Friday, November 25, 2011


During the late 1940's, anti-Semitism was unfortunately on the rise in the United States. Even after what happened earlier in the decade in Germany, there was still much discrimination towards people of Jewish faith.

Hollywood took note of it. In 1947 alone, Gentleman's Agreement and Crossfire were released. The plots for both were different, but both were strictly focused on anti-Semitism. Gentleman's Agreement was about a man posing as Jewish; Crossfire was about a man who was murdered because he was Jewish.

Crossfire is based on a book written by Richard Brooks (later famous for directing such movies as Elmer Gantry and In Cold Blood), however there was one major difference between the book and Edward Dmytryk's movie. The murder victim in the movie is Jewish; in the book, he was a homosexual. (It was changed to appease the censors.) Either way, both could make someone an immediate target of a hate crime.

Crossfire is quite good. I particularly liked the work by Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame, all familiar faces to film noir. However, the flow of the narrative is a little flawed throughout, but that doesn't stop me from recommending it.

My Rating: ****1/2

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