Where the Sidewalk Ends (Fox Film Noir)
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Tightly scripted by Ben Hecht, Preminger's film lacks the anguished poetry of Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground, another 1950 noir centered on a cop (Robert Ryan) addicted to ultraviolence, but its grip is relentless. Preminger had a shrewd instinct for tapping a certain thuggish strain in Andrews, whose performance here is arguably his best. They're reunited with Gene Tierney, as a woman caught in the sidewash of sordid goings-on, and Laura cameraman Joseph La Shelle, whose work has a luster beyond the accustomed semidocumentary look of Fox noirs. Gary Merrill, usually a bland nice-guy, relishes the chance to play nasty as Dixon's gangland bête noire Tommy Scalise, a homoerotic villain in the Tommy Udo vein with a menthol inhaler as fetish object. --Richard T. Jameson
- Commentary by film noir historian Eddie Muller
- Still photo gallery
- Theatrical trailer
Top Customer Reviews
It is within the imperfect persona performed by Dana Andrews that the story gets its captivating quality. Dixon lives a lonely life while his workaholic attitude finds nourishment in his deep fiery hatred towards criminals, which is also the reason why he finds himself in trouble with his superiors. The solitude of Dixon overshadows the whole story and it accentuates the tough elements of film noir within the film. Little by little, the story reveals why Dixon has such a strong hatred for delinquent characters, as it also provides additional support of the elements of film noir within the film.
Dixon's job brings him on long and tough shifts amidst the murky nights of New York City where he comes across a murder in a small and ritzy underground gambling club. The club happens to belong to a shady character named Tom Scalise (Gary Merrill) with whom Dixon has crossed paths with in the past. They are in good terms with one another, on the contrary Dixon treats him like the lowest scum in the world, which is an indicator that he thinks Scalise is a crook.Read more ›
Dana Andrews is the honest, tough New York policeman, always in trouble with his superiors because he likes his own strong-arm methods as much as he detests crooks... When he hit someone, his knuckles hurt... And the man he wants to hit is a smooth villain (Gary Merrill) who points up the title. 'Why are you always trying to push me in the gutter?' he asks Andrews. 'I have as much right on the sidewalk as you.'
Dana Andrew's obsession and neurosis are implanted in his hidden, painful discovery that he is the son of a thief... His deep hatred of criminals led him to use their own illegal methods to destroy them, and the pursuit of justice became spoiled in private vendetta...
By a twist of irony unique to the film itself, Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney of 'Laura' are united once more, and Andrews now seems to be playing the same detective a few years later, but no longer the romantic, beaten down by his job, by the cheap crooks... This time, he goes too far, and accidentally kills a suspect... The killing is accidental, the victim worthless, yet it is a crime that he knows can break him or send him to jail...
Using his knowledge of police procedure, he covers up his part in the crime, plants false clues, and tries to implicate a gang leader, but cannot avoid investigating the case himself... The double tension of following the larger case through to its conclusion without implicating himself in the murder, is beautifully maintained and the final solution is both logical, satisfying, and in no way a compromise...Read more ›
Dana Andrews captures the detective who is fist-fighting his father's legacy with every criminal while trying to rise above it all and do his energy's hate as penance.
Gene Tierney brings home the emotion of a woman who wants to love and be loved, but just picks the wrong guys. Then she runs into Dana Andrews and both of them learn life's lessons of love through a terrible experience that frees everyone.
The film is a bit long, but every moment is filled with character, great visual effects, and black and white is the true film color! Otto Preminger is at his calculating best.
Film Noir is wonderful.
Wait, now. Any cop who hit and accidently killed a guy in self defense would instantly have a wall of blue thrown protectively around him, no matter how hard a case he might be. Every resource would be used to see that the cop was exonerated. I know, I know, this is a movie, but Detective Mark Dixon's (Dana Andrews) reaction is so excessive that it becomes nothing more than a glaring plot device. And, in my view, that undermines the tension of the movie.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
SAD FILM,,GRWAT ACTING. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN GET FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, FET BAPTIZED. READ REVELATIONS 21.8 GALATIONS 5.19,20 THINGS THAT KEEP YOU OUT OF HEAVEN.Published 3 months ago by JESUS LOVES YOU
This movie is billed as a film noir. Although it has much of the atmosphere of film noir, it really isn’t one, but is interesting in a way I doubt that those involved in its making... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mark Rufo
Another great job by fox restoring this classic not like warner who doesnt restore any of there film noir titles from rko and mgm.Published 5 months ago by BOB SZVETICS
Very good cinema noir film with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. You must suspend your contemporary sense of disbelief to appreciate films from this epoch. Read morePublished 7 months ago by David Webb