Sunday, May 20, 2012

D.O.A. (1950) - Rudolph Maté

Beware the "luminous iridium" next time you're offered a drink. Also, beware of director Rudolph Maté. He has a tendency to pepper an otherwise serious noir with out-of-nowhere cartoon wolf whistles and boner boings. Despite some unfortunate sound design choices, D.O.A.'s central conceit is so strong, so noir-to-its-core you can't help but succumb to its toxic effects. A man with mere hours to live must track down the guy who poisoned him in a bar the night before. Can you get a more scintillating logline than that? (Insert studio exec boner boing!). Or how about the opening lines when Edmond O'Brien walks into the police station: "I want to report a murder." Police captain: "Whose murder?" O'Brien: "Mine." Beginnings don't come much better. Neither do psychotic henchman. This guy below (Neville Brand) is definitely worth a spot in the Flunkie Hall of Fame.

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