With 1947's Desperate, a disturbing, noirish twist on traditional moral values, responsibility, and guilt, director Anthony Mann entered the ranks of class-A directors, though he'd still have to spend a few more years in "B" pictures. In his first important role, Steve Brodie plays newlywed trucker Steve Randall, who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time during a fur robbery. Kidnapping Steve, the criminals, led by Walt Radak (Raymond Burr), threaten to mutilate Mrs. Randall (Audrey Long) unless Steve confesses to a murder committed by Radak's brother during the theft. Pretending to play along with the villains, Steve manages to escape with his wife in tow. The rest of the film is a prolonged chase, with the Randalls pursued by both the crooks and the cops. A surprise ending caps this film noir mini-classic, which is best appreciated when not seen in its computer-colorized version. … More
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Critic Reviews for Desperate
The story is standard urban crime stuff, but the director throws in a treasure trove of flourishes.
Audience Reviews for Desperate
Desperate starts off as a hokey enough and paint-by-numbers film noir thriller about a good guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. The story's straightforward and frankly, its not exactly something you haven't seen before. But what makes Desperate a bit better is director Anthony Mann's direction and the way he takes a reasonably lukewarm story then builds and builds--right up to a fantastic stairway climax worthy of the Film Noir Hall of Fame. A must see for fans of Mann (especially when you see glimpses of what would later become some of the greatest westerns ever that he would later make), that final scene aside, not so much for fans of noir. Consider it a small part of a bigger potato chip at the bottom of the bag when you've already eaten all the greater ones--you don't necessarily regret taking it in but it won't be the one you remember the bag for...More
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