|OpenFlix > DOA|
Firstly, there is the musical score, signed by his majesty Dimitri Tiomkin. Imagine that, in the middle of D.O.A., Tiomkin and Maté have dared to give to the music an unusual role one would rather find in comic movies. When Edmond O'Brien arrives in San Francisco, he's surrounded by beautiful girls in his hotel's lobby. Everytime he's admiring one of these ladies, the orchestra whistles ! Quite unique in a film noir !
Then, the rythm is suffocating and won't let you breathe at all. Apart of Edmond O'Brien, Neville Brand is outstanding in the role of a psychotic bodyguard.
As bonus features, the Master Movies in my possession, offers a few filmographies and critical articles. No english subtitles. Sound and images are below-average to average, so don't hesitate to check the Image or Roan Group DVD.
A DVD for your library.
I've noticed at least two DVD versions of D.O.A. I have the Roan Group version which has an "Introduction by Beverly Garland". She is billed in this film as Beverly Campbell. In this extra, she talks about the movie and her early film career. I have seen another version which says "Introducing Beverly Garland". I don't know if this version has the extra segment.
A faceless figure marches down an endless hallway as dark, driving music underscores his doom. It's stocky, stalwart Edmond O'Brien, who plows through the police detective's office like he's got nothing to lose. "I want to report a murder," he demands, grim and sleepy-eyed. Who was killed? "I was." It's a brilliant opening to a memorable film noir classic. O'Brien is a CPA who flees his dull job and small California town for a wild weekend in San Francisco, only to be poisoned and doomed to certain death. With only days to live, his incredulity morphs into a searing drive to find his killers and stinging regrets for what might have been. O'Brien is a familiar noir face, but he usually plays figures of authority: a cop inWhite Heat; an investigator inThe Killers. He's a little stiff here, but his blunt, unglamorous persona is perfect for the Everyman who is randomly visited by death. Rudolph Maté, a cinematographer turned director, moves from sun-bright day scenes to busy nighttime locations with few visual flourishes, but when he takes the camera into the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco the film is energized with a gritty, restless vigor. It's one of the most relentlessly dark films noir ever made--taut, edgy, and low budget. Watch for the Bradbury building in the film's climax, made famous by its memorable use decades later in the sci-fi noir classicBlade Runner.--Sean Axmaker
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