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Jigsaw (1949)


Price: $12.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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DVD 1-Disc Version
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Product Details

  • Actors: Franchot Tone, Jean Wallace, Marc Lawrence
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: RCF
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2008
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NFNRBU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Jigsaw (1949) is a classic movie directed by Fletcher Markle, and starring Franchot Tone; Jean Wallace; Marc Lawrence. It is widely considered to be one of the top 100 greatest classic films of all time. This great film will surely attract a whole new generation of classic movie fans. And for seasoned cinematic connoseuirs, Jigsaw (1949) will rekindle an era of film making at its best. For others who simply enjoy watching timeless pieces with icons such as Franchot Tone; Jean Wallace; Marc Lawrence, Jigsaw (1949) is highly recommended. Re-released by Reel Classic Films this movie would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone's personal DVD library.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on November 22, 2004
Format: DVD
JIGSAW has just enough going for it to merit recommendation, with emphasis on the word `just.' It's a ramshackle story of an assistant New York City district attorney (Franchot Tone) who's hot on the trail of the shadowy racist hate group, the Crusaders.

With low-key photography and acting, JIGSAW has a naturalistic look and feel to it. It's one of those late 40's gray city movies that included scenes taking place in real locations - real dirty city streets with real cats rummaging through overflowing trash cans.

There's a mystery behind the confused mystery the movie presents. While Tone's character is investigating what was then a stereotypical Communist group, JIGSAW includes a number of cameos by prominent stars, many of who were targeted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) as belonging to subversive organizations prior to World War II. It was a time of loyalty oaths and black-listings, so perhaps the cameo stars appeared to indicate their opposition to such organizations as the Crusaders. Two of the cameo stars belonged to the Committee for the First Amendment, which publicly called for the abolishment of HUAC, so perhaps the "harmless lunatics" who support mob-run rackets like the Crusaders aren't Trotskyites after all. Considering the political manipulations this movie exposes, you might even interpret the Crusaders as a front for a HUAC-like politician.

Such is the sea this movie swims in. There's the Good Girl brunette and the Bad Girl Blonde, the political fixer and the exasperated boss. Standard stuff ably handled and nicely photographed. I won't spoil the surprise by naming any of the cameo stars, but the first one appears about 15 minutes into the movie.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Le Bibliothécaire on February 3, 2006
Format: DVD
This movie is a film noir classic It concerns a quest to find out who is behind a hate group which is run by murderers and power mongers. Franchot Tone is the Assistant District Attorney and Special Prosecutor who must do battle with these forces of evil.

The tone is dead serious about the dangers of prejudice and hate. There are some comments about the need for tolerance and understanding. Similar in a way to movies of the time, like "Crossfire" and "Home of the Brave", Jigsaw is an interesting movie. There are many twists and turns in the plot and the acting is good.

Winifred Lenihan (in her only movie performance) shines, as does Jean Wallace as the femme fatale. The print is murky, but the photography is good, with some unusual close-ups.

Jigsaw has a special treat for movie fans. There are cameos from Burgess Meredith, Henry Fonda, John Garfield, Marsha Hunt and Marlene Dietrich. They are lending themselves to the cause of anti-fascism, but they do it in a humorous way. Some of them mug towards the camera and it is fun to try to identify them. Jigsaw is a film noir with a different slant.
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Format: DVD
"Even angels can get their wings clipped!" says New York Assistant District Attorney Howard Malloy (Franchot Tone) to good-time girl Barbara Whitfield (Jean Wallace) as he tries to convince her to tell the truth, and of the consequences if she doesn't. Says Barbara, looking him in the eye, "You got the scissors?" It doesn't take long for Howard to trick her into spilling the beans, or at least start to...but Barbara is now scared, really scared. "Oh, Howard," she cries, "hold me, help me..." And these are the good lines.

If the price is right, and I'd say no more than $3.99 used is the right price, Jigsaw will give you an earnest, disorganized ethics lecture disguised as a crime story. It has two good points. First, you'll have Franchot Tone to watch, an actor I've always considered one of the best in Hollywood. Tone could make even a mundane and slightly ridiculous character seem interesting. He had class, charm, screen presence and top-drawer acting ability. Unfortunately, he had a private life that shredded his dignity. (He got in a fight with actor Tom Neal over Barbara Payton and wound up beaten into a coma with a smashed cheek bone. Payton married him when he recovered and then left him seven weeks later for Neal.) He also was one of those actors, like Gary Cooper, who simply didn't age well. But he was such a classy actor he could even bring some interest to weak tea like Jigsaw, as well as to a number of lesser but intriguing movies like Phantom Lady. Second, you can play the amusing Hollywood game of Spot the Star Cameo.
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By Ray Stephanson on December 24, 2009
Format: DVD
"Jigsaw" opens on a big city. A ship's whistle sounds. A lone man walks on the sidewalk. There is a shot. Was it a suicide? Is there a connection to the "Crusaders"? Are they a racket? Charlie Riggs is an investigative reporter. "Fear is a terrible weapon." Will somebody shut Riggs up and make it look like a suicide? But his briefcase is missing. Howard Malloy investigates a name. Will he be attacked in his apartment? Malloy visits the Mohawk Political Club to meet The Angel. Later he visits a warehouse to learn more about the "Crusaders". Grace Hartley meets Malloy and says he will be appointed "Special Prosecutor". Widow Borg will be kept as a material witness.

Malloy meets powerful people at a cocktail party. Does one man have fascist sympathies? Malloy meets Barbara Whitfield, the singer. A photo is taken and is printed in a newspaper. Is there a hidden purpose? We learn more about the scheme. It is a well-laid trap to ruin Malloy! But no plan is perfect, and Kosterich shows up. Kosterich has hidden the evidence behind one of his paintings at the museum. Who will go and get it? Shots are fired, some are killed, the good guys survive for a happy ending.

This is a good film that would have benefitted from a bigger budget and a better script. It shows how the wealthy and powerful use politicians and criminals to accomplish their goals. This story obscures the purposes behind these actions.
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