D.O.A. (1950)




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Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien), a certified public accountant, goes on vacation in San Francisco. Awakening after a night of drinking, Frank feels sick and is informed by a doctor that he is suffering from "iridium" poisoning and has only a few days to live. Determined to find his killer, and aided by his secretary and fiancé Paula (Pamela Britton), Frank traces a shipment of iridium which he notarized to Los Angeles. Arriving in Los Angeles, Frank finds the killers, and, after a thrilling chase, kills them, later telling his story to the police. Told entirely in flashbacks -- with the unusual perspective of a murder victim functioning as his own detective, combined with the arbitrary nature of the motive and the circumstances leading to his poisoning -- D.O.A. is an unusually cynical, memorable film. Directed by Rudolph Mate, the film is fast-paced and suspenseful. The use of jazz music, combined with intense close-ups of the musicians, adds to the chaotic, claustrophobic feeling of the film. Edmond O'Brien is excellent as an ordinary man doomed by circumstance and trapped in a nightmare world.
Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Beverly Garland
as Miss Foster
Jerry Paris
as Bell Hop
Edmond O'Brien
as Frank Bigelow
Pamela Britton
as Paula Gibson
Frank Gerstle
as Dr. MacDonald
Neville Brand
as Chester
Lawrence Dobkin
as Dr. Schaefer
William Ching
as Holliday
Laurette Luez
as Marla Rakubian
Beverly Campbell
as Miss Foster
Henry Hart
as Stanley Philips
Virginia Lee
as Jeanie
Lynne Baggett
as Mrs. Philips
Fred Jaquet
as Dr. Matson
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Critic Reviews for D.O.A.

All Critics (21)

...an underwhelming thriller that could and should have fared so much better.

Full Review… | October 27, 2015
Reel Film Reviews

[VIDEO ESSAY] A high-concept movie before there was such a thing, "D.O.A." foreshadowed the poisoning of (possibly) Yasser Arafat and (definitely) Alexander Litvinenko - via polonium-210 - by a half-century.

Full Review… | April 27, 2014

Sweltering Borgesian fantasy

Full Review… | February 4, 2010

Apesar de determinados elementos que não envelheceram bem (como as referências na trilha às paqueras do herói), tem uma premissa fascinante que consegue gerar boa dose de suspense.

June 5, 2007
Cinema em Cena

Rudolph Maté's seminal thriller rapidly decomposes into a campy, confusing bore.

Full Review… | May 1, 2006
Slant Magazine

It stands as one of the finest of the post-war B thrillers.

Full Review… | April 8, 2005

Audience Reviews for D.O.A.


"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.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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!

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

An extremely exciting, suspenseful movie, a really good movie.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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