Where The Sidewalk Ends details
|Starring:||Gary Merrill, Dana Andrews, Bert Freed, Gene Tierney|
Where The Sidewalk Ends
|Run time:||1 hour 31 minutes|
|Rental release:||29 Mar 2004|
|Hearing impaired subtitles:||English|
Most helpful review
On The Dark Side of The StreetBy Leon Collins from London , 22 Mar 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]A terrific noir thriller reuniting the director and stars of Laura; Otto Preminger, Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. In Laura, Preminger dealt with New York's corrupt upper class and in Where The Sidewalk Ends he takes us down its mean streets with hardboiled dialogue written by Ben Hecht. Mark Dixon (Andrews) is a brutal cop who accidentally kills a murder suspect and sets about an elaborate plan to implicate the mobster Scalise (Gary Merrill) but instead an innocent taxi driver is arrested. Superb performances (including an early role for Karl Malden as an ambitious police inspector) and atmospheric photography by Joseph LaShelle. Recommended.
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Film noir in black and whiteBy Zamy (552 reviews) from London , 14 May 2011This film has lots going for it. Very good acting all round, atmospheric noir photography, a hard boiled script from Ben Hecht, and sharp direction from Otto Preminger. It suffers a bit in my eyes from comparison with the best of Fritz Lang and Nicholas Ray but that is more of a personal preference than a criticism.
Classic noirBy a customer from London , 22 Jan 2011This has all the characteristics of classic film noir: moral ambiguity, a brooding atmosphere, and fine acting from the leads. Highly recommended.
Customer ReviewBy a customer from UK , 23 Jun 2008From the fantastic opening sequence in which the credits are scrawled graffiti-style on the sidewalk and the camera closes in on filthy rainwater rushing down the gutter, this movie employs a series of interesting and offbeat visual, structural and sonic devices to explore its themes of fate and corruption and to keep the viewer constantly surprised and challenged. Preminger's refusal to emotionally signpost the narrative with an intrusive musical score allows the crackling of police radios, the rattling of subway trains and the ambient traffic noise to form a kind of realistic soundtrack to the film. Absence of musical pointers also intensifes the moral ambiguity of the protagonist's actions. Long scenes (such as the beautifully taut sequence filmed beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in which Dana Andrews disposes of the body of Gene Tierney's estranged husband) take place in virtual silence, inviting us to construct our own moral perspective and to concentrate on the gorgeous deep-focus black and white photography. Structurally, too, Preminger keeps us on our toes. The scene which in any other film would be the climax of the action, involving an inevitable shoot-out and a quick resolution of the story's moral conflicts, is here omitted completely: we simply hear about it afterward. For some viewers this might be disconcerting, but its effect is to sustain the ambiguity to the end and to leave the destiny of the central character somewhat unresolved. It's as fitting and complex an ending as the studio system would allow to Ben Hecht's clever and twisty screenplay which piles cruel irony on top of cruel irony for Detective Dixon, "half cop, half killer" as the bad guy calls him, driven by a hatred for hoodlums which is exceeded only by hatred of himself. As the original vigilante cop, the grim-faced Dana Andrews brilliantly conveys this unstable brew of vicious anger and self-loathing. By contrast, Gene Tierney's role as the good-girl saviour of our shadowy hero is slightly trite. It's the most conventional thing about this challenging and intriguing movie. The restored print used on the BFI's DVD edition is immaculate.
Where The Action BeginsBy a customer from Glasgow , 28 May 2008Lots of punchy action and dialogue that hit the mark - what you'd expect from a quality film noir from this period and from this director. I dare say thast this film in particular seems to be a significant precusor to the 'unorthodox type cop' thriller that became popular 2 decades later, i.e. Dirty Harry and TV's The Sweeny. The main character has a great back story too which holds the plot together nicely, whilst keeping you guessing, and provides credibility for his actions right through to the dramatic end. Note to Lovefilm - not sure about why 'The Balcony' poster is tagged onto this title!
Solid and ambiguous film noirBy a customer from London , 14 Jan 2008This is an unusual noir in that, although it is common enough for the main character to walk very close to the line of what is morally acceptable, this is the only one I've seen where he clearly crosses it. Tough Cop Mark Dixon accidentally kills a suspect and rather than admit to the crime decides to cover it up with some unexpected and unpleasant consequences. The ambiguity in being asked to identify with the murderer (or at least manslaughterer) is what makes this film interesting. The main character is hard to like as he is unfriendly and ungrateful but he finally sets about righting the wrong he has committed.
The acting is good in this and it looks amazing like so many films in this genre. Well worth checking out in my opinion.