Backfire (1950)

91-92 mins | Mystery | 11 February 1950

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HISTORY

The film's working title was Somewhere in the City . Technical advisor Monica Cahill was chief of nursing service and Dr. Franklin Wilkins was the assistant chief of surgery at Birmingham Veterans' Hospital. According to publicity material included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library, scenes were filmed on location at the Birmingham Veterans' Hospital, City Hall, the Fremont and Biltmore Hotels in downtown Los Angeles, and at other locations in the city, including Olvera St., the Los Feliz district, Glendale and Stone Canyon in Bel Air. Sheila Stephens was married to Gordon MacRae at the time of production and later changed her professional name to Sheila ... More Less

The film's working title was Somewhere in the City . Technical advisor Monica Cahill was chief of nursing service and Dr. Franklin Wilkins was the assistant chief of surgery at Birmingham Veterans' Hospital. According to publicity material included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library, scenes were filmed on location at the Birmingham Veterans' Hospital, City Hall, the Fremont and Biltmore Hotels in downtown Los Angeles, and at other locations in the city, including Olvera St., the Los Feliz district, Glendale and Stone Canyon in Bel Air. Sheila Stephens was married to Gordon MacRae at the time of production and later changed her professional name to Sheila MacRae. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
21 Jan 1950.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jan 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
19 Jan 50
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jan 50
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Jan 50
p. 161, 163
New York Times
27 Jan 50
p. 29.
Variety
18 Jan 50
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Scr
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Lindfors gowns by
Miss Mayo's gowns by
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Unit mgr
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Somewhere in the City
Release Date:
11 February 1950
Production Date:
late July--early October 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
11 February 1950
Copyright Number:
LP2927
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Length(in feet):
8,156
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
13360
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Bob Corey, who is recovering from a series of spinal operations at the Birmingham Veterans' Hospital in Van Nuys, California, is very worried about the disappearance of his friend, Steve Connolly, with whom he intends to run a ranch after he leaves the hospital. One night, a strange woman comes into Bob's room and informs him that Steve has been badly hurt. Bob, who has been drugged to help him sleep, groggily promises to join her in ten days, and she writes down her address. Later, however, Bob cannot find the address, and the doctor suggests that the woman was an hallucination. After Bob leaves the hospital, the police, who are investigating the murder of gambler Solly Blayne, question him about Steve, who is their main suspect. The police explain that on the night Blayne was killed, he quarreled with Steve at his hotel. After the murder, Steve disappeared and has not been seen since. Convinced that Steve is innocent, Bob tells the police about his mysterious visitor, and they promise to investigate. Bob then checks into Steve's hotel room, where Sybil, the maid, tells him that Steve and Blayne were fighting over $40,000 and shows him a business card from a mortuary in Glendale that Steve left behind in his room. The mortuary owner, Ben Arno, recognizes Bob from the Army and states that he encountered Steve at a boxing match and offered him a job, but Steve never pursued it. Later, Bob's nurse, Julie Benson, suggests that they question Solly's wife. Mrs. Blayne reports that the day Solly was killed, he told her he had won $40,000. After ... +


Bob Corey, who is recovering from a series of spinal operations at the Birmingham Veterans' Hospital in Van Nuys, California, is very worried about the disappearance of his friend, Steve Connolly, with whom he intends to run a ranch after he leaves the hospital. One night, a strange woman comes into Bob's room and informs him that Steve has been badly hurt. Bob, who has been drugged to help him sleep, groggily promises to join her in ten days, and she writes down her address. Later, however, Bob cannot find the address, and the doctor suggests that the woman was an hallucination. After Bob leaves the hospital, the police, who are investigating the murder of gambler Solly Blayne, question him about Steve, who is their main suspect. The police explain that on the night Blayne was killed, he quarreled with Steve at his hotel. After the murder, Steve disappeared and has not been seen since. Convinced that Steve is innocent, Bob tells the police about his mysterious visitor, and they promise to investigate. Bob then checks into Steve's hotel room, where Sybil, the maid, tells him that Steve and Blayne were fighting over $40,000 and shows him a business card from a mortuary in Glendale that Steve left behind in his room. The mortuary owner, Ben Arno, recognizes Bob from the Army and states that he encountered Steve at a boxing match and offered him a job, but Steve never pursued it. Later, Bob's nurse, Julie Benson, suggests that they question Solly's wife. Mrs. Blayne reports that the day Solly was killed, he told her he had won $40,000. After Solly was shot, she called Dr. Anstead, but it was too late to save her husband's life. Bob then examines Steve's phone bill and discovers that Steve placed a call to a woman named Bonnie Willis. At her house, he sees a photograph of his mysterious visitor and learns that her name is Lysa Radolph and that she has also disappeared. Bonnie, who like Lysa met Steve at the club where they both worked, then mentions a man named Lou Walsh, who is Lysa's lover. After Bob leaves, Bonnie is murdered with the same gun that killed Solly. Bob tells the police about Lysa and Walsh, but the police are unable to locate Walsh, nor can they find any pictures of the mysterious man. Then the police are summoned to the hospital, where a dying Chinese man named Quong has spoken of Steve. Quong tells the police and Bob that it was Walsh who owed Blayne $40,000. After Blayne's murder, Steve hid out at a house that Walsh owned under a different name. Quong overheard Lysa implicate Walsh in Solly's murder and convince Steve, with whom she has fallen in love, to go to the police. Quong then saw Walsh watching Lysa and Steve through the window of the house, and later, Walsh released the brakes on a car, crushing Steve. Before he can tell the police the location of Walsh's house, Quong dies. Julie then decides to search Dr. Anstead's office to see if he has a record of treating Steve. Anstead discovers her there and, after locking her in another room, calls Bob and gives him the address of Walsh's house, but before he can reveal any additional information, Walsh kills him. Unknown to Walsh, Julie has overheard the murder and knows Walsh's address. She attracts the attention of the janitor and calls the police. Meanwhile, Bob goes after Steve, and finds Arno waiting at the house. Admitting that he is Walsh, Arno explains that after Lysa returned from the hospital, she told him that she was leaving him, so he killed her. He threatens to kill Bob, but Steve, in a body cast, prevents the murder. When the police arrive, there is a shootout and Arno is killed. Steve is rushed to the hospital, and after he recovers, Julie and Bob, who have been married in the meantime, take him with them to the ranch. +

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.