D.O.A. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

D.O.A. Reviews

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½ August 10, 2017
It's really pulpy and kinda silly at times, but it's really well paced and suspenseful.
½ November 11, 2016
Some interesting stuff in this film noir.
½ August 16, 2016
Edmond O'Brien is one of my favourite actors of the period, and if you need any startling evidence of why, just check out his performance here in Rudolph Mate's heartily original noir-shocker, 'D.O.A.'. Another great reason to check the film out, the Polish-born director, made a smooth transition from being a great cinematographer, and this is probably his most shining triumph helming a picture.

If you have ever wondered why 'film noir' has been considered such a consistently rewarding and enthralling body of cinematic work, like the earlier 'Pre-Code' era, check this one out, and others of its ilk. A sheerly delightful film that holds up well today.

Though I haven't checked its 80's remake out, I'm not too curious about it, other than the slight curiosity from its notoriety of it being the film in which Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan met and eventually decided to marry. Other than that, I'm more than content simply watching this.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2016
Rulolph Mate' gripping original film noir about a small town accountant named Frank Bigelow, played brilliantly by Edmond O'Brien, who is desperately trying to find who has given him a lethal dose of "luminous toxin," a slow-acting poison that affects the vital organs and has no known antidote. Bigelow embarks on a harrowing odyssey trying to find out why this was done, and find his own murderer. Astute direction by Mate, with solid supporting performances by Pamela Britton, Luther Adler, Beverly Campbell, and Lynn Baggett. Special kudos must go to Neville Brand for his superb scene-stealing performance as a psychotic thug. Inventively photographed by Ernest Laszlo, with a memorable score by Dimitri Tiomkin. Highly Recommended.
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
May 24, 2014
This is a fun little film noir - not the best film noir out there, but certainly a unique one. The premise follows an accountant (Edmond O'Brien) who unexpectedly discovers that he's been poisoned and only has a couple of days to live. He frantically runs around San Francisco and later Los Angeles, trying to piece together the rather complicated mystery of who would want him murdered and why. There are a few really memorable shots and sequences in this movie, but the middle section kind of drags, with too much expository dialogue. There's also this weird slide-whistle sound used early in the film whenever the main character sees an attractive woman, and it's honestly one of the most bafflingly out-of-place elements I've ever encountered in any otherwise decent film. Also, the DVD I saw it on did not have a particularly good restoration, so the film wasn't as visually impressive for me as it should have been.
May 5, 2014
Great late night noir.
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.
April 3, 2014
Great plot! A man tells homicide detectives of his own murder - by poisoning! The plot has lots if good twists and turns, and a creepy as hell bad guy named Chester! Classic noir! And I liked seeing San Francisco in the old days! The Fisherman? Was there ever such a club? Good movie!
April 3, 2014
This film is a classic example of Noir at it finest. Enough said!
March 24, 2014
This is the original crank (2006)! This was a pretty cool movie that does a lot with this clever premise. It gets a little convoluted and its hard to remember everyones name but you still get the idea. Other then the INCREDIBLY CORNY wolf whistle sound effect every time a certain attractive lady is shown this movie holds up pretty well.
March 2, 2014
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.
½ November 11, 2013
Great hook, which pretty much stands up despite its sometimes inventive, sometimes hokey delivery.
½ August 29, 2013
Good noir with an unusual plot. I liked the way the film starts slow and picks up speed as it goes along. O'Brien is very good.
June 29, 2013
A completely implausible, loony, incoherent 'classic'. It is indeed entertaining and moody, but a laugher - to be honest.
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.
May 23, 2013
Despite some very distractingly silly moments, DOA stills keeps the viewer engaged with some pleasing cinematography (in particular the Beatnik club, elaborate Broadway exteriors and the the legendary Bradbury building). Campy dialogue, head scratching plot elements and some questionable sexual politics don't seem to derail the frantic joyride, in fact they add a certain unique quality often missing in other dead serious noirs.
January 24, 2013
An accountant on vacation gets a dose of lethal, slow acting poison that gives him enough time to investigate and look for the man responsible for his inevitable demise. From the chilling opening shot to the inevitable demise of the lead character, thanks to a refreshingly intelligent premise that never shifts into campy territory regardless of its B movie outlook, this film is one of the best lower budget noirs of its time.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2012
Shocking! Film-noirs back in the 40s and early 50s touched different themes but this one imposes very daring questions to the viewer: What would you do if you knew your days are counted? To what extremes would you take your own actions knowing that you would not suffer a lot from the consequences anymore? What does it take to stop being afraid from death? There's one word that best suits this underrated crime flick: exciting!

For the record, that Chester character was one notoriously sadistic and psychopathic motherfucker.

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