Watched: April 17 2017
Director: Rudolph Maté
Starring: Edmond O’Brien, Pamela Britton, Luther Adler
Runtime: 1h 23min
Frank Bigelow (O’Brien) has a problem. He has been murdered. However, he is still alive, waiting for the poison in his system to do its job. As any sane man would, he takes it upon himself to investigate his own murder, which leads him into a world of conspiracies, ruthless men and, of course, Dames.
As he starts to uncover the events leading up to the murder, he becomes gradually more desperate as his expiration date is fast approaching. For an accountant he’s a pretty good investigator and he soon starts to find connections between his own untimely death and the apparent suicide of another man.
D.O.A. is another suspenseful Noir thriller told in flashbacks, complete with leggy blondes (our hero’s favourites), psychopathic henchmen and shootouts. And a nice girl, Paula (Britton), waiting at home not being told a thing about her boyfriend’s impending doom. Men…
Our favourite scene was a musical one – Bigelow goes to “The Fisherman”, a jive bar with amazing live music and “jive heads” being enlightened by the musical frenzy.
It’s interesting to watch a man when he has (almost) nothing left to lose. Bigelow, an accountant in “real life” seems to become more alive in his last 48 hour of life than he has been up until this point, and he also gets his priorities straight regarding his girl.
Very tense, very thrilling, and very atmospheric, D.O.A. is definitely worth the watch. Excellent concept and an abundance of dames only add to the experience, and we recommend it to anyone interested in Film Noir. And/or decorative lampshades.
What we learned: Not everyone has the privilege of reporting or investigating their own murder. Also, ’50s dresses are the best dresses.
Next time: Gun Crazy (1950)
3 thoughts on “#97 D.O.A.”
Which release of D.O.A. has the highest quality transfer? The version I watched a few years back seemed like it was VHS quality.
We haven’t checked a lot. The one we watched is from a DVD box by Siren DVD simply called Film Noir Thrillers. It’s got Detour, The Fast and the Furious (1954 version) and D.O.A. Pretty good quality (better than VHS for sure) and reasonably priced. Bought it used through Amazon. Think it is from 2003.
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