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Dead Reckoning

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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lizabeth Scott, Morris Carnovsky, Charles Cane, William Prince
  • Directors: John Cromwell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELD1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,189 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead Reckoning" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award(r) winner Humphrey Bogart is at his best as a hardboiled sleuth in this '40s film noir classic. In one of his most exciting roles, the inimitable Bogie plays Rip Murdock, an ex-G.I. trying to find out who framed his pal Johnny for murder--and then rubbed him out! Tracing his war buddy'sshadowy past leads Rip to Coral Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), who was once Johnny's sweetheart. Now she's a chanteuse in a nightclub run by a brutal gangster, Martinelli (Morris Carnovsky). Rip gets a taste of the beautiful blonde's seductive charms and soon finds himself ensnared in a twisted web of deceit and danger. Is Coral an innocent thrush - or is she a predatory siren leading Bogie to the DEAD RECKONING?


The shadow of World War II falls over this stateside film noir thriller about a GI paratrooper (Humphrey Bogart) who trails his AWOL war buddy to a treacherous city populated by gamblers, goons, pug cops, and the smoky, suspicious Lizabeth Scott, a seductive femme who may be fatale. Bogie's tight lipped, war hardened intensity dominates the B roster of supporting actors (Morris Carnovsky as a finicky nightclub owner with a gambling sideline, Marvin Miller as his brutal baby-faced thug) and the plot echoes with elements of earlier Bogie classics The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon recast on a low budget. Scott is, for all her fog-voiced sultriness, no Lauren Bacall, but her mannered performance is appropriately ambiguous and the film's cynical edge, ruthless desperation, and tarnished view of small-time hoodlums with big dreams casts a darker shadow unique to Hollywood's postwar funk. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Krause takes Murdock back to his hotel, where the police meet them.
Acute Observer
If any other actor were speaking this dialogue it might evoke laughter if not confusion, yet Humphrey Bogart makes it work.
The rest of the supporting cast is really good, and the plot moves along crisply.
Michael B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 29, 2005
Format: DVD
"Dead Reckoning" is a story told half in flashback by Captain Rip Murdock (Humphrey Bogart), a paratrooper just returned from combat in World War II. In the Southern town of Gulf City, Murdock is beaten up and on the run. Eluding his pursuers, he enters a church and tells his story to a priest so that, whatever may come, someone will know: A few days before, Murdock and a paratrooper under his command, Sergeant Johnny Drake (William Prince), were whisked home from Paris and put on a train to Washington, D.C., where Sgt. Drake was to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. But Drake took off while the train was stopped, and Murdock set out to find him. He followed Drake to Gulf City, where he discovered that Drake was a fugitive before he enlisted, having confessed to the murder of his girlfriend's husband. Murdock finds the girlfriend, Coral Chandler (Lizabeth Scott), in a nightclub owned by a man named Martinelli (Morris Carnovsky), who has a mysterious hold over Coral.

"Dead Reckoning" is entertaining but not thematically sophisticated. The dialogue is fine, but not clever or sharp. The character writing is superficial. This isn't top-tier film noir, but it does have Humphrey Bogart's charisma and Lizabeth Scott's sultry voice and great looks. Coral Chandler is one of the most manipulative femme fatales in film noir. In fact, she is the center of the film's only discernible theme: You can't trust women. I've rarely seen a film with such an overt anti-female premise. Normally I find femme fatales to be a refreshingly unsentimental image of women. But Murdock is relentless in proclaiming women to be deceitful and castigating Coral. -And he falls under her spell anyway. So it's all very amusing. "Dead Reckoning" isn't a great film, but it's solid entertainment with high-power stars.
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60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2003
Format: DVD
Having just finished watching two new Columbia releases on DVD, I feel both pleased and angry! First out was "The Devil at 4 O'Clock. Super transfer - fine contrast, properly letterboxed, correct color and mostly very sharp! Then I watch "Dead Reckoning"! Were the people at Columbia asleep when they made this transfer to DVD? Speckles galore all the way! Grainy as all get out! Lousy greyscale! No really black and white areas to be found anywhere! And a strange pulsating image in the darker scenes! "Remastered in High Definition" it says on the box! Bull!
I do not expect a bells-and-whistles restoration for a title like this. But I do expect that someone cares to remove dirt and scratches, and improve other defects within a reasonable budget.
Surely, this noir classic must be able to look better than what we have here! Was the best print really located in the Columbia vaults? You wonder! This is a boring question I often ask myself after having watched a Columbia DVD. Mind you, many are splendid indeed. But for every goodie comes a "Dead Reckoning", or a "Eddy Duchin Story", or a "Big Heat", etc. The labels shift in care from one title to another is puzzling! And there is so much up for release soon! Hopefully someone will blow the whistle before more classics get the substandard treatment! We fans want the Columbia gal to sparkle like her torch!
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Tesi on June 3, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
By 1946 Humphrey Bogart had become one of the most commanding screen stars in Hollywood. Having been featured in a string of critically acclaimed films such as: Casablanca, To Have and Have Not, and The Big Sleep, Bogart often breezed through some forgettable pictures as Conflict, The Two Mrs. Carrolls, and Tokyo Joe. John Cromwell's Dead Reckoning is one such film in which Bogart gives a mediocre performance as WWII paratrooper Rip Murdock who investigates the death of his buddy John Drake ( William Prince)who was about to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. Even the casting of luscious Lizabeth Scott who had become a sexy noir staple did nothing to elevate the film to a notable hierarchy. Rip Murdock ( Bogart) deadpans through most of the script by Oliver Garrett without the appeal and freshness exhibited by former personas such as: Sam Spade, Harry Morgan or the indelible cafe owner Rick. The chemistry betwee Carol Chandler ( Lizabeth Scott) and Rip is tepid. Maybe Bogart's recent marriage to beautiful actress and three time co-star Lauren Bacall dimmed the sexual innuendo that Bogart usually shared with his leading ladies. Although Bogart's narrative voice-over, borrowed shamelessly from Double Indemnity describes Coral Chandler as "Cinderella with a husky voice" , the two characters never break through the pretense of refinement. The film does contain essential themes of noir- murder, deceit, and betrayal. These ingredients are played against a backdrop of glistening city streets, casino-nightclubs, and shadowy hotel rooms, but even the cast of nefarious figures fails to free the film from its own trappings. Probably one of the most inexcusable scenes ever shot for a noir film occurs during Scott's hospital bed plea for redemption.Read more ›
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37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Rodden II on January 13, 2005
Format: DVD
I don't want to call anyone silly, or a THIEF for pirating movies,(just look at the reviews, you'll find him) but just so everyone (and certainly someone in particular) who complains about this Columbia dvd not being widescreen understands, this move WAS NEVER MADE IN WIDESCREEN! The first widescreen movie in America was "The Robe", released in 1953. Do a little research before you start bashing film noir (minor) classics like this Bogart picture. There were NO WIDESCREEN MOVIES BEFORE 1953! Now as for this dvd.

I Thought the transfer showed very little wear. All-in-all Columbia did a very nice job here of cleaning up the print. My only complaint with Columbia is how pricey they seem to think their dvd movies are. Still, this is a good pot-boiler drama, and Bogart is the best. I can leave or take Lizabeth Scott in this role as the femm fatalle, another leading lady might've been better; she's not a bad actress, I just prefer a lot of other leading ladies of that time period; she does have a certain bad girl sex-appeal that helps her performance.

If you're not familiar with the story, Bogart plays Rip Murdock, an ex-G.I. returning from the war who suddenly finds himself trying to clear his war-buddy of a murder rap, and then solve his friends murder. Bogarts character tangles with the dark underworld, mixing it up with killers and a lovely blonde. This movie has a nice, dark feel to it. Not as dark as say, "In A Lonely Place" (also Columbia), but still very nice.

I liked this film enough to put out the money, and if you are an honest person who loves old Bogey pictures, then you'll put out the money as well. Do all of us honest people a favor, don't help drive up the cost of dvds by supporting pirating like some other goofball suggests.
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