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"D.O.A." - Murder Mystery Thriller
released on April 30, 1949
The Actors: Edmond O'Brien (Frank Begelow), Pamela Britton (Paula Gibson), Luther Adler (Majak), Beverly Garland (Miss Foster), Lynn Baggett (Mrs. Philips), William Ching (Halliday), Henry Hart (Stanley Philips), Neville Brand (Chester), Laurette Luez (Marla Rakubian), Jess Kirkpatrick (Sam Haskel), Cay Forester (Sue), Frank Jaquet (Dr. Matson), Lawrence Dobkin (Dr. Schaefer), Frank Gerstle (Dr. MacDonald), Carol Hughes (Kitty), Michael Ross (Dave), Donna Sanborn (Nurse), Bill Baldwin (the St. Francis hotel desk clerk), Diana Barrymore (woman checking into hotel), Teddy Buckner (club trumpet player), Frank Cady (Eddie the bartender), Jadie Carson (bandleader), Roy Engel (Police Captain), Douglas Evans (Eddie, the salesman on the telephone), Sam Harris (man at the fisherman table), Shifty Henry (club base player), Ray Laurie (club pianist), Virginia Lee ('Easy' Jeanie), Peter Leeds (Leo the bartender), George Lynn (homicide detective), Harold Miller (man in hallway), Hugh O'Brian (jazz fan), Jerry Paris (bellhop), Phillip Pine (Angelo), Lynne Roberts (Jane Carlyle), Van Streeter (club saxophone player), Ivan Triesault (photographer), Cake Witchard (club drummer)
Dead on Arrival . . .
The opening music is heavy, slow and steady, almost like a funeral dirge playing soulfully as we watch a man walk into a police station who enters the Homicide office. The man asks for the head of homicide and is ushered into his office and takes a seat. When the chief of homicide asks him what he can do for him, the man exclaims that he wants to report a murder. The cop asks him where and when this murder took place, and the man in the seat tells him that it took place in San Francisco last night. Next the copper asks the stranger who got murdered . . . The man in the seat pauses for a moment and blurts out that he is the murder victim - he was murdered last night in a jazz club in San Francisco. So begins one of the most curious murder mysteries that was ever put on motion picture film. Edmond O'Brien, as small town businessman Frank Bigelow, is frazzled with the work and decides to go to the big city to get away from it all for a few days, so he heads for San Francisco. He discovers that there is a big convention in town and the place is rocking with parties, booze, hot women and good times. As Bigelow gets to his hotel room his secretary from back home calls and tells him that a stranger called him and insisted on speaking to him 'before it is too late.' Bigelow doesn't know who the man is, and doesn't much care, because there is a swinging party going on across the hall and he is just itching to join the party. This leads to that and Bigelow finds himself in a jazz club where he spots a beautiful blonde in the corner that he would like to hit on. He walks over and introduces himself to her and offers to buy her a drink. He asks the bartender to bring him his bourbon that he left at the other end of the bar, but before the bartender can get his drink something strange happens. A person with his back to us silently exchanges Bigelow's drink with another drink . . . a glass of poison. Bigelow will drink the poison and discover later that he has been murdered . . . Bigelow checks with a second doctor who confirms that he has enough poison in his body to kill him in a day . . . or maybe two days . . . a week at the most . . . and there is nothing that anyone can do to save him. The doctor is preparing to call the police to report the poisoning, but Bigelow suddenly turns and runs out of the office . . . Running for his life . . . Bigelow has a day, maybe two . . . Precious little time left before he dies . . . . He must use his final hours to find the person who killed him, and discover why anyone would want him dead. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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2014 was an exciting year for me, and I want to say thank you to every visitor that enjoys these old movies as much as I do. Four years ago I found myself with the knowledge to create nice web pages, along with a stack of old public domain movies that I owned and enjoyed. I decided to share them with the world . . . I thought that the 150 or so movies that I had collected were all the public domain movies in existence, but soon discovered more, and with good research and the help of the internet I am still discovering lost classics to share. Thanks to the amazing people at the Dream Network I am able to share more than 2,000 almost forgotten classics, with many more sitting on my shelf waiting their turn to be added to this web site. In 2014 the number of friends visiting the site and enjoying the movies tripled, and I am very grateful. One day in 2014 I got an e-mail note from Sir Robert Rietty, a British actor and voice-over specialist who wanted to thank me for sharing movies featuring himself and his famous acting teacher father Victor Rietti. We became e-mail friends, and I was able to find even more of his movies that were in public domain and share them with him and you, and Sir Robert was gracious enough to share behind-the-scenes stories about some of his experiences. I have also been honored to meet and become friends with Canadian director Rex Bromfield, a longtime friend of Richard Burton. Rex shared two experiences with Burton that have never been made public before, and I shared them with you in my reviews of the 1973 Welsh productions starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Divorce His and the sequel Divorce Hers. I was also fortunate in discovering Adrian, a film collector in England, and I have been able to purchase many old British films that I, and indeed most folk outside Britain have never seen or heard of. It appears that 2015 will be the year of British Classics thanks to Adrian. I cannot describe with words how much joy I am enjoying while building this web site and sharing the movies that I love with the rest of the world. Thank you all for sharing in my journey and exploring the stories produced during the first years of motion picture history. The past four years have been an incredible journey, but I suspect that the best is yet ahead of us, so stick around and visit often . . . And don't be shy about sending me a note, I cherish every one and respond to all of them.
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