7.5/10
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62 user 30 critic

Act of Violence (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | February 1949 (USA)
An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writers:

Robert L. Richards (screenplay), Collier Young (story)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Van Heflin ... Frank R. Enley
Robert Ryan ... Joe Parkson
Janet Leigh ... Edith Enley
Mary Astor ... Pat
Phyllis Thaxter ... Ann
Berry Kroeger ... Johnny
Taylor Holmes ... Gavery
Harry Antrim Harry Antrim ... Fred
Connie Gilchrist ... Martha
Will Wright ... Pop
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Storyline

War veteran Frank Enley seems to be a happily married small-town citizen until he realises Joe Parkson is in town. It seems Parkson is out for revenge because of something that happened in a German POW camp, and when a frightened Enley suddenly leaves for a convention in L.A., Parkson is close behind. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Manhunt No Woman Could Stop! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akt der Gewalt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,290,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Astor and Janet Leigh co-starred in MGM's Little Women (1949) with June Allyson the same year this film was released. See more »

Goofs

As Parkson (Ryan) gets into the rowboat, there is a stiff breeze, the water is choppy, and a cloudy sky is 'threatening'; a second later, after the tender pushes the boat away from the dock, the lake is calm and breeze-free, and the sky is clear. See more »

Quotes

Pat: They've got all kinds of laws. They've got laws to help people, too.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Act of Violence: Dealing with the Devil (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ryan, Heflin as hunter and prey in look at WWII's dark aftermath
30 August 2001 | by bmacvSee all my reviews

This grim look a couple of demobbed soldiers continuing their private war at home rarely get mentioned in lists of essential noirs; maybe, upon release in 1949, it was just a little too close for comfort -- hinting a truths the victorious American public were unwilling to acknowledge. If so, the film has yet to be rediscovered --or reappraised. Van Heflin is living out the modest American dream in sunny California when into his life strides an old combat buddy, Robert Ryan (at his most menacing, which is nothing to sneeze at). To his wife's (Janet Leigh's) consternation, Heflin takes it on the lam, and slowly we learned what happened, or may have happened, over in a POW camp in the European Theater of War. As Heflin's flight takes him into seedier and more sinister surroundings, he links up with Mary Astor, living on the vague border of prostitution. (After helping to launch the cycle with her spectacular turn as Brigid O'Shaugnessey in The Maltese Falcon, Astor appeared in disappointingly few film noir; her expert performance here makes one wonder why, why, why?) Though the script opts for a strange and bitter "redemptive" ending, the acrid taste of Act of Violence lingers long.


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