Desperate (1947)

73 mins | Film noir | June 1947

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Flight and Desperate Flight . According to a Jun 1946 HR news item, producer Michel Kraike worked on the picture's ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Flight and Desperate Flight . According to a Jun 1946 HR news item, producer Michel Kraike worked on the picture's script. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 May 1947.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 1947.
---
Film Daily
20 May 47
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Nov 46
p. 27.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 46
p. 35.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 47
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 May 1947.
---
Variety
14 May 47
p. 15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Addl dial
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
Mus dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Flight
Desperate Flight
Release Date:
June 1947
Production Date:
late November--late December 1946
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
31 May 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1069
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
73
Length(in feet):
6,584
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12132
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the night of his four-month wedding anniversay, trucker Steve Randall, who has just gotten out of the army, is offered a high-paying job and reluctantly accepts it. When Steve arrives at his pick-up point, however, he discovers that the job involves shipping stolen furs for a gang of thieves, who are led by Walt Radak, an acquaintance of Steve's. After Steve refuses to load the furs, Walt threatens him with a gun, then is surprised by the arrival of a policeman. Steve alerts the officer by flashing his headlights, and the officer begins firing at the gang. In the ensuing chaos, the policeman is shot, and Steve pulls away from the loading platform, causing Al, Walt's younger brother, to fall to the ground. Although Walt and his men, Shorty Abbott, Reynolds and Joe Daily, escape capture, Al is apprehended by the police, and Steve is nabbed by Walt. Furious at Steve for exposing Al, Walt tries to force him to tell the authorities that he made Al participate in the robbery, but Steve refuses and is beaten. After he gives the police Steve's license plate number, Walt threatens to cut Ann, Steve's wife, with a broken bottle. To protect Ann, Steve agrees to go to the police, but as he and Reynolds are pulling up to the station, he knocks Reynolds out and escapes. Steve and Ann are reunited on a west-bound train, but when they discover that Steve's photograph has been published in the newspaper, they get off at the first stop. Walt, meanwhile, becomes determined to find Steve after he learns that Al will probably be executed for the ... +


On the night of his four-month wedding anniversay, trucker Steve Randall, who has just gotten out of the army, is offered a high-paying job and reluctantly accepts it. When Steve arrives at his pick-up point, however, he discovers that the job involves shipping stolen furs for a gang of thieves, who are led by Walt Radak, an acquaintance of Steve's. After Steve refuses to load the furs, Walt threatens him with a gun, then is surprised by the arrival of a policeman. Steve alerts the officer by flashing his headlights, and the officer begins firing at the gang. In the ensuing chaos, the policeman is shot, and Steve pulls away from the loading platform, causing Al, Walt's younger brother, to fall to the ground. Although Walt and his men, Shorty Abbott, Reynolds and Joe Daily, escape capture, Al is apprehended by the police, and Steve is nabbed by Walt. Furious at Steve for exposing Al, Walt tries to force him to tell the authorities that he made Al participate in the robbery, but Steve refuses and is beaten. After he gives the police Steve's license plate number, Walt threatens to cut Ann, Steve's wife, with a broken bottle. To protect Ann, Steve agrees to go to the police, but as he and Reynolds are pulling up to the station, he knocks Reynolds out and escapes. Steve and Ann are reunited on a west-bound train, but when they discover that Steve's photograph has been published in the newspaper, they get off at the first stop. Walt, meanwhile, becomes determined to find Steve after he learns that Al will probably be executed for the policeman's murder, and hires Pete, a private detective, to track him. After Steve and Ann catch a bus, they spend the night in a hotel, where Ann begs Steve to give himself up. Although Steve refuses to reveal the reason behind his flight, he does agree to go to Ann's aunt Klara and uncle Jan's farm. With his last ninety dollars, Steve buys a dilapidated car from a crooked car salesman and repairs it in his yard. Upon seeing how well the car runs, the salesman refuses to give it to Steve, and Steve is forced to steal it. When the jalopy breaks down on the highway, Steve and Ann, who has just confessed to Steve that she is pregnant, are picked up by a sympathetic man, who turns out to be a sheriff. The sheriff hears about the car theft and is about to return Steve and Ann when he crashes into a tree. Leaving the unconscious sheriff behind, Steve and Ann sneak a ride on a truck and eventually arrive at their relatives' farm. The money-grubbing Pete, meanwhile, shows Walt a recently mailed letter from Klara and Jan inviting Steve and Ann to visit, and Walt pays Pete to go to their farm. At the farm, Steve is finally convinced of Ann's safety and goes to the police. Although Lieutenant Louie Ferrari doubts Steve's story, he allows him to leave in the hope that he will lead the police to the gang. Aunt Klara then insists that Ann and Steve be married in a traditional Czech ceremony, and during the reception, Pete wanders in and spots Steve. When Pete reports back to Walt, he is followed by the police, who begin shooting at the gang. Once again, Walt escapes capture, but is seriously wounded and is bedridden for two months. Just before Ann's baby is due, the revenge-hungry Walt shows up at the farm with Reynolds. Steve and Ann flee in time, but must head for a hospital when Ann goes into labor. Weeks later, Steve, who has resumed work as a truck driver, reads about Al's impending execution and then is shot at by Walt and Reynolds. After Steve sends Ann and his baby to California, where they hope to buy a gas station, he prepares to face Walt. Steve then encounters Ferrari, who informs him that Shorty confessed and attested to Steve's innocence. When Steve returns to his apartment, he is met by a gun-wielding Walt, who tells him he will shoot him in fifteen minutes--midnight--the same time that Al is to die. Minutes before the deadline, however, Ferrari and the police show up, and after pursuing his nemesis to the top floor, Steve shoots and kills Walt. Exonerated by Ferrari, Steve leaves for California. +

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.