CROSSFIRE

We three, we noirish three (1947)
With Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame, Sam Levene
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

    Several sources contend that two films from 1947, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT and CROSSFIRE, were the first Hollywood motion pictures to deal with the subject of anti-Semitism.  They weren't; MR. SKEFFINGTON (1944) was, although the social commentary in SKEFFINGTON was overwhelmed by its epic soap-opera narrative.  Today, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT seems hopelessly dated and contrived, whereas CROSSFIRE's message still works.  In addition, and perhaps more importantly to today's audiences, CROSSFIRE also works as a suspenseful noir thriller.  Of the three Roberts in the leading roles, Young makes for a good fatherly detective, though you wish he'd put that damn pipe down; Mitchum is solid in an understated performance, but he is underutilized; and Ryan steals the show with his chilling portrayal of a murderous bigot. 4 -  JL

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