Barry Sulivan is a cynical gangster who controls the Neptune Beach waterfront. He runs a numbers racket with the local soda shop owner: the police are in his pocket and the local hoods are on his payroll.
A wealthy but neurotic Southern belle finds herself trapped in the hideout of a gang of vicious bootleggers. The gang's leader lusts after her, and is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his having her.
Jack La Rue
With the defeat of Germany that ends World War II in Europe, the Allies discover the true horror of more than six million Jews slaughtered by the Nazis - and the fact that one of the ... See full summary »
Wrangler Clay Phillips and his younger brother Steve are taking horses to their ranch near Sonora when they come across four dance hall girls heading the same way with a wrecked buggy. One ... See full summary »
Claude Jarman Jr.
Owen Marks, parked at Lovers' Loop with girlfriend Liz Taggart, surprises a peeping Tom, who knocks him out and kidnaps Liz. The police leap into action when they learn the victim is a cop's daughter. Kidnapper Harold Loftus, the unhinged product of a smothering mother, makes ineffectual advances toward Liz, who staves him off as the police close in, hindered as much as helped by her overprotective father Capt. Dan Taggart.Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Owen Clark is played by Richard Anderson, who would later star opposite Raymond Burr in the final season of "Perry Mason." See more »
When Edmond O'Brien is getting ready to watch a movie on TV, he pours himself a glass of beer which is almost entirely foam. When he stands up to turn off the TV, the glass is suddenly full of beer. See more »
"A Cry in the Night" starts fast: an idealized fifties couple parked in a convertible at the local Inspiration Point, a conked boyfriend, a kidnapped teenage girl (inevitably, the police captain's daughter). From there it fans out into a number of ideas, most of which wander into the dark and disappear, none of which are delivered with any particular inspiration.
We get the question of personal responsibility and "getting involved" when no one else on the scene responds to Natalie Wood's cries for help- from which the title derives- with anything more than mockery. We get the question of how a monster is made when we meet Raymond Burr's horrific and self-absorbed mother. We get the idea of Natalie Wood, victim, fighting to survive by forging a personal connection with her captor. We get the idea that her home life was another form of captivity. Nonetheless, all we really get is a police chase, and it's a pretty mundane one.
From Raymond Burr, we get an interpretation of an unstable but very human mentally-challenged person that builds in places on Lon Chaney Jr.'s performance in "Of Mice and Men", but is still just an unconvincing sketch. From nearly every one else, we get a lot of scenery-nibbling where chewing is called for: Edmond O'Brien, as the missing girl's father, takes his anger level to about a seven and is always willing to stop and quibble about minor distractions. Natalie Wood does a fine job, but knowing what she had been through personally by this time in her young life makes her character's situation more than a bit painful.
Perhaps fortunately, sexual tension is greatly minimized by the era of the film: it's there, eventually, but a much more overt rape threat might truly have demonized Burr's character and thus done a disservice to people who were already marginalized in society.
Unsurprisingly, the subplot in which the Taggart family problems are brought to light by the ordeal at hand is absurdly simplistic and about as subtle and deft as a sledgehammer.
It all moves briskly enough, and Burr's creepy lair is a plus, along with the exciting situation, but there's a much better film in this material. To see a fairly similar story in far more skilled hands (only a year earlier), check out William Wyler's "The Desperate Hours".
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