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Total Count: 16


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,874
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Movie Info

A landmark Hollywood drama for its sharp look at the touchy subject of anti-Semitic attitudes in the U.S., Crossfire is set in a hotel just after the end of WW II and begins with the murder of a Jewish guest. The prime suspects are a trio of recently returned GIs, and a level-headed detective sets off to find which one of them (if not all of them) is guilty. Robert Ryan gives a fine performance in an underwritten role, but the film is otherwise visually static and somewhat pretentious, lacking a meaningful style and showing little depth. Despite its flaws, the film has some power and caused controversy. Because of the film's subtext of prejudice and anti-Semitism, filmmaker Edward Dmytryk became one of the first 10 Hollywood figures blacklisted by McCarthy's House Committee on Un-American Activities.

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Robert Young
as Capt. Finlay
Robert Mitchum
as Sgt. Peter Keeley
Robert Ryan
as Monty Montgomery
Gloria Grahame
as Ginny Tremaine
Paul Kelly
as The Man
Sam Levene
as Joseph Samuels
Jacqueline White
as Mary Mitchell
Steve Brodie
as Floyd Bowers
George Cooper
as Arthur Mitchell
Tom Keene
as Detective
Marlo Dwyer
as Miss Lewis/Miss White
Richard Powers
as Detective
Jay Norris
as Military Police
Robert Bray
as Military Police
George Turner
as Military Police
Don Cadell
as Military Police
Philip Morris
as Police Sergeant
Allan Ray
as Soldier
Bill Nind
as Waiter
George Meader
as Police Surgeon
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Critic Reviews for Crossfire

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

Audience Reviews for Crossfire

  • Apr 29, 2018
    I bought this socially conscious crime thriller based on the packaging and the actors. I had never heard of it, and that's a crying shame because this film deserves a wide audience, even today. It should be re-made with a more contemporary script because its message, regarding anti-Semitism and prejudice is more relevant than ever. Crossfire was adapted from the Richard Brooks novel The Brick Foxhole, in which the murder concerns a homosexual, whereas the film dropped the book's sub-theme of homophobia to focus on the more cinematically "acceptable" topic of anti-Semitism. That being said, I am surprised the original idea hasn't been filmed in the post-censorship era. I love the way the murder is filmed in shadows and thus the audience is "in the dark" as to the identity of the murderer until the climax. Although the killer's body language is instantly recognizable and the film has its characters drift to the same conclusion before the halfway point, the tension comes from proving it and saving the police's initial target, an innocent soldier. I could not imagine a better cast for the topic. I love Gloria Grahame in every noir she's been in, Mitchum is his usual laconic best, and Robert Young is the epitome of trustworthiness. It's tough seeing Robert Ryan, who I like in heroic roles, as the bigoted villain in this film. Crossfire didn't win any of the 5 Academy Awards for which it was nominated, which is a shame. Even though the similar Gentlemen's Agreement won Best Picture, Crossfire is superior due to its operating on two levels: an excellent murder mystery manhunt and a "message picture." Director Edward Dmytryk's stark, hard-hitting examination of a hate crime was way ahead of its time in 1947, and has lost neither its topicality nor its punch in the years since.
    Clintus M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 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.
    Cindy I Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 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.
    MJS M Super Reviewer

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