Where the Sidewalk Ends - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Where the Sidewalk Ends Reviews

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March 6, 2012
Mark Dixon is a brutal police detective who despises all criminals. One night while questioning a suspect he is attacked, but when he retaliates with a punch to the face, he kills the man. Given his past record, Mark decides to cover up the murder and the ensuing events is what Where the Sidewalk Ends is all about. Throughout most of the film it seems like Preminger himself is unsure as to whether Dixon is in fact a good man at heart. There are lots of small little anecdotes along the narrative informing the viewer about different aspects of what makes Mark Dixon the man he is. You have the diner waitress, who is extremely saucy with mark, but clearly likes him for saving her from an abusive husband. You have his colleague, Bert Freed's wife, who complains behind closed doors about how terrible of a person Mark is. Even later on, Dixon himself provides one as he talks about his father, a street thug which Dixon proclaims he spend his entire life trying to be anything like. The film wants Dixon to wallow in his guilt, with brooding dark skylines and scenes which tease at the notion of Dixon being seen (the train stopping above him). Having On Deadly Ground so fresh in my mind I can't help to compare the two films. While I do think Ray's film is more of an emotional journey through a man's soul, Preminger's is a calculated narrative which through subtle nuisances does create an interesting study of the fine line between cop and criminal.
February 17, 2012
Craig Stevens is quite a character, and the police procedural turned inside-out here does a number on your sympathies and expectations. Preminger lingers, and you wish he'd lingered more in some of these set-ups, but conscience has a way of mucking up the storyline. Once upon a time this was a source of drama. Dirty Harry changed all that.
February 12, 2012
A little-known gem of a noir, this benefits from being told in a straightforward linear fashion. Andrews is slightly reminiscent of Cagney and the fight scenes are well done. The 87mins playing time fairly flew by.
½ September 3, 2011
Dana Andrews excels at playing the kind of morally compromised character featured here (see his films with Fritz Lang or the great Night of the Demon for Tourneur). True to noir tradition, he is partly fingered by fate and partly by his own bad judgment. As a cop trying to escape the shadow of his (dead) criminal father, he's got a lot of internal tension going on. Preminger keeps it gritty.
½ August 18, 2011
Yes! When usually violent Detective Mark Dixon (Andrews) accidentally kills a suspect while solving a murder case, he does everything to cover it up, especially from the victim's separated wife Morgan (Tierney), when her father is accused of the killing. He spins a web to keep anyone from knowing-- will he fess up or will he get away with it? "Where the Sidewalk Ends" was something I really wanted to see after watching Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in the famous 1944 classic "Laura" and thank goodness-- this one lived up to my expectations. Complicated plots are something I like to see in film noir, and luckily, this is one of them. As the web of lies Mark Dixon created gets bigger, Andrews' performance just gets better and better, as well as Tierney, who immediately becomes emotional when her father is sentenced for the crime. The cool little score for this movie emphasizes the realness of this movie, and how unpredictable life can become. "Where the Sidewalk Ends" is one of the best Fox Film Noirs, and anyone who loved "Laura" will really like this.
½ June 20, 2011
Hecht/Preminger Fox Noir, reteaming the director with his "Laura" stars, Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney, with Andrews as a sullen, violent detective with a bent on taking down a slippery gangster (Gary Merrill), that proves endlessly difficult.
Super Reviewer
March 20, 2011
I know that there is no such thing as the 'perfect film', but I it's hard to imagine how they could have made this one any better. The only thing that comes to mind is fixing Gene Tierney's annoying overbite. Maybe.
March 18, 2011
Schrader classifies this as a post-hard boiled psychological noir, but I think it's more like an early noir. In fact, the Lang/Edward G. Robison noirs are better psychological dramas than Sidewalk. I guess that's because Otto Preminger, though talented, is basically the poor man's Fritz Lang.
½ March 16, 2011
a cop - mark dixon- with a history of roughing people up gets himself caught up in a web of deceit and lies when he accidently kills a suspect by punching him. his cover up leads police to accuse an innocent man and dixon tries to lead and mislead the investigators.

a solid film noir.
½ February 17, 2011
Brooding story that explores the mindset of a hard-man detective with past and present regrets. Like most good noir films, we're not sure whether we should be rooting for him or not and I was pulled along to the finale as a result. My disappointment coming at the end, when he chooses to do the 'right' thing.
½ February 14, 2011
Dana Andrews in one of his best performances. Gene Tierney also delivers in this crime classic.
½ February 12, 2011
A very good film noir drama with what seems a straight forward story but has a twist in it. Then turns into a story of conscience and a bit of revenge thrown in. The film itself is easy to follow and the story is quick. There is the odd bit of violence within the film but they are all restricted to fisticuffs. However these are quite realistic and one fight scene is particularly good. It is more of a film about violence rather than a film with violence.

The only bad aspect of the film is that it takes too long to introduce the story before it gets into the main story. The other aspect is in regards to one aspect of the story the end result is not clear.

Dana Andrews has the right persona for the cold emotionless detective and would not be surprised if the role was written for him to play. Gene Tierney's acting is average meaning that any actress could have done her role equally as well.

Overall a good, easy to follow drama with a bit of a twist. Not much action but a fast moving story. It just seems to take a little too long to get into the story The acting is generally quite good too.
Super Reviewer
October 26, 2010
A good ole Black and White Police Drama, this one is about a Detective who is been warned about roughing up his suspects, while questioning one the fight and he kills him, so he tries his best to cover it up, which only leads to others being wrongfully blamed. The story then unfolds as he tries to make all the wrongs fall into place. A movie ahead f its time. 4 stars.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2010
A brilliant story, part of the film noir left over from the 40s, and starring two famous noir actors: Tierney and Andrews. I loved this movie.
½ August 28, 2010
If you make me googlemapstreetview NYC, then you've already gotten me engaged. Dana Andrews is a friend of mine too.
August 15, 2010
An interesting plotline that was probably ahead of its time in regards to seeing how a mistake can lead to corruption. A borderline corrupt cop in a fit of rage accidentally kills a murder suspect then tries to pin the murder on another murderer. The cop figures, hey, he's wanted for several other crimes, why not one more? Sounds like something you'd hear on a Law & Order episode, only there are no black or latino drug dealers to pin the crime on this time. As the cop's decision to put the blame off on another criminal blows up in his face, the plot takes off and is rather interesting for a 1950s film. The intro to this movie was really stupid (the guy walking over the chalk on the sidewalk, yippeee), but other than that was a very enjoyable movie to watch...if you can handle the uber-cliched 1950s copper dialogue. Take that with Immodium.
½ July 29, 2010
A compulsive watch. Script is so tight and sharp I was immediately drawn in. As great as Laura (maybe better?) and a cut above Whirlpool.
½ April 7, 2010
Dana Andrews is a too tough cop with a chip on his shoulder in this pretty good noir. Things take a turn for the worse when Andrews gets a little too rough with a suspect, who ends up dead. The story twists and turns as our tough cop tries to cover up his dirty deeds while taking down a sleazy mobster. It gets even more complicated when the dead guy's gorgeous, estranged wife, played by Gene Tierney, shows up. Not really great, but a pretty good flick.
½ March 31, 2010
Not the darkest of noirs but it satisfyingly ticks a lot of melodramatic boxes.
March 6, 2010
A classic suspense noir about an out-of-control detective played by Dana Andrews, who accidentally kills a robbery suspect while trying to get some information out of him, then falls in love with the man's widow played by Gene Tierney. Great writing by Ben Hecht and direction by Otto Preminger. Andrews plays one of the classic examples of the noir hero plagued by self-doubt amidst a decadent society, whose path to redemption creates the central focus of the suspense, a theme well-supported by the visual style of this film.
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