Crossfire

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mrsl
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Crossfire

Post by mrsl »

I 'searched' for a thread about this movie but was put into House of Noir, and of course was kicked off my computer, so if there is another thread, I apologize for this.

First if I ever met RO, I would ask him if he knew any stories about names used during the filming of this movie. I wonder if they used nicknames, last names, or 'hey you', or like Bob, Bobby, and Rob, or Young, MItch, and Ryan. It must have been fun.

This time around, I tore my eyes away from Mitchum and watched Young. All three Roberts did excellent work on this little movie, and I doubt if any of them got any special recognition for it. R. Young as the sharp, but acting dumb, detective made me smile at times. You could see his mind working with every answer from each subject being questioned, and I liked his assessment of Mitchum off the bat as totally unrelated, but in charge of the whole thing. ie. the guy in charge on and off the field of battle. Young's relaxed attitude really threw the suspects off, and I laughed at the way he practically napped during his questioning of some of them. The way he lounges in his desk chair, you almost want to say 'sit up!'

Finally R. Ryan's meltdown was a treasure to see. He ran the whole gambit from innocent me, to angry me, to threatening me, to why me, and finally to raging innocent me. I wonder how many takes it took?

Since the first time I saw it, I've rarely missed revisiting. Naturally Mitch is my favorite, but all three Roberts' are at their very top form in this one.

Anne
Anne


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MissGoddess
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Re: Crossfire

Post by MissGoddess »

They really are great in this, the whole cast in fact. I always liked especially Gloria
Grahame's small part, and how much she made of every second on the screen. Every
cell of her body seemed to scream "I've been ROOKED by life!" Poor baby. It was a nice
touch when, in the police station where several of the key players were gathered in
Young's office and Mitchum explained about "Ginny"---in the background, center, you
could see a blonde seated, and she looked vaguely like Ginny---but it turns out to
be MItchell's wife, who he told Ginny she reminded him of. That was cool how they
did that, I never noticed before how you almost are led to believe that's Ginny sitting
there, reinforcing how similar they are, at least in Mitchell's eyes and in importance
to his fate.

What I like about Young's cop is he's very realistic to me. I've only known a few of them,
but they were a lot like him. Tired, rumpled, extremely low key, always asking questions
but not in an obvious way. I'd say it's one of the best depictions of a police detective I've
seen of that period.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
-- Will Rogers
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CineMaven
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Re: Crossfire

Post by CineMaven »

MrsL. I post here a post I posted in TCM City back on May 18, 2008 where I talk of "Crossfire." I've edited this slightly becuz my audience here is different. The original post is a tad raucous. I won't name names, but talking to two dyed-in-the-wool Grahame guys is different than conducting myself as a lady here at the Oasis.

"CROSSFIRE" (1947) Robert Young, Robert Ryan and Robert Mitchum, directed by Edward Dymytryk.

The blare of a trumpet and an out of focus shot coming into focus announces the appearance of Gloria Grahame as Ginny. For some reason her as Ginny reminds me of a young Joan Blondell. Grahame plays a dance hall girl (to put it politely). And the young soldier the police is searching for ends up here. Mitchell, the soldier (played wonderfully earnest and sensitively by George Cooper, who I've got to imdb) could have been a soldier coming home in "The Best Years of Our Lives." He's a soldier having a hard time adjusting. Clearly, he just needs a pretty girl to talk to. Grahame could be that pretty girl-next-door with her delicate features and shoulder-length hair softly cascading onto her shoulders.

But she's not.

She doesn't readily have a sympathetic ear. It's all about the cash. It probably usually is with the men she meets in this place. He hooks up with her. They talk. She bitingly tells him she knows she reminds him of the "girl he left behind." He forthrightly tells her she does remind him of his wife. (You just know she?s already heard every line a guy could throw). She thinks that's a rotten thing for him to say. She leaves him at the bar and goes out back to the garden patio.

Gloria's angry and hurt. She's hurt because she's no one's wife; hurt because being a dance hall girl probably ruined her chances of ever becoming anyone?s wife. As she says: "I've been working for a long time."

She finds him corny. She dances with him...close. Very close. Her arms are around him; she looks him squarely in the eyes when they dance. Slowly, softly, tentatively she puts her cheek next to his; her body is pressed up against his. We can see her letting her guard down. The hard, cynical edge she?s hidden behind to protect her is now melting. She finds him corny but it?s probably because she misses what she never had...one guy, one steady guy to love her. Oh no doubt, she's probably had lots of guys. But one steady guy, I doubt. She's letting him in. And you get the feeling other guys didn't get that much from her even if they did get her in bed. There's something about this soldier.

She invites the soldier to her place. She wants to cook for him. She gets to play house but in a different way. She gives the soldier a key to her apartment. Director Dymytryk chooses to use a very long dissolve from her face to her apartment building. We linger on the close-up image of her face.

The next time we see Gloria she's changed into a robe. And she's cold and hard as the soldier's wife and detective Robert Young are at her door. They want to see if she can serve as an alibi to the soldier's whereabouts, but she is unwilling to help. Why? The soldier was sweet and gentle and didn't want to use her. What's turned Gloria against him to not want to help?

Well, she could be sore that he wasn't there when she came back to her apartment. She could be upset that the soldier's wife is now at her door. She could be sad and hurt at the realization that she'll never get a decent break with a guy...for hearth and home. She is all those things. No one could play sad, hurt & defiant in one fell swoop like Gloria Grahame. We see her catch a glimpse of what she could have had: welcoming home her soldier with dancing, dinner and a sweet homecoming. But alas that was not to be.

And who DOES she have? She has a crazy old coot of a lover/husband, played sympathetically by character actor Paul Kelly; probably a shell-shocked vet from the Great War; a crazy old coot who loves her and who she still lets in after sending him away. I thought in Gloria's small part in this murder mystery, she did a wonderful job as the girl-left-behind. So many guys probably "sat under the apple tree" with the likes of Gloria. Ohhh, not that she let anybody in that she didn't want. Doing it for the money just isn't the same thing. Because you get the idea that for Gloria, she does things on HER terms.

She did a lot with this small but pivotal role. In fact, I can't think of another actress who could show pain and hurt and vulnerability and hardness and sexiness all done simultaneously besides Gloria Grahame. "Crossfire" was a good post-war noir film. All three Bobs (Young, Ryan & Mitchum) were well-cast,(Ryan- his usual chilling self) and George Cooper was wonderful as the soldier.

But Gloria Grahame...just adds that lovely piquant edge of cold sarcasm softened by her sexy vulnerability. She's a wonderful addition to this classic motion picture.
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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ken123
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Re: Crossfire

Post by ken123 »

The DVD commentary on Crossfire tells the listener that once the FBI caught wind that in this film Marines, in uniform, committed a crime that FBI agents were on the films set every day . The director edward Dmytryk and Producer Adrian Scott were later blacklisted. :(
RedRiver
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Re: Crossfire

Post by RedRiver »

I watched this movie again recently. A good film, to be sure. Not one of my very favorite crime stories, though. The cast is wonderful, especially Ryan. Was Robert Ryan ever anything less? And that Gloria! She could bite off the smallest part and turn it into something unforgetable. Maybe she even relied on the tightly contained format of a supporting role. Found something in it she didn't see in "leading lady."

I'm not sure I like knowing so early on who the killer is. Unlike James M. Cain's classic murder stories, CROSSFIRE doesn't draw it's impact from the gradual crumbling of the guilty parties. It's as much, if not more, about the other players in the drama. It might have been more effective if all were suspect, or innocent, in the eyes of the viewer.

This is a fine detective story. I, also, admire Robert Young's work as the policeman. The social message is effective even now; probably more so than at the time of release. A little too effective? I guess not. But it pulls the movie in a different direction. It becomes a little less about crime and detection, more about the moral lesson.

I'm a fan of CROSSFIRE. These are minor criticisms. Merely the reasons I call this a good film noir, not a fantastic one.
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JackFavell
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Re: Crossfire

Post by JackFavell »

I think I'm with you, Red, as far as knowing who the murderer is, but it doesn't really lack for suspense.

The cast is just awesome and that's what keeps me watching all the way through.
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Vienna
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Re: Crossfire

Post by Vienna »

Thanks for all the interesting comments on this excellent film. The three Roberts are so good, especially Ryan who is just perfect in this sort of part. Definitely Oscar worthy.
Robert Young was the big surprise - as everyone says, he played the detective so well, with the cool detachment that reminds me of Dana Andrews in LAURA.
Not a great stretch for Bob Mitchum who is very good as always. Gloria Grahame so good too.
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mrsl
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Re: Crossfire

Post by mrsl »

.

Crossfire:

I watched this one again this a.m. and thoroughly enjoyed it as much as I did the last time I saw it. The three Roberts all bring something really special to their roles. I won't go into any of it since Cinemaven did a marvelous job of it in her post. The one thing I would like to know though is what they did about the names of the actors. It's petty I know, but it had to be the most confusing set of any time. "Robert, do this, no not you, the other Robert, no not him, that Robert, the other one, yeah you". Can't you imagine the craziness?

I'm not that big a fan of noir, except of course when Mitchum's in it, but this is one of my umpteen viewing type of movies.


Anne


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RedRiver
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Re: Crossfire

Post by RedRiver »

Robert Mitchum and noir are like hand and glove.
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Rita Hayworth
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Re: Crossfire

Post by Rita Hayworth »

Was this movie was on TCM recently? ... If it was ... I will shoot myself in the foot for not seeing it. I will be :x :( at the same time!
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mrsl
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Re: Crossfire

Post by mrsl »

.
Well Buddy, get your pistoleros out because it was on just yesterday morning at about 3:30 a.m. which is why I DVR'd it and watched it later. I always check TCM and the Western channel before I go to bed to see if anything is being played in the wee early morning hours.
.
Anne


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