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Crossfire Blu-ray Review

“Crossfire” is a classic film noir.

“Crossfire” certainly doesn’t waste any time as the main event in the story happens right out of the gate with a Jewish man (Joseph Samuels) being beat to death. Detective Finlay is investigating the murder and finds his suspects within a group of inactive soldiers (Mitchell, Floyd and Montgomery) that were drinking and socializing with Samuels. Can Finlay unravel the truth, find a motive, and, more importantly, find the murderer?

Despite being released in 1947, “Crossfire” is an eerily relevant film noir/Detective story as it’s about a hate crime- the murder of a Jewish man. There was a period where this movie probably felt outdated, but given the deeply disturbing rise of anti-semitism lately, it sadly feels timely again. 

Structurally, the John paxton scripted film is very much a Detective story with Finlay questioning people, finding clues, trying to hone in on the killer, and so on, but there’s also a pre-“Rashomon” esque flashback angle where we see different POVs of characters to learn about where they were and what they were doing. It’s effective and it sets it apart from other film noir fare.

The stylish direction by Edward Dmytryk is first rate. The lighting, the shots, the uneasy atmosphere is all handled so well under his watchful eye. 

Of course, Dmytryk also gets help from a stand-out cast comprised of Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Robert Young, and Gloria Grahame. Robert Young gets the big part here as Finlay (who also has some real snappy dialogue filled with wisdom), but it’s Robert Ryan who steals the show as the loathsome Montgomery. Mitchum is his usual reliable self (although his role is limited) while Grahame (who earned an Oscar nom for her role here) has a small, but impactful role as a woman (Ginny) who gets caught in the chaos of the case.

Hop on over to https://www.wbshop.com/collections/warner-archive to order “Crossfire” or one of many other gems from Warner Archive. 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? One thing I noticed with this transfer is how incredible the lighting looks in this hi-def transfer. 

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Snowy, but adequate. 

Extras include a commentary by knowledgeable film historians Alain Silver and James Ursini and a vintage featurette “Crossfire: Hate Is Like A Gun.”

March 13, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. How does this compare to Murder, My Sweet?

    Thank you for your reviews!

    Comment by NoirFan98 | March 15, 2021 | Reply

    • Better. Much better.

      You are welcome, NoirFan98!

      Comment by nicklyons1 | March 15, 2021 | Reply


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