DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Edward Dmytryk
Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan
Writing Credits:
John Paxton

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 85 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 3/16/2021

• Audio Commentary with Film Historians Alain Silver and James Ursini
• “Hate Is Like A Gun” Featurette


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Crossfire [Blu-Ray] (1947)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 14, 2021)

Expect an unprecedented level of Roberts in 1947’s Crossfire! As it stars Young, Mitchum and Ryan, we get more Roberts than you can shake a stick at.

When someone beats Joseph Samuels (Sam Levene) to death, police Detective Finlay (Young) investigates. He quickly learns that this was a hate crime related to Samuel‘s status as a Jew.

Finlay soon figures out that one of a group of demobilized GIs committed the crime, and Cpl. Arthur Mitchell (George Cooper) becomes the main suspect, largely due to the testimony of bigoted Sgt. Montgomery (Ryan). Finlay seems less sure of Mitchell’s involvement, so along with Army Sgt. Peter Keeley (Mitchum), he attempts to learn the truth.

Fancypants movie critics like me love to toss around discussions of the “Rashomon Effect”. It means a story told from multiple – and often contradictory – perspectives.

Crossfire predates Rashomon by three years, so we can’t accuse its creators of theft. Crossfire doesn’t offer a true representation of the “Rashomon Effect” anyway, as it provides varying stories told in flashback, but they don’t usually follow the “same event from multiple viewpoints” framework. They do offer distorted interpretations, though.

I find it interesting to note the similarities, as Crossfire brings a tale told mostly from the retrospective angle. That allows it to provide a good mystery path, as we get to track the investigation via a mix of perspectives.

Crossfire also reminds me of another era film: Gentleman’s Agreement. Both came out in 1947, and both earned Best Picture nominations, an award that Agreement won.

The two echo each other in their focus on anti-Semitism as a factor, though in different ways. While Crossfire takes on a more violent form of bigotry, Agreement looks at more subtle kinds of discrimination.

Of the two, Crossfire addresses the subject in a much more satisfying manner. Agreement tends to feel heavy-handed and preachy, but those same issues don’t damage Crossfire.

Basically Agreement took its social themes and built a story around these, whereas Crossfire delivers a much more plot-oriented affair. Not that it eschews all moralizing, as we do find a scene with the obligatory anti-bigotry lecture.

Still, Crossfire mainly concentrates on the murder and its investigation, and it does reasonably well in that regard. At no point does this threaten to become the most compelling murder mystery, but it moves at a good clip and digs into events with gusto.

The movie’s brevity helps. At a tight 85 minutes, Crossfire never wears out its welcome, so it keeps us involved and never bored.

The cast helps, as all those Roberts offer effective work. In particular, Ryan does well as the angry Montgomery, and Mitchum and Young create a good pair as well.

All of this adds up to a fairly compelling mix of drama and crime investigation. Nothing here turns Crossfire into a classic, but it still works well after nearly 75 years.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

Crossfire appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer held up well over the years.

Sharpness mainly came across well, with images that largely appeared accurate and well-defined. A few slightly ill-defined elements materialized, but most of the movie showed nice accuracy.

Crossfire lacked moiré effects or jagged edges, and edge haloes also remained absent. The presence of grain implied that the image didn’t suffer from notable digital noise reduction.

Blacks looked taut and dense, while low-light shots demonstrated appropriate smoothness and clarity. Contrast also appeared well-developed, as the black and white photography showed the expected silvery sheen.

Print flaws failed to become a factor, so we got an image without specks or marks. This turned into a pleasing presentation.

I thought the movie’s DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack seemed dated but adequate. In terms of dialogue, the lines remained intelligible and offered reasonable clarity.

Neither music nor effects boasted much range or dimensionality, but both appeared clean and accurate enough, without distortion or problems. This mix felt more than acceptable for its vintage.

Some extras appear here, and we get an audio commentary with film historians James Ursini and Alain Silver. They also introduce excerpts from archival interviews with director Edward Dmytryk.

In this running, screen-specific chat, we hear about the adaptation of the source novel and issues with the Production Code, story/characters, cast and crew, the impact of the anti-Communist scare, and related domains.

Overall, this feels like a generally positive track but not a great one. I like Dmytryk’s remarks, and the two film historians chime in with useful notes.

However, they don’t give us quite as much insight as I might expect. Expect a worthwhile chat that fails to stand out as especially strong.

Hate Is Like A Gun runs eight minutes, 58 seconds and offers remarks from Dmytryk. “Hate” looks at the source novel’s adaptation, story/characters, reflections of societal issues, photography and style, cast and performances, and the movie’s release/reception. “Hate” becomes a short but efficient overview of the production.

A mix of film noir and social commentary, Crossfire offers a largely compelling affair. With a solid cast and a tight story, it works pretty well. The Blu-ray comes with appealing picture and audio along with a few bonus features. This turns into an engaging drama.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main