Cry Danger 1951
Dick Powell shines in this mid cycle film noir. Powell has just gotten out of prison after doing 5 years of a life sentence for a 100 grand armed robbery. He says he was framed and wants to get even.
This film noir is a true gem with some of the best use of location shooting in the genre. The acting, from the top to the bottom of the cast is first rate. The look of the film is also top flight, with cinematographer, Joseph Biroc, supplying director Robert Parrish with a nice assortment of blacks and greys. Add all this to a screenplay from noir veteran, William Bowers, and we have a genuine classic.
The cast includes, Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman, Regis Toomey, Jean Porter, William Conrad, Jay Adler and Gloria Saunders.
Dick Powell He is very good as the less than pleased man just out of prison, who is trying to clear his name. His role features some great back and forth with fellow cast members, William Conrad and Richard Erdman. He is not quite as innocent as he claims. Powell shows he can be a hard man when the need arises. This is, in my humble opinion, his best noir role.
Richard Erdman Erdman also hands in an excellent performance as the alibi who arranged for Powell to be sprung from prison. His motive is that he figures Powell still has the 100 large hidden somewhere. He would like a slice.
Rhonda Fleming Fleming plays the wife of Powell's friend who was also sent up the river over the robbery. Powell and Fleming had been an item before her wedding to Powell's buddy. Fleming has the most difficult role in the film as she is playing both sides of the street. She was in on the robbery, though Powell does not know this.
William Conrad Conrad is a hoot here as the bookie who had arranged the robbery that started the mess. He is less than amused that Powell is out and after him. He spends the film setting up another frame job so Powell well get sent back to prison. When that fails, he sends killers out to whack Powell.
Regis Toomey - Toomey made a career out of playing world weary Police detectives etc. Toomey is not sure if Powell is guilty or was framed. He watches from a distance as Powell hunts down the swine he believes set him up.
Jean Porter- B-starlet, Porter sparkles here as the perky blonde bimbo with a penchant for picking pockets. She has some snappy lines with Richard Erdman before she gets killed in a botched hit on Powell.
Gloria Saunders Though only on screen for a couple of minutes, Saunders has a very effective bit in Conrad's new frame attempt of Powell. Some might recall her as "The Dragon Lady" on television's TERRY AND THE PIRATES.
Jay Adler Long-time bit player Adler, takes full advantage of his small amount of screen time as the slimy owner of the trailer park where a lot of the film takes place.
This one is well worth a watch. There is more than enough snappy dialogue and violence here. Plus the added bonus of the wonderful use of LA's old Bunker Hill district as the film's backdrop.
Dick Powell MURDER MY SWEET, CORNERED, JOHNNY O'CLOCK, PITFALL, ROUGES' REGIMENT, TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, SPLIT SECOND. The last film was as a director.
Richard Erdman DANGER SIGNAL, SHADOW OF A WOMAN, NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, THE BLUE GARDENIA. Most will recall him from his bit in STALAG 17
William Conrad THE KILLERS, BODY AND SOUL, SORRY WRONG NUMBER, TENSION, ONE WAY STREET, DIAL 1119, CRY OF THE HUNTED. He also starred as Frank Cannon in the long running P.I. series, CANNON. He was very much in demand as a narrator for various show. His voice can be heard on many Quinn-Martin productions.
Rhonda Fleming - WHEN STRANGERS MARRY, SPELLBOUND, THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE, OUT OF THE PAST, INFERNO, THE KILLER IS LOOSE, WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS, SLIGHTLY SCARLET,
Regis Toomey PHANTOM LADY, SPELLBOUND, STRANGE ILLUSION, THE BIG SLEEP, THE GUILTY, THE BIG FIX, HIGH TIDE, I WOULDN'T BE IN YOUR SHOES, UNDERCOVER GIRL, THE HUMAN JUNGLE.
Jay Adler THE UNDERWORLD STORY, THE MOB, SCANDAL SHEET, THE TURNING POINT, VICE SQUAD, THE LONG WAIT, 99 RIVER STREET, DOWN THREE DARK STREET, MURDER IS MY BEAT, THE BIG COMBO, ILLEGAL, SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, CRIME OF PASSION, THE KILLING
Robert Parrish Twice Oscar nominated and one time winner, Parrish, was involved with, SHOOT FIRST and THE MOB as a director. As a film editor, he worked on, CAUGHT, A DOUBLE LIFE and BODY AND SOUL, which he won the Oscar for.
Joseph Biroc Two time nominated and one time Oscar winning cinematographer, Biroc, worked on, ROUGHSHOD, LOAN SHARK, WITHOUT WARNING, THE GLASS WALL, VICE SQUAD, WORLD FOR RANSOM, NIGHTMARE and THE GARMENT JUNGLE. His most famous films are likely, HUSH, HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
William Bowers The prolific Bowers was also nominated for Oscars twice. His work includes the story or screenplay for, THE WEB, LARCENY, ABANDONED, CONVICTED, THE MOB, SPLIT SECOND, TIGHT SPOT as well as un-credited work on PITFALL and CRISS CROSS.
Cry Danger is a must see for the film noir fan.