Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Deadline at Dawn (1946)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Deadline at Dawn Photos

Movie Info

Deadline at Dawn represented not only the sole film directorial effort of Broadway's Harold Clurman, but also the only cinematic collaboration between Clurman and his former Group Theatre associate, screenwriter Clifford Odets. While on shore leave in New York, sailor Alex (Bill Williams) is slipped a doped-up drink by B-girl Edna (Lola Lane). When he awakens, Alex discovers that she has been murdered. Though he believes that he's the killer, our hero is talked into locating the actual miscreant by philosophical cab driver gus (Paul Lukas) and nightclub dancer June (Susan Hayward). Adapted from a novel by Cornell Woolrich, Deadline at Dawn leans towards pretentiousness at times, but is redeemed by the no-nonsense performance by Susan Hayward.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
RKO Pictures


Bill Williams
as Alex Winkley
Susan Hayward
as June Goth
Paul Lukas
as Gus Hoffman
Joseph Calleia
as Val Bartelli
Osa Massen
as Helen Robinson
Lola Lane
as Edna Bartelli
Jerome Cowan
as Lester Brady
Marvin Miller
as Sleepy Parsons
Roman Bohnen
as Collarless Man
Steven Geray
as Man with Gloves
Joe Sawyer
as Babe Dooley
Constance Worth
as Mrs. Raymond
Joseph Crehan
as Lt. Kane
Jason Robards Sr.
as Policeman
Joan Barton
as One-legged Man
Sammy Blum
as Sam, Taxi Driver
Emory Parnell
as Capt. Bender
Lee Phelps
as Philosophical Policeman
Larry McGrath
as Whispering Man
Connie Conrad
as Mrs. Bender
Carl Faulkner
as Policeman Drawing Diagram
Dorothy Curtis
as Giddy Woman
Mike Pat Donovan
as Sweating Trickster
Fred Aldrich
as Beefy Guest
John Ince
as Elderly Sleeper
Billy Wayne
as Billy White
Jack Kenney
as Headwaiter
Edmund Glover
as Taxi Driver
Al Eben
as Taxi Driver
Betty Gillette
as Woman With Dog
Annelle Hayes
as Society Woman
Larry Wheat
as Derelict
Myrna Dell
as Hatcheck Girl
Edward Gargan
as Bouncer
Florence Pepper
as Dancing Girl
Lawrence Wheat
as Derelict
Dorothy Granger
as Ticket Girl
Eddy Chandler
as Policeman
Philip Morris
as Policeman
Philip Warren
as Jerry Robinson
Phil Warren
as Jerry Robinson
John Elliott
as Sleepy Man
Louis Quince
as Markey
Alan Ward
as Yerkes
Dick Rush
as Policeman
Earl Hodgins
as Barker
Armand "Curly" Wright
as Fruit Peddler
John Barton
as One-legged Man
Al Bridge
as Detective Smiley
Earle Hodgins
as Barker
Virginia Farmer
as Janitress
Alan Bridge
as Detective Smiley
Ralph Dunn
as Capt. Dill
Jack Cheatham
as Policeman
Frank Meredith
as Policeman
Roger Creed
as Policeman
Jerry Frank
as Waiter
Tom Quinn
as Counterman
Peter Breck
as Counterman
Jack Daley
as Snoring Man
Eddie Hart
as Policeman
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Critic Reviews for Deadline at Dawn

All Critics (2)

... a film of shadows and secrets and moments of street poetry.

Full Review… | August 11, 2010
Parallax View

Though enjoyable by virtue of its distorted mise-en-scene, affection for NYC characters and its misplaced dialogue, this is not art but run-of-the-mill film noir.

Full Review… | November 10, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Deadline at Dawn

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?

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant

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 naïve 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.

John Tandlich
John Tandlich

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.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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