Edge of Doom (1950)

98-99 mins | Drama | 30 August 1950

Writer:

Philip Yordan

Producer:

Samuel Goldwyn

Cinematographer:

Harry Stradling

Editor:

Daniel Mandell

Production Designer:

Richard Day

Production Company:

Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Many scenes in this film were shot on location in various parts of Los Angeles, including the downtown neighborhood known as Skid Row. The film was originally released on 2 Aug 1950, but, according to an Oct 1950 NYT article, poor reviews and box office returns prompted producer Samuel Goldwyn to poll the audience at New York's Astor Theater and, as a result of their comments, pull the picture during the fourth week of its run in order to add footage. An Aug 1950 Var article stated that for the new material, Goldwyn replaced the original writer, Philip Yordan, and director, Mark Robson, with director Charles Vidor and writer Ben Hecht, who created and shot a new prologue, epilogue and commentary in an attempt to "lighten the depressing atmosphere" of the film. The story's focus subsequently shifted from the plight of Farley Granger's character to the efforts of Dana Andrews' young priest to save the boy's faith. An Oct 1950 Var article reported that grosses went up after the release of the new version, which had its premiere in New Orleans on 27 Sep ... More Less

Many scenes in this film were shot on location in various parts of Los Angeles, including the downtown neighborhood known as Skid Row. The film was originally released on 2 Aug 1950, but, according to an Oct 1950 NYT article, poor reviews and box office returns prompted producer Samuel Goldwyn to poll the audience at New York's Astor Theater and, as a result of their comments, pull the picture during the fourth week of its run in order to add footage. An Aug 1950 Var article stated that for the new material, Goldwyn replaced the original writer, Philip Yordan, and director, Mark Robson, with director Charles Vidor and writer Ben Hecht, who created and shot a new prologue, epilogue and commentary in an attempt to "lighten the depressing atmosphere" of the film. The story's focus subsequently shifted from the plight of Farley Granger's character to the efforts of Dana Andrews' young priest to save the boy's faith. An Oct 1950 Var article reported that grosses went up after the release of the new version, which had its premiere in New Orleans on 27 Sep 1950. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Aug 1950.
---
Daily Variety
3 Aug 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
3 Aug 50
p 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 49
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Nov 1949.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 50
p. 3.
Look
29 Aug 1950.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
14 Dec 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Aug 50
p. 413.
New York Times
4 Aug 50
p. 13.
New York Times
29 Oct 1950.
---
Variety
2 Aug 1950.
---
Variety
9 Aug 50
p. 8.
Variety
24 Aug 50
p. 1, 7
Variety
30 Aug 1950.
---
Variety
20 Sep 1950.
---
Variety
11 Oct 1950.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir of opening and closing seq
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITERS
Prologue and epilogue
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Gaffer
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Grip
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Edge of Doom by Leo Brady (New York, 1949).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 August 1950
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 2 August 1950
Production Date:
began mid November 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
3 August 1950
Copyright Number:
LP416
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
98-99
Length(in feet):
8,951
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14377
SYNOPSIS

Hoping to persuade a disillusioned parishioner to reconsider his decision to leave the St. Stephens parish, Father Roth tells the man the inspirational story of Martin Lynn, a boy who found his faith in the church only after rejecting it and turning to crime: Martin, a flower-shop delivery boy, begs his boss, Mr. Swanson, for a raise to care for his ailing mother, but is refused. At home, Martin and his mother discuss her devotion to the church, which Martin has disdained ever since Father Kirkman refused to perform a mass at the funeral of Martin's father, who committed suicide. Martin has dinner with his sweetheart, Julie, whom he plans to marry as soon as he can save enough money. When he goes home that night, his mother has passed away, and, grief-stricken, he heads to the church to insist that Father Kirkman repay his mother for her devotion by providing her with a proper funeral. When Kirkman, whose parish is poor, cannot help him, Martin erupts in a rage and strikes Kirkman in the head with a crucifix he takes from the priest's desk. Kirkman dies instantly, and Martin wipes his fingerprints from the crucifix and flees in a panic. On the street, he happens upon a holdup at a movie theater, where he is arrested by police and held for questioning because he appears suspicious. Martin uses his mother's death as an alibi for his behavior, but when he takes the detectives to his apartment to prove his story, he is shocked to discover that his mother's body has been removed. Martin goes to his neighbor, gangster Craig, looking for answers, unaware that Craig is the ... +


Hoping to persuade a disillusioned parishioner to reconsider his decision to leave the St. Stephens parish, Father Roth tells the man the inspirational story of Martin Lynn, a boy who found his faith in the church only after rejecting it and turning to crime: Martin, a flower-shop delivery boy, begs his boss, Mr. Swanson, for a raise to care for his ailing mother, but is refused. At home, Martin and his mother discuss her devotion to the church, which Martin has disdained ever since Father Kirkman refused to perform a mass at the funeral of Martin's father, who committed suicide. Martin has dinner with his sweetheart, Julie, whom he plans to marry as soon as he can save enough money. When he goes home that night, his mother has passed away, and, grief-stricken, he heads to the church to insist that Father Kirkman repay his mother for her devotion by providing her with a proper funeral. When Kirkman, whose parish is poor, cannot help him, Martin erupts in a rage and strikes Kirkman in the head with a crucifix he takes from the priest's desk. Kirkman dies instantly, and Martin wipes his fingerprints from the crucifix and flees in a panic. On the street, he happens upon a holdup at a movie theater, where he is arrested by police and held for questioning because he appears suspicious. Martin uses his mother's death as an alibi for his behavior, but when he takes the detectives to his apartment to prove his story, he is shocked to discover that his mother's body has been removed. Martin goes to his neighbor, gangster Craig, looking for answers, unaware that Craig is the one who robbed the theater. At the police station, Roth, who is assisting the police with a case of juvenile delinquency, overhears the charges against Martin, and intervenes on the accused's behalf. After winning the boy's temporary release, Roth takes him to the rectory and tries to help him. Martin rejects Roth's help, however, and tells him that be believes in nothing. The following day, Craig, who once threatened Kirkman, is arrested and booked on suspicion of murdering the priest. Having failed in his initial attempt to bury his mother, Martin demands that Swanson supply him with a room full of flowers for the funeral. Although Martin is willing to pay for the flowers by working overtime, Swanson refuses the request and fires the boy when he becomes angry. While Martin then tries in vain to bargain with the funeral home, Roth finds an impression of Martin's address that Kirkman wrote on his notepad just before the boy killed him. After Martin informs Julie that he cannot see her anymore for her own good, Roth visits him and begs him to find forgiveness in his heart for Kirkman. Later, Mrs. Pearson, who saw a man leaving the church at the time of murder, is brought to the police station to pick out the man from a lineup of suspects. Although Martin is among those in the lineup, the befuddled Mrs. Pearson indicates that Craig was the man she saw. Craig protests his innocence and confesses to the theater robbery, but his pleas go unheard. Tormented by his guilty conscience, Martin seeks solace at Murray's funeral home, where he breaks down in tears and confesses his crime to Roth. Roth concludes his story by explaining to his visitor that the triumph of Martin's conscience over his fear is what gave Roth an understanding of faith. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.