Where the Sidewalk Ends - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Where the Sidewalk Ends Reviews

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½ March 15, 2016
Downbeat film noir with Dana Andrews as a corrupt cop, and Gene Tierney as the woman who loves him.
January 28, 2016
Reuniting the Andrews-Tierney sparks that flew so well with "Laura," another film noir with a fine performance by Dana Andrews as a tough, mixed emotion cop who commits a crime he can't admit to the woman he loves. Solid story-telling.
September 25, 2015
Andrews is quite menacing. One of his most memorable performances. Malden is impressive, too. Boris Trbic is a turd. This is a great drama. So many mid-Atlantic accents. "Mahk" Dixon.
August 26, 2015
Well, I'm pleased to say that Dana Andrews has yet to let me down with any of the Film Noir movies I've caught him in, and I'm happy to have crossed this one off the list.

Great stuff, recommended.
August 4, 2015
An engaging 50's crime drama, fine directing, acting, characters, and some good dialogue raise this above it's sometimes basic story.
September 19, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

(1950) Where The Sidewalk Ends

The entire rhythm of the movie was involving until it got to the end which was similar to "The Asphalt Jungle", "Seven Thieves" and "Odds Against Tomorrow"- you know, when the right thing has to happened- a common occurrence that used to happened in movies. And that it wasn't until like the "Italian Job" in 1969 which makers finally allowed the people who were doing the stealing to keep what they stole- sort of.

The movie stars Dana Andrews, and before I go on I've always liked Dana Andrews as an actor ever since I saw him in "Curse Of The Demon" since besides being naturally taller than the other actors, he also has a commanding presence, and it's not just his voice. In this movie, he plays Det. Mark Dixon and had just been given a warning from his superior for no more rough stuff toward thugs/ hoodlums he takes in since he has a reputation, and as a result the precinct where he works at got complaints for his uncontrollable behavior of assault. His precinct also happens to assign for a new lieutenant, by the name of Thomas (Karl Malden) who's in charge of a murder investigation of a crooked card game that's connected to a gangster named Scalise (Gary Merrill), a person Detective Dixon is obsessively trying to nab. On a routine order, Dixon and his partner, Det. Paul Klein (Bert Freed)is then ordered to get hold of 'a person of interest' by the name of Ken Paine (Craig Stevens) since he was there when the murder happened. Paine wasn't part of Scalise's cronies, but he was involved into the murder investigation since he was there. By the time Dixon came into his apartment while his partner searches some place else, Paine who was clearly drunk then assaults Dixon before he retaliates by punching him back and ends up killing Paine as a result. We later find out that Paine used to serve in the army, and apparently has a metal plate on his head which by the time his head hits the ground that was how he had died. Detective Dixon then tries to cover it up by pinning Paines death on Scalise. Will he succeed?

As a result of current questionable shooting deaths toward some African Americans by the police in the United States kind of makes this film and situation outdated, since viewers clearly can see what happened. And that it wasn't Dixon's fault if some drunk was trying to physically harm him first. Had the police pre-know and then pre-warn the officers about Paine getting that metal plate on his head beforehand before asking them to go and get him would not have got him killed in the first place, meaning that Dixon absolutely did nothing wrong. Out of all the actual stories we hear about in the news these days, this was nothing in comparison, since in this day age cops are shooting people in cold blood even when they don't even have a weapon on them.

It also happens to be the fifth and final film Dana Andrews starred with actress Gene Tierney, as well as Tierney's third and final film she worked with director Otto Preminger.

2.5 out of 4 stars
August 9, 2014
Terrific noir with commanding performances especially the 2 leads: Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney and very skilfully directed by Preminger. Highly recommended!
June 5, 2014
Hollywood moral code.
½ April 19, 2014
If you love Film Noir,you'll enjoy this
February 23, 2014
Well filmed noir with a great story. Well acted, written, and directed. You can really feel the room closing in on Dixon.
½ December 12, 2013
I never saw a man as full of hate as you.

Detective Mark Dixon had a troubled childhood being the son of a robber who was gunned down trying to break out of jail. Detective Dixon has tried to live a life for justice, bringing in those who would become like his father; but like his father, he has a bad temper. His temper leads to him going too far while fighting a crook and killing him. Can he frame other criminals for the murder or will he be found guilty of the heinous crime?

"I'll fix your head."
"I suggest you use an ax."

Otto Preminger, director of Laura, Anatomy of Murder, Exodus, The Man with the Golden Arm, Carmen Jones, A Royal Scandal, and Fallen Angel, delivers Where the Sidewalk Ends. The storyline for this picture is very unique and unpredictable. The characters are very well written and delivered and the acting was first rate. The cast includes Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Gary Merrill, Karl Malden, and Bert Feed.

"You want to see him for what he is, which is definitely a jerk."

I DVR'd this picture off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) because I have become a fan of Otto Preminger. He reminds me slightly of Hitchcock the way he delivery suspense in his thrillers. This is definitely not one of his best projects, but the dynamics between characters is interesting and the main character is very unpredictable. I would recommend watching this once if you're a fan of the classics but I wouldn't add it to my DVD collection.

"You let me go or I'll paste you."

Grade: B-
November 22, 2013
Fairly taut criminal exploits--Demons, Misfortunes & Redemption!!
½ May 18, 2013
This film noir by Otto Preminger is a wonderfully dark look into a man who is walking between cop and criminal. The fact that it was shot on location in New York greatly compliments its gritty realism. This is a classic noir, and a must see for fans of the style/genre.
December 28, 2012
Tough film noir that features the director (Otto Preminger) and stars (Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney) of the seminal "Laura." Dana Andrews is a hard boiled police detective who accidentally kills a suspect during an interrogation. He covers up his crime and events begin to go downhill from there for Andrews. This film is not the classic that "Laura" is, but it's a terrific example of film noir as a genre.
September 12, 2012
A masculine, brutal and ruthless noir with a bunch of sleazy characters that seem as unlikeable as the story is suspenseful. Dixon, a hot-headed detective is on a case that will be decisive of his career in the police force. After a horrible mistake and a dead body on his hands, he needs to cover up all the mess. Yet, where the sidewalk ends there is always a dark corner, one that won't let anyone escape from their past. Even though Dixon is a violent policeman with a mobster attitude, he still looks convincingly likable to the audience. A very atmospheric movie, with a few nice turns.
½ July 10, 2012
Preminger's last film for Fox is a sizzling noir that is paced perfectly and holds up incredibly well. Dana Andrews is stellar in the lead, a cop who can't escape his demons. The camera work on location in NYC adds a lot of authenticity but it is balanced with Preminger's delicate direction. There are some great twists in the script by Ben Hecht, though it is all a bit unbelievable. A gritty companion masterpiece to Preminger's "Laura".
½ July 3, 2012
Morgan Taylor: "I'll fix your head."
Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon: "I suggest you use an axe."
½ June 26, 2012
I'm surprised this isn't typically up there with the best film noir of all time. Preminger tells the story in a great way, but I also really enjoyed following Dixon's character. He's dark. Dixon tries to be good and wants to put the bad guys away, but instead he's violent and sloppy. I was worried with this being a less-talked about film noir that the issue would be that Dixon has these tendencies just to make the film more interesting. Nope. But I'll get to that later. Dixon has been demoted because of his recent shenanigans, but that doesn't stop him when a new murder occurs and he knows who did it. If he breaks the rules just once more he can prove that Scalise did it and lock him up once and for all. He makes his way over to Paine's apartment to see what he has to say about his buddy, Morrison, who had been stabbed earlier that night. The only problem is that Paine doesn't like cops. Dixon tries to get Paine to talk, but instead causes a fight. When he hits him in the head in self-defense he accidentally kills him. This could be the end of Dixon's career, so he tries to cover up his accident. It's actually a pretty smart coverup. He goes out dressed as Paine then takes a taxi, hoping the old woman downstairs will see him leave. Then when he doesn't come back she will be the alibi that he left and then he can fram Scalise for being able to whack him during that time. Only one problem: Paine died because of metal in his skull that was placed there after the war. They knew he died by an accidental punch in the head, not by drowning. Because of this they think that Morgan's father is the murderer for getting angry and punching him after he finds out that Paine beat his daughter. This isn't how Dixon wanted things to go. He has fallen in love with Morgan. In fact, he seems to find a new desire for life. This is when he accepts that his father was a thief back in the day and he doesn't have to be like him. I really enjoyed getting to slowly discover who Dixon was beneath his rough exterior. Sure he hates criminals, but why can't he just lock them away for their crimes? Why go out and beat them up and cause trouble? It's all due to his father. Then there's the undertones of regret from the war. Much of the film's about regret. Morgan's regret for even hanging around Paine after she knows he has turned drunk and violent. I found her father to be quite a sad character. He's a taxi driver, but he always tells stories of meeting famous people in his taxi, and when there was one exciting moment with a cop getting in his car and he drove him around it became the greatest moment of his life. He tells an exaggerated version of the story. He lives a simple life, so when he's framed for the murder you can't help but feel bad for the guy and understand Dixon puts himself on the line because of more than just love. The ending was a little too easy. He killed Paine, but Morgan's totally fine with it and says it was just a mistake. Sure, she hated the guy because of his violence, but there was also some kind of love there that was lost. He changed because of the war and she understands this, which is why she gives him chances. For her to be like "it's okay" was just ridiculous. That would be like Samuel Spade forgiving Brigid at the end of The Maltese Falcon. But that's not enough to ruin the film. Turn it off right after he decides to make the chief read his letter and you still have a really solid film.
May 1, 2012
Likeable Preminger noir, with an excellent Ben Hecht script, with great lines like: 'You look bunged up like a barrelhouse vag' Interesting queer villian and more moral ambiguities explored. Fairly well put together and some nice visuals, however Tierney is not at her best and Andrews is pretty unconvincing.
½ April 30, 2012
Great story with well thought out character development. The opening was a little lacking, evidently the show don't tell principle was not taken into consideration when Dixon is being chewed out for beating suspects. I also felt that ending on that up note was a bit of a cheat. I could understand Dixon surviving and having to fess up, but the implication that he'd get off with a slap on the wrists cheapens the impact of his decision. Besides, even if they don't get him for murder, it's at the very least manslaughter, criminal negligence, evidence tampering, obstruction of justice, and desecration of human remains. Plus being an ex cop he'd probably get shanked in holding
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