Deadline at Dawn - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Deadline at Dawn Reviews

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bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
This film I found as part of the Film Noir Collection Volume 5 which can be found on Amazon. I was blown away by not only the storyline but also the acting. Paul Lukas stole the stage when he appeared in this movie. Bill Williams plays the I'm from the country and don't know squat about life Sailor, who wakes up in a newsstand after a all night drunk with 1400 dollars in his pocket, he goes to return to the girl he took it from to find her dead. He meets a B Girl (Susan Hayward)m who gets tangled up in his story, they try to find the killer, as they do more and more people are weaved into this story. The ending will blow you away, as it did me. I will not give it away here. This is the most enjoyable film, worth every minute of your time, It comes as a Double with Backfire another go film. Can believe I'm giving a old B&W Film 5 Stars.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2008
Terrifically gritty noir. Susan, still a B actress at the time took a big step forward with this little gem, one of the great overlooked noirs. She's tough and no nonsense but caring. She also looks phenomenal considering she had given birth to twin boys just before making this. Bill Williams is just right as the naive gob and Paul Lukas adds great support as a cabbie who lends a helping hand. The film is also full of wonderful touches, Susan's snappy no-nonsense talk, the incidental characters the leads come across and the sets and set-ups of the shots with intriguing little details just randomly placed in the background. Well worth seeking out.
December 12, 2013
This was something I discovered via a recent TCM Film Noir spotlight, and while there's a few convenient plot twists, it's still a helluva lot of fun and worth a watch.

Rental?
½ August 11, 2013
A sailor on leave wakes up to find the woman he met is dead and can't remember what if anything he had to do with it. He's got to catch a bus at dawn or be declared AWOL (hence, the title of the film), and is afraid he will be implicated in the murder if he doesn't find the true killer before then. He teams up with a dance hall hostess played by Susan Hayward and, a philosophical cab driver played by Paul Lukas and sets out into the New York midnight to solve the mystery.

Standard film noir. Bill Williams' act as a na´ve goofball was an unflattering portrayal of a U.S. sailor at the end of WWII although Hayward and Lukas excelled in their roles and saved the movie.
½ September 1, 2010
An odd little murder mystery. A naive sailor enlists a dancehall girl to help track down the killer of a woman he barely knew... and the killer might be himself. The film has an unusual pace and tone to it, almost wistfully philosophical at times. The quest for answers becomes a journey through New York misery, as nearly everyone they encounter has some kind of trouble of their own. The script by Clifford Odets (whose talents were an immeasurable asset to Clash By Night and Sweet Smell of Success) is loaded with idiosyncratic little gems... like the way the cabbie keeps saying "statistics tell us...". There's also a very sly, tongue-in-cheek reference to It's A Wonderful Life, in which Al Bridge (who played the sherriff in IAWL) says something like "you're headed for a grave in Potter's Field". Susan Hayward and Paul Lukas both have compelling screen presence, but Bill Williams lays on the golly-gee innocence a little too thick for my tastes. I'm not really sure what to make of this movie, to be honest. It's not so out there that I would call it "weird", but it definitely has a different flavor to it. It's not great, but it's interesting.
August 8, 2015
Okay little noir about Susan Hayward helping naive wide eyed sailor Paul Lukas clear his name when he's suspected of murder. It's a nicely shot little noir and has some good moments of suspense and action, but the the story seemed a bit muddled. Written by respected playwright Clifford Odets during his time slumming it as a Hollywood screenwriter, adapting a Cornell Woolrigh story. This was the lone theatrical film by director Harold Clurman, who was a respected stage director.
June 19, 2014
Low-budget whodunit although you wouldn't notice this as it has a pace to it and a fair mix of interesting enough characters in a semi-gritty New York setting.
March 9, 2014
The story isn't especially profound, but it's propelled by snappy dialogue, well-drawn characters, and terrific acting from Susan Hayward and Bill Williams.
December 12, 2013
This was something I discovered via a recent TCM Film Noir spotlight, and while there's a few convenient plot twists, it's still a helluva lot of fun and worth a watch.

Rental?
½ August 11, 2013
A sailor on leave wakes up to find the woman he met is dead and can't remember what if anything he had to do with it. He's got to catch a bus at dawn or be declared AWOL (hence, the title of the film), and is afraid he will be implicated in the murder if he doesn't find the true killer before then. He teams up with a dance hall hostess played by Susan Hayward and, a philosophical cab driver played by Paul Lukas and sets out into the New York midnight to solve the mystery.

Standard film noir. Bill Williams' act as a na´ve goofball was an unflattering portrayal of a U.S. sailor at the end of WWII although Hayward and Lukas excelled in their roles and saved the movie.
October 14, 2012
I really enjoyed this film noir saga. I doubt today's movie producers could remake this film successfully. Acted well, by all. Good work RKO.
½ March 25, 2012
In New York City (or a dreamt up version of the same) between midnight and 6 AM, a naive young sailor on shore leave stumbles into trouble. Jaded dancehall girl Susan Hayward decides to help him and they merrily cruise Manhattan (in cabs) looking for a killer. Noir yes, but not quite as dark as it could be -- more a detective yarn with a surprise ending. The script by Odets isn't as ripping as some of his others but it puts this above the typical guff.
July 4, 2011
"Now suppose we stick to the text."
"The what?"
She points at the body of the dead woman on the floor. "The text."

And it's not the last time the body will be referred to as "the text." What was Clifford Odets thinking? Who knows? Who cares? (1946? It was probably code! Unless he'd just read Foucault. Waitaminnit. Is dat even possible?) What we do know is he had loads of rip-roaring fun. This low-budget noir is one twisty cab ride, with dialogue as rich as earrings, and plenty of philosophical cabbies to boot! A rare bird with a knockout punch and dazzling wit, and loads of self-referrential cleverness. Enough for a paper, so get on it you academics. In the end I'm just happy to watch Susan Hayward bounce around in that black dress in the New York heat, all in love with a simple sailor boy, trying to rescue her baby from the long arm of the law. After all, innocence must be preserved. The most fun we've had watching a noir in a long time, and an easy one to cast modern: think Wahlberg as the babe in arms, and Pacino as the stiff dame's criminal brother. They're dead ringers, I tell ya!
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
This film I found as part of the Film Noir Collection Volume 5 which can be found on Amazon. I was blown away by not only the storyline but also the acting. Paul Lukas stole the stage when he appeared in this movie. Bill Williams plays the I'm from the country and don't know squat about life Sailor, who wakes up in a newsstand after a all night drunk with 1400 dollars in his pocket, he goes to return to the girl he took it from to find her dead. He meets a B Girl (Susan Hayward)m who gets tangled up in his story, they try to find the killer, as they do more and more people are weaved into this story. The ending will blow you away, as it did me. I will not give it away here. This is the most enjoyable film, worth every minute of your time, It comes as a Double with Backfire another go film. Can believe I'm giving a old B&W Film 5 Stars.
February 8, 2011
Snappy Clifford Odets dialogue, typically great Nicholas Musuraca cinematography, and cute dance-hall girl Susan Hayward distinguish this 1946 RKO noir, which spins around RKO's New York street sets on the backs of a twisty murder mystery and a handful of breakneck cabs.
½ September 1, 2010
An odd little murder mystery. A naive sailor enlists a dancehall girl to help track down the killer of a woman he barely knew... and the killer might be himself. The film has an unusual pace and tone to it, almost wistfully philosophical at times. The quest for answers becomes a journey through New York misery, as nearly everyone they encounter has some kind of trouble of their own. The script by Clifford Odets (whose talents were an immeasurable asset to Clash By Night and Sweet Smell of Success) is loaded with idiosyncratic little gems... like the way the cabbie keeps saying "statistics tell us...". There's also a very sly, tongue-in-cheek reference to It's A Wonderful Life, in which Al Bridge (who played the sherriff in IAWL) says something like "you're headed for a grave in Potter's Field". Susan Hayward and Paul Lukas both have compelling screen presence, but Bill Williams lays on the golly-gee innocence a little too thick for my tastes. I'm not really sure what to make of this movie, to be honest. It's not so out there that I would call it "weird", but it definitely has a different flavor to it. It's not great, but it's interesting.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2008
Terrifically gritty noir. Susan, still a B actress at the time took a big step forward with this little gem, one of the great overlooked noirs. She's tough and no nonsense but caring. She also looks phenomenal considering she had given birth to twin boys just before making this. Bill Williams is just right as the naive gob and Paul Lukas adds great support as a cabbie who lends a helping hand. The film is also full of wonderful touches, Susan's snappy no-nonsense talk, the incidental characters the leads come across and the sets and set-ups of the shots with intriguing little details just randomly placed in the background. Well worth seeking out.
July 2, 2010
good noir drama from the first cycle of film noir
February 2, 2010
A fairly strong entry in the noir cannon. I'd have given it 4 stars were it not for some downright clunky dialogue courtesy of Clifford Odets.
June 21, 2008
a good, b movie film noir. susan hayward is smoldering. of course, she is always smoldering. she is just plain hot. yeah, decent noir
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