6.8/10
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Dark City (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 1951 (Chile)
Gamblers who "took" an out-of-town sucker in a crooked poker game feel shadowy vengeance closing in on them.

Director:

William Dieterle

Writers:

John Meredyth Lucas (screenplay), Lawrence B. Marcus (screenplay) (as Larry Marcus) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charlton Heston ... Danny Haley
Lizabeth Scott ... Fran Garland
Viveca Lindfors ... Victoria Winant
Dean Jagger ... Capt. Garvey
Don DeFore ... Arthur Winant
Jack Webb ... Augie
Ed Begley ... Barney
Harry Morgan ... Soldier (as Henry Morgan)
Walter Sande ... Swede
Mark Keuning Mark Keuning ... Billy Winant
Mike Mazurki ... Sidney Winant
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Storyline

Danny Haley's bookie operation is shut down, so he and his pals need money; when Danny meets Arthur Winant, a sucker from out of town, he decoys him into a series of poker games where eventually Winant loses $5000 that isn't his...then hangs himself. But it seems Winant had a shadowy, protective elder brother who believes in personal revenge. And each of the card players in turn feels a faceless doom inexorably closing in. Dark streets and sexy torch-singer Fran lend ambience. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A tense, tough drama of underworld violence and revenge ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1951 (Chile) See more »

Also Known As:

No Escape See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Wallis Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Danny pulls into the airport, its entrance flanked by stone pillars with neon propellers. This is the original McCarren Field commercial airport, now part of Nellis AFB. The new McCarren Field south of the city (now Las Vegas International Airport) replaced it as of 1948 and entrance pillars were later moved there from the location seen in the film. See more »

Goofs

In the first poker scene, the very first card dealt by 'Danny Haley' lands on a short stack of chips. An instant later, after the cut to the wider overhead shot, the card is no longer on the stack of chips. (And the chip stack sizes and positions have changed). See more »

Quotes

Fran Garland: Don't you want to know what's going on in the world?
Danny Haley: What's going on in the world stinks!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Charlton Heston: For All Seasons (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

IF I DIDN'T HAVE YOU
(uncredited)
Music by Harold Spina
Lyrics by Jack Elliott
Performed by Lizabeth Scott (dubbed by Trudy Stevens)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A relentless crime noir, great cast
13 December 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Dark City (1950)

A surprise, really great. It's not quite a B-movie, though it has some of the honesty and simplicity of a lower budget film. And it has a whole host of terrific actors, including Charlton Heston in his first Hollywood film.

Did I just say Heston was terrific? Yes, here he is, a strong, stubborn, Heston-like character, well cast and well directed and beautifully filmed. And he's at the center of a plot that has several large twists that all make sense, and some great tension throughout. Except for two or three key moments where Heston (or some other actor) does something not quite plausible, the timing and direction by William Dieterle is superb.

The leading woman is a common type in post-war movies, a woman trying to make a living singing in a night club, and she is played with restrained simplicity by Lizabeth Scott. This gives the movie a chance to feature several songs, which she performs herself (Scott even recorded an album in 1957).

Beyond the truly engrossing story, where an unseen killer is on the loose thanks to the greed of a group of backroom poker players, the movie is held together but a half dozen terrific performances. The poker players themselves, including Heston and Ed Begley, are petty and greedy and eventually scared. The man they dupe, a visiting nice guy, is Don DeFore, who pulls it off brilliantly. There are even two guys who later became steadies in "Dragnet." And then there's the detective played by Dean Jaggar, and this talkative, philosophizing, good-guy investigator actually manages to see what's going on right away. Then the cat and mouse game begins.


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