Deadline at Dawn (1946)

82-83 or 85 mins | Drama | March 1946

Director:

Harold Clurman

Writer:

Clifford Odets

Producer:

Adrian Scott

Cinematographer:

Nicholas Musuraca

Editor:

Roland Gross

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Jack Okey

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Harold Clurman, a noted stage director from New York's Group Theatre, made his screen directing debut with this production. It was the only film that Clurman and his frequent theatrical collaborator, Clifford Odets, made together. A Jun 1944 HR news item noted that Clurman worked on the film's script with Odets. Although some modern sources claim that this picture was Susan Hayward's first as a non-contract star, HR news items announced that RKO was borrowing her from Paramount for the production. Deadline at Dawn was the first film that Hayward made following the birth of her twin sons. Night New York street scenes were shot on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot, according to HR news items. According to modern sources, the film had its premiere in Rockford, IL. Paul Lukas and Bill Williams reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 20 May ... More Less

Harold Clurman, a noted stage director from New York's Group Theatre, made his screen directing debut with this production. It was the only film that Clurman and his frequent theatrical collaborator, Clifford Odets, made together. A Jun 1944 HR news item noted that Clurman worked on the film's script with Odets. Although some modern sources claim that this picture was Susan Hayward's first as a non-contract star, HR news items announced that RKO was borrowing her from Paramount for the production. Deadline at Dawn was the first film that Hayward made following the birth of her twin sons. Night New York street scenes were shot on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot, according to HR news items. According to modern sources, the film had its premiere in Rockford, IL. Paul Lukas and Bill Williams reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 20 May 1946. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Feb 1946.
---
Daily Variety
12 Feb 46
pp. 3, 10
Film Daily
18 Feb 46
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Mar 45
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 45
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jun 45
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 45
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 46
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Dec 45
p. 2776.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Feb 46
p. 2859.
New York Times
4 Apr 46
p. 33.
Variety
13 Feb 46
p. 10.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Jerome Franks Jr.
Dorothy Grainger
Armand Curly Wright
Tommy Quinn
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Matte paintings
Opt eff
Transparency projection shots
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Deadline at Dawn by Cornell Woolrich (Philadelphia, 1944).
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 April 1946
Production Date:
mid May--mid June 1945
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 January 1946
Copyright Number:
LP255
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82-83 or 85
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10937
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Young sailor Alex Winkler walks the streets of New York late one night, unaware of how $1,400 in cash ended up in his pocket. Alex, a radio specialist scheduled to leave at dawn for duty in Norfolk, Virginia, wanders into a dance hall and meets taxi dancer June Goffe. Feeling sympathy for the naïve Alex, June invites him for a sandwich at her place. There Alex confesses to June that, although he has no recollection of the evening's events, he must have stolen the $1,400 from Edna Bartelli after her brother fleeced him in a card game and she plied him with drinks. A guilt-ridden Alex persuades June to accompany him to Edna's apartment at 51st and Lexington, and there Alex discovers Edna's strangled body in the living room. Although the tough-talking June tries to reassure him of his innocence, Alex is torn with doubt and is convinced that the police will arrest him. Again, June chooses to help Alex and suggests that they think like the killer in order to deduce his whereabouts. At the corner soda fountain, June finds out that a blonde with a limp left the counter in a rush and, posing as the blonde's sister, orders the taxi cab that picked up the blonde to take her to the blonde's destination. While June questions Helen Robinson, the blonde, about her activities at 51st and Lexington, Alex pursues a distraught man in a taxi cab. Alex soon learns that the man raced off because his cat was choking and orders his cab back to Edna's. Although June concludes that Helen knows nothing about Edna, Helen discusses Edna's murder with ... +


Young sailor Alex Winkler walks the streets of New York late one night, unaware of how $1,400 in cash ended up in his pocket. Alex, a radio specialist scheduled to leave at dawn for duty in Norfolk, Virginia, wanders into a dance hall and meets taxi dancer June Goffe. Feeling sympathy for the naïve Alex, June invites him for a sandwich at her place. There Alex confesses to June that, although he has no recollection of the evening's events, he must have stolen the $1,400 from Edna Bartelli after her brother fleeced him in a card game and she plied him with drinks. A guilt-ridden Alex persuades June to accompany him to Edna's apartment at 51st and Lexington, and there Alex discovers Edna's strangled body in the living room. Although the tough-talking June tries to reassure him of his innocence, Alex is torn with doubt and is convinced that the police will arrest him. Again, June chooses to help Alex and suggests that they think like the killer in order to deduce his whereabouts. At the corner soda fountain, June finds out that a blonde with a limp left the counter in a rush and, posing as the blonde's sister, orders the taxi cab that picked up the blonde to take her to the blonde's destination. While June questions Helen Robinson, the blonde, about her activities at 51st and Lexington, Alex pursues a distraught man in a taxi cab. Alex soon learns that the man raced off because his cat was choking and orders his cab back to Edna's. Although June concludes that Helen knows nothing about Edna, Helen discusses Edna's murder with her tense husband Jerry after June leaves. When June returns to Edna's apartment, she finds Alex there with his sympathetic cab driver, Gus Hoffman. Gus tries to convince Alex to forget about Edna, but June insists that Alex be cleared of all suspicion. After the trio discovers a stack of love letters that Edna used for blackmailing purposes, a gun-wielding woman, Mrs. Nan Raymond, sneaks into the apartment. Nan grabs Edna's letters, but drops them as she flees after being confronted by Gus. Alex then calls Lester Brady, a theatrical producer whose bounced check to Edna they also find, and makes an appointment with him. Nan, meanwhile, goes to see Brady, her lover, and tells him about Edna, who was blackmailing her over the affair. Hoping to retrieve the incriminating letters, Nan and Lester then inform Val Bartelli, Edna's gangster brother, about Edna's demise. When the unsuspecting Alex arrives at Lester's, Val accuses him of killing Edna, then reluctantly agrees to return with him to Edna's. There Val, unable to control his rage, starts to beat up Alex but is stopped by Gus, who returns with June after pursuing one of June's lovestruck dance partners. After Gus convinces Val that Alex is guiltless, he, Val, Alex, June, Nan and Lester go to a nightclub, where Edna's ex-husband, blind pianist Sleepy Parsons, is performing. Sleepy, who had been arguing with Edna just before her death, acts nervously, causing Val to explode with accusations. Val's subsequent attack on the sickly Sleepy, which leads to a fatal heart attack, attracts the police, and the entire group is brought in for questioning. At the same time, Edna's body is discovered by the police, and Alex comes under suspicion. After a calculating interrogation, the police force Alex to admit that he might have murdered Edna, but are startled when Jerry Thompson fully confesses to the crime. When the police unravel Jerry's confession, however, Gus finally admits that he killed Edna because she was having an affair with Jerry, his son-in-law, and wanted to save his daughter's marriage. The remorseful Jerry, in turn, confessed to protect Helen. His name cleared, Alex leaves on time for Norfolk with the faithful June at his side. +

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

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