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D.O.A. - 1950 (Digitally Remastered Version)

2011

CC
Available on Prime
4.4 out of 5 stars (30) IMDb 7.4/10

After a night on the town Frank Bigelow wakes up not feeling so good, doctors confirm that he has been poisoned. With only a few days left to live Frank Bigelow sets out on a frenzied quest to find who has murdered him and why.

Starring:
Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton
Runtime:
1 hour, 20 minutes

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
I first saw D. O. A. back in the early 70's when I was a pre-teen. We were on vacation and the weather was awful and we were stuck in a dingy hotel with limited tv service. My mother turned this movie on and I was hooked. I loved this movie back then and I still love it today. It kept my interest throughout the whole movie trying to guess who dunnit.
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D.O.A. is a film noir drama film directed by Rudolph Maté, considered one of the best classics of the genre. D.O.A. reflects the photographic roots of director Rudolph Maté. He compiled an impressive resume as a cinematographer in Hollywood from 1935 (Dante's Inferno, Stella Dallas, The Adventures of Marco Polo, Foreign Correspondent, Pride of the Yankees, and Gilda, among others) until turning to directing in 1947. The lighting, locations, and atmosphere of brooding darkness were captured expertly by Mate

"Film noir" refers to a genre to refer to films that highlighted the seamy side of life and carried a cynical message. It typically has certain stylistic (night shots, rain, shadow) and plot (good mix of shady characters. femme fatale, double and triple crosses, ordinary person makes a bad choice, & results in a fatalistic ending.
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The frantically paced plot revolves around a doomed man's quest to find out who has poisoned him and why One of the film's many ironies is that his last desperate search involves him in his life more forcefully than he has ever been before... Tracking down his killer just before he dies — discovering the reason for his death — turns out to be the triumph of his life

"DOA" starts with a bang. An accountant (Edmond O'Brien) shows up at a police station and reports a murder - his own! In flashbacks we learn the details as he tries to track down how he was murdered, why, and by whom. Along the way we meet his secretary (Pam Britton), a crooked businessman (William Ching) and his secretary (Beverly Garland), and a gangster (Luther Adler) and his chief henchman (Neville Brand).

Location shooting was just coming into vogue in the early 50s.
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D. O. A., 1949 film

The film begins in a city at night. A man walks into the police station or report a murder. "Who is dead?" they ask. "I am." Frank Bigelow tells his story. He lives in Banning, a small town near the desert where he is an accountant. He will travel to San Francisco on a vacation. Paula Gibson is upset by this news. Will they get married? Frank arrives in San Francisco, the St. Francis Hotel is crowded with buyers (post-war prosperity). He gets a call from the office, a Mr. Phillips wants to talk to him. Salesmen are meeting buyers in a holiday atmosphere party. They visit bars to hear jazz. The musicians play as in a frenzy. [Did someone switch glasses?] Are the jive fans being mocked? The next morning Frank doesn't feel well. He walks the streets to the Medical Center for tests.

A nurse stares at this patient. The doctors tell of luminous toxin in his system, there is no antidote or cure! And only a few days to live! Frank is in denial. There is another diagnostic. This is not an accident! The city streets have little traffic. You can see the reflection of the green-and-white buses in the store windows. Paula calls to tell him that Mr. Phillips just died last night in Los Angeles. A DC-3 flies through the air. Frank goes to see Mr. Phillips office. Comptroller Halliday speaks to him. Phillips died in a fall from his apartment. His widow knows nothing. Phillips had been arrested for dealing in stolen iridium. Frank notarized a bill of sale from Mr. George Reynols years ago. Frank searches for clues about Reynolds. Someone shoots at him, Frank grabs his revolver and shoots back. Back at his hotel strange men kidnap him. Paula calls again. These men take him to see Mr. Majack, they speak. Chester is psychopathic. [Is that name Armenian?
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A classic that will stand on it's own for a long time. You have to take into account the time period when watching this classic. Sometimes it was cheesy and sometimes it was clunky. This was made before the non stop action movies of today. Poison is a classic way of killing off rivals even today in real life. Ricin and polonium come to mind to name a few poisons used by spies in the past few decades since DOA was made.
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The premise is good..A living murdered man...in fact...with stronger actors this could have been a lot better film...the acting is B grade...that being said...it wasn't too bad. Not quite sure who scored the film with the special sound effects, as everytime a seemingly beautiful woman would walk by the main actor.... a loud slide whistle would blast out to the viewer. Once was weird enough..the third time was annoying...don't let that distract you....the marginal acting is part of the charm and it does not impact the overall story...
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Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien, you may remember him as Winston Smith in `1984' 1956) realizes after he had a one night fling that he does not feel so good. He feels bad enough to see a doctor. Yep he is D.O.A. (Dead On Arrival) as he has been poisoned and only has a little time left to live.

Obsessed with finding out who did it and why, Frank has to reconstruct his wild night. Will he find out in time? If so what then?

D.O.A. ~ Dennis Quaid
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