Monday, March 1, 2010

Cry Danger (1951)

Dir: Robert Parrish
SIFF Theater

Well I meant to finish writing about my festival experience some time ago, but stuff happens. So, I will pick up with the second night's opening film, Cry Danger. The screenings are brought to us via the Film Noir Foundation in an attempt to raise money so that they may restore prints of classic films that may otherwise be lost forever. Last year's festivals and donations went to bringing us this outstanding, well-paced indie produced by star Dick Powell and marked the directorial debut of Parrish, and it is well worth the money they spent. The only remaining film source was from Powell's personal 16mm print which they used to strike the 35mm one used at the exhibitions. Powell plays Rocky Mulloy, a man who is just let out of prison after serving five years for a crime he didn't commit. During his trial he kept stating that he was out drinking with a bunch of marines that were about to ship out, while the supposed crime he was involved with was taking place. Five years later a marine steps forward to corroborate his story and Mulloy is released back into the world. He is met by the arresting officer and his alibi, Delong (Richard Erdman at his sarcastic best). Once the copper tells Mulloy he'll be keeping an eye on him and takes his leave, Rocky turns to Delong and asks him who he is and what he wants. Delong is hoping that Rocky will split some of the stolen dough from the robbery with him since it was never found by the police. The two become fast friends and rent a trailer together to stay in while Rocky looks up the guy who frames him and a buddy's wife, his pal also went to prison on the robbery charge. He gets tangled up in some more trouble as he tries to get paid and clear his friend's name. Parrish was working with another script that was punched up by Bill Bowers that is smart, quick, and full of memorable dialog. It would be hard to choose, but I would say this was my favorite film from the ones I saw.
The Film Noir Foundation is doing great work to keep classic films alive, so I will mention their website in case anyone feels like supporting the cause.


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