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Impact (1949)

Brian Donlevy , Ella Raines , Arthur Lubin  |  NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Impact - 1949
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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Donlevy, Ella Raines, Charles Coburn, Helen Walker, Anna May Wong
  • Directors: Arthur Lubin
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305770395
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Impact" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

They're one kiss away from MURDER!
Millionaire industrialist Walter Williams is marked for murder by his sexy young wife and her seedy lover. When the insidious plot ends in a fiery disaster, Williams is thought dead. In reality, he finds himself wi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impact September 5, 2004
Format:DVD
IMPACT is marketed as "film noir," but about the only element of that genre it has in pure form is a treacherous wife and her vile lover. Otherwise it's an engaging crime drama with so many juicy plot twists and surprises that it's impossible to talk about the plot without including spoilers.

The straightforward direction is by Arthur Lubin, who would release the first of five Francis the Talking Mule movies the year IMPACT was released. Mr. Lubin also developed the Mr. Ed television series, as well as directing Maverick and Bonanza. This is a piece with those other works; not a lot of style but uniformly entertaining.

Brian Donlevy is excellent as the wronged husband. In a scene that was probably more shocking in 1949 than it is today, Donlevy sobs uncontrollably. Oddly enough the two women in the movie - Good Girl Ella Raines and Bad Girl/Scheming Wife Helen Walker let drop nary a sincere tear. Walker's character does indeed put on a show of tears for the suspicious detective, played with a slight Irish brogue by the always reliable Charles Coburn.

If you're expecting cartons of cigarettes and a city full of shadowed streets you're going to be disappointed. There's more than a touch of evil in this one, but it's not the focal point. If you want a good story competently told, this is for you. IMPACT is a lot of fun.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I am a true believe that the best films that Hollywood ever produced came from the 1940s. Whether it was in the early 40s like the film Gaslight or later like Lean's Great Expectations, I have never seen so many great stories with so much originality, humanity, and creativity. Impact is no different. What transformed this picture from your typical film-noir thriller into a full-fledged murder/mystery is not just the creative story, but also the strong characters, the twisting themes, and the questionable ending. Impact could not have been as fascinating as it was if it were not for the impressive story. From the opening scene, we think that we have this film already pegged as your typical "wife cheats on man and he now wants revenge" story, but as director Arthur Lubin guides us further down his diabolical path, we learn that there is going to be more surprises than we originally anticipated. These surprises will not only lock your jaw in a shocked position, but it will also provide 111 minutes of pure uncut film-noir.

I have read other reviews that claim that Impact does not fall within the typical film-noir genre. I see where they are saying this, but I do not agree. Lubin, I believe, was creating a classy film-noir for his audience, but he tricked us. He not only tricked us from the beginning of the film to the end, but also where the film-noir style should be placed. We assume that the because Brian Donlevy is our centralized character that he has to be the dark and brooding one the entire time, causing the sensation of film-noir. I saw this film in a different light. As Lubin kept Donlevy in the eye of the camera for most of the film, I thought that the true sinister, dark, brooding, spooky, and edgy character was Irene. Helen Walker did a superb job with this role.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch This Film And You Won't Be Sorry! September 28, 2001
Format:DVD
Impact has a very simple plot Walter Williams is marked for death by his cheating wife but when the plans go wrong and Williams is alive the film plays a great game of catchup! Donlevy is the star of the flick and he does more to draw you into the flick than dialogue ever could. He may not be tall but he has an imposing facing! His eyes and strong facial structure is a sight to see! I have to say that the film could have been shorter but in doing this some amazing cinematography would have been lost the image of a prisoned Willams (Donlevey) looking through a gate at his future love is amazing and the scene where his lover chases a woman who is crucial in freeing Williams of a crime through the narrow streets and shadows of chinatown is perfection. Impact may not be perfect but is is a very atmospheric and engaging ride non the least!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid Mystery, an Ode to Small Town American Values February 9, 2007
Format:DVD
"Impact" is a sturdy 1949 release that delivers much in the way of suspense mystery, keeping viewers guessing, while also revealing much about small town American values in the early post-World War Two period. This was a time when people were accustomed to helping one another resulting, in part, from the Depression period.

The film begins with Brian Donlevy showing his firm side as head of a major construction company based in San Francisco. When the board of directors refuses to approve new plant construction he nonchalantly tells them that he will go elsewhere and put the same plan into effect. A 9-0 vote against then turns quickly into a unanimous margin in Donlevy's favor, showing how invaluable the board recognizes him to be.

Donlevy's Achilles heel is quickly recognized when he returns to the posh Nob Hill apartment he shares with beautiful, elegantly attired wife Helen Walker. Her pet name for Donlevy of "Softy" has him readily assenting. He tells her that she is the one person that causes the tough business executive to melt.

Walker causes Donlevy to gush while she in turn double deals. Using a bad toothache as a pretext for not traveling with Donlevy to Lake Tahoe, after which he will proceed on to Denver on business, she pulls off a scheme with paramour Tony Barrett. He is allegedly her "cousin" from Chicago.

After Walker tells Donlevy "regrettably" that she cannot make the trip with her toothache bothering her, she asks him if he will give her cousin a ride as far as Denver, where the executive has business activity scheduled.

Donlevy falls into her web and agrees.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BLACK & WHITE
I hadn't heard of this movie and was home on a cold rainy day when I came across it. I did enjoy it and it is worth the time to give it a look.
Published 14 days ago by Nancy A. Gibbons
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quality Movie
With a good storyline supported by a quality cast, watching "Impact" was definitely time well spent. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Pete
3.0 out of 5 stars Good plot twists -
They override Donlevy's trademark wooden acting. Another fine example from the film noir collection, those unrepeatable gangster classics I grew up with.
Published 1 month ago by Ardeleana
3.0 out of 5 stars This movie is as old as I am!
There are several twists in this noire story. The acting holds up, but the script doesn't. The courtroom scenes are a bit amateurish, but the story itself holds up.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing story told without CGI, graphic indulgence
Proof that in ages past, entertainment could rely on imagination rather than pyrotechnics. Having kids in the house who are insulted by anything black and white, much less without... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael R. Mac Donald
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated and familiar
Simple story that takes you in probably because of Brian Donlevy. Not that hard to figure out, after all. Fair.
Published 2 months ago by Richard R. Capuozzo
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good!
Pretty good movie! Brian Donlevy turned in a good performance. I don't think I have ever seen him in a major role as he was in this movie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brewman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Movie
This movie kept my interest as so many older movies do. Compared to the fast food entertainment slopped out by Hollywood these days this movie actually has a good plot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by jmcookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable
We live in the town of Larkspur, California in which a large part of the movie was filmed. The building in which the heroine and her mother lived is today a landmark restaurant on... Read more
Published 4 months ago by V. Forrester
5.0 out of 5 stars Did I Murder Someone????
Beautifully remastered film by DigicomTV. Superb audio and video quality make this movie a must watch! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jennifer
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