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Crack-Up


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Product Details

  • Actors: Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor, Herbert Marshall, Ray Collins, Wallace Ford
  • Directors: Irving Reis
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0043RMOYQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,016 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

After a train wreck sends art critic George Steele (Pat O'Brien) into a mental tailspin, he's fired from his job at a New York art museum. Seems unjust - until you learn there was no train wreck. This relentless, nervy film noir explores the sinister world of violence and the monied world of aesthetics as Steele's attempt to reconstruct what really happened leads him to murder, mania and an international conspiracy that threatens the museum's masterpieces. Herbert Marshall (Foreign Correspondent, The Letter) joins the hunt as a mysterious Brit who's awfully chummy with the cops. And noir great Claire Trevor (Murder, My Sweet; Key Largo) plays Steele's sweetheart, a savvy journalist who may know more a lot more than she's telling.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
50%
4 star
38%
3 star
0%
2 star
13%
1 star
0%
See all 8 customer reviews
For film noir fans, a good addition to your collection.
Duke64
Some wonderful special effects like the first train crash which leaves O'Brien bewildered.
Dr. Ronald Schwartz
Yes, it's a dull muddled film noir, but it has some other things going for it.
Kevin Killian

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fitzherbert Farnsworth on April 7, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first time I saw this film noir, I found it really circuitous and hard to follow. Maybe I was just sleepy. Upon viewing it again, I easily followed it and thought it just recondite enough! The setting is the world of fine art masterpieces. Why would a trustworthy longtime employee/art lecturer suddenly enter the gallery one night after closing seemingly raving and out of his mind - run amok? The unravelling of this mystery is well done and involves the wonderful "nightmarish" chiaroscuro lighting and camera angles that are typical of Noir and takes place mainly at night. There are some great scenes on the old trains that were common travel for folks in the '40's. Always love to see those.
Pat O'Brien, Claire Trevor and George Brent all acquit themselves admirably in this little gem. I was happy to see the DVD available and made haste to add it to my Noir collection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on March 19, 2006
Format: VHS Tape
Yes, it's a dull muddled film noir, but it has some other things going for it. It has a very sophisticated take on art and bohemia, and if you get the hots for luggy men this is the movie for you. The visuals are really nice, the train and the dock sequences are calibrated nicely. Claire Trevor is outstanding throughout, although perhaps one should have doubted her true blue loyalty at some point, maybe her portrayal wasn't finely shaded enough to allow that little sliver of doubt in, that might have made all the difference. But although Pat O'Brien evidently believes that she is in cahoots with the plotters who are trying to frame him for Stevenson's murder, we the audience never do, not really. We see that she is deep in the confidence of the character played so somnolently by one-legged Herbert Marshall, and we don't understand until the end that he isn't actually who he seems to be, and yet such is Claire Trevor's all American appeal that we trust our instincts with her. She may not have much depth as an actress but what she does have, other more highly trained actresses would love to switch and take.

I love her wardrobe too; although disappointingly enough as the movie goes on it gets more prosaic. But her first scenes show her in an evening gown with jewels draped all over her neck, then they seem to swing up and catch hold of the entire fabric of the the gown, so that she's wearing an entire artillery belt around her decolletage. Then she puts on a jacket or something that exactly resembles the sexy military garb Janet Jackson marched around with in the dance videos from CONTROL.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Bala TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 25, 2012
Format: DVD
Pat O'Brien sure had his dander up back in the day. In the 1930s he was an unshutuppable firecracker, this fast-talking wise guy. He was one of the rare few who could share screentime with James Cagney and not wilt in the shadows. But in this deft 1946 noir mystery, Pat O'Brien tones down the brash act. CRACK-UP, if you're curious, is based on Fredric Brown's short story "Madman's Holiday." I never read it. Didn't hurt my enjoyment of the film.

Pat O'Brien steps outside his comfort zone. Instead of a street-savvy operator, he plays an art expert named George Steele who, as the film opens, seems to have tied one on too many. We eyeball him as he crashes thru the museum's glass door and assaults a police officer. Later and having regained a measure of lucidity, George insists that he had just survived a train wreck, except that a bit of checking informs the police and the museum staff that there hadn't been at all a train wreck. Somewhere around this point, George begins to explain the events that had led up to this moment. The film obligingly veers into an extended flashback sequence.

During the flashback, we're made privy to a few things. We learn that the museum director doesn't approve of how Steele conducts his lectures in the art gallery. He deems Steele's style to be too revolutionary and too comic. This is how the narrative salts away a possible motivation for a deep-seated grudge on Steele's part. We're introduced to Claire Trevor's character who seems to have an understanding with our pal, never mind that she's about to step out with a visiting Brit (Herbert Marshall) for dinner. Anyway, somewhen along here, George Steele gets some bad news over the phone about his mother. He skedadles to catch the train. And that's us caught up to the present.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For film noir fans, a good addition to your collection.
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