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63 customer reviews

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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

Special Features


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: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305770395
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,996 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Impact" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on 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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Gyurisin on March 5, 2006
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 12, 2005
Format: DVD
Wealthy San Francisco industrialist Walter Williams (Brian Donlevy) has a big problem he's not aware of. The wife he loves, Irene Williams (Helen Walker), is a manipulating, two-timing slut who has a sleazy boy friend, and the two of them realize Williams is far more valuable to them dead than alive. She'll inherit his money and she can enjoy openly her boy friend. Their plan misfires, however. Williams survives the plot, at first with amnesia, and the boy friend dies in the fiery car crash, burnt beyond recognition and with everyone thinking the corpse was Williams.

This is a nicely done semi-noir, not quite an A movie, more like a B-plus. Donlevy plays Williams with his usual stolid directness and is very effective as a man who realizes his wife played him for a fool. When, gradually recovering his memory, he finds himself drifting into the small town of Larkspur, Idaho, he's torn between wanting vengeance on his wife and the prospects for a new life among honest people, doing the work of a car mechanic that he does well, and finding love in the person of Marsha Peters (Ella Raines). When Williams learns that his wife has been accused of planning his murder, he is inclined to let it happen. Marsha convinces him to return to San Francisco and set the record strait. When the tables are turned and Williams is accused of murdering his wife's boy friend, it becomes a race for Marsha to find the evidence that will clear Williams and implicate the wife.

Charles Coburn plays Lt. Tom Quincey, an elderly cop due to retire in a year who senses something fishy about the wife's story and decides to look into things more closely. Coburn is the engine who keeps the story on track; without him the story line could become convoluted. As it is, he keeps the plot chugging along.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A* VINE VOICE on 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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