preachy but this is clearly the lesser of the two. A boring, uninspired military mystery about investigating a hate crime against a Jewish officer. Admittedly, audiences in the late forties probably needed a less subtle message than we do today. Still this just felt like an after school special. The whole thing made a little more sense when I checked the wikipedia page and learned that in the book this was based on the victim was not Jewish, but a homosexual. The production code made them change it, if they stuck with the original story this would have been a much more interesting movie than it is.
April 13, 2008
This picture is to slow and not very creative. The acting solid but not exceptional and the movie felt like it was telling you the story instead of pulling you in to live it. It does let a few punches go, but that is only to allow for the films over bearing message.
May 25, 2007
A bit dated and talky for my likes. Although it is one of the first films to deal with racism (anti-Semitism), it is a bit clunky.
January 4, 2014
Crossfire is an incredible film. It is about man who is murdered, apparently by one of a group of soldiers just out of the army. Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, and Robert Ryan give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written. Edward Dmytryk did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama.
July 8, 2013
Classic oldie. A detective story which centers on army buddies recently back from the war - and the possibility that one of them may have brought the callousness of war back with them. Mr. Ryan had actually met the book's author while in the army - and asked to play the bad guy when a studio made the movie. Well played! Recommended for soldiers, or inmates, trying to blend back into society.
May 18, 2013
Crossfire is more of a message film with some noir visuals than a true noir, despite this it remains a good film. Ryan's performance is the highlight.
September 9, 2012
While remaining a B-grade noir worth seeing, Crossfire is more than just another black-and-white tale about gangsters and the battles that they fight. It's one of the most compelling takes on the problem of anti-semitism in the post-war America. And even though the investigation might sometimes seem a bit childish and uneven, the message that's hidden in the storyline is as fresh as it's been more than 60 years ago.
February 1, 2012
Crossfire's daring address of anti-semitism and racial bigotry in post WWII America makes it one of the most important film of it's time. The "Sugar Pill" narrative might distract the modern audience but one must not over look this film's diligently disguised yet incredibly insightful social commentary.
Adrian B.
January 20, 2012
Often engaging film noir finds three Roberts (Ryan, Mitchum, and Young) embroiled in a murder mystery. A group of soldiers come into town and one ends up dead. A police officer (Mitchum) involved in the case tries to clear one of the soldiers, to whom is a friend of his, by retrieving a witness (Gloria Grahame), who is a sultry prostitute. Meanwhile, the investigator (Young) is concerned that one of the soldiers (Ryan) is behind the murder due to his strange behaviour. Not as good as other film noirs, but still intriguing enough for a watch. Grahame and Ryan have the best performances of the cast. It is a shame, though, this good, not great, film noir was one of the few nominated for Best Picture, while other great ones from the 1940's, such as "The Third Man," "Notorious," "The Big Sleep," and "Shadow of Doubt" to name a few, were not.
October 5, 2011
crazy nick... crazy, crazy nick.
August 18, 2011
Good movie! When a Jew is found beaten to death, a hard-boiled detective (Young) is determined to figure out who the killer is. The biggest suspect is bullying bigot Monty (Ryan), and a mysterious witness named Ginny (Grahame), and though not certain, the detective is determined to find who committed the crime. This was one of the first anti- semitism movies besides "Gentlemen's Agreement" which came the same year. Though "Gentlemen's Agreement" is great because it focuses so much on the controversial subject, "Crossfire" is more memorable because the plot is intertwined with my favorite genre-- film noir. This movie had to be changed because the book it was based on had the victim be a homosexual, and because the censors were so strong then, determined director Edward Dmytryk wanted to have a memorable movie. Good thing he made the switch. This movie alone isn't wonderful all together, but when you focus things bit by bit, it's very impressive. The camera-man at the time was over 70, and was hired to do what he did best-- film noir. He used different lenses to capture the characters (especially Monty) emotions and personality. It was a smart move because I know for me cinematography is something I pay close attention to as well as other film buffs, and thankfully, this is one of the best. The actors portrayals are wonderful here, everyone was casted perfectly. Robert Ryan definitely earned his Oscar nomination, and his bullying persona for this movie was probably what he was most known for. Though not listed on this website, Gloria Grahame was also nominated for best actress as her role as femme fatale Ginny Tremaine, and she rightfully deserved it. I didn't know what chops she had! Though "Crossfire" might not be as good as its reputation, it's still a short, fun movie to see, so get it over with and put it at the top of your queue.
Dave J
June 30, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011

(1947) Crossfire

Definitely outdated which centers on the Robert Ryan character whose just got out of the army for a temporaily leave but is really an anti- semite who thinks he could get away with murdering another person of different ethnicity! Unrelevent message which can work better as a 45 minute spoof for cable!

2 out of 4
April 30, 2011
Boring, but with a positive message rare for the time.
Blind Pariah
November 10, 2010
A solid noir that leaves the viewer wondering how much stronger it could have been had it adhered to its original script.

From the special features one learns that the original idea was to have a homophobic murder, but the standards and practices of the day edited it to an anti-semitic theme.

As such, we have undercurrents suggesting of gay relations, but the characters react to one being Jewish, and there really isn't anything to back it up.

I'm not suggesting that there should have been some Jewish stereotypes included to offset this uneven tone. What is missing is the impetus that drives one character to murder. It would have been much stronger and impacting if they stayed with the original theme, especially for its day, but given the times of McCarthyism it is understood why RKO was so gun shy.

Aside from that we are shown good acting performance and the story moves along at an engaging pace.
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