D.O.A. (April 30, 1949)

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D.O.A.
 

Released on April 30, 1949: A man on holiday in San Francisco drinks a glass of poison that will kill him in two days, and goes on a furious chase to discover who wanted him to die.

Produced by Leo C. Popkin

Directed by Rudolph Mate

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)

 

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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 and meet some women.

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 from a doctor 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.

Edmond O'Brien
Edmond O'Brien
Virginia Lee watches Edmond O'Brien drink the poison
Virginia Lee watches Edmond O'Brien drink the poison
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Beverly Garland
Beverly Garland
Beverly Garland and Edmond O'Brien
Beverly Garland and Edmond O'Brien
Beverly Garland and Henry Hart
Beverly Garland and Henry Hart
Beverly Garland
Beverly Garland
Beverly Garland
Beverly Garland
Cake Witchard
Cake Witchard
Edmond O'Brien and Beverly Garland
Edmond O'Brien and Beverly Garland
Edmond O'Brien and Cay Forester
Edmond O'Brien and Cay Forester
Edmond O'Brien and Henry Hart
Edmond O'Brien and Henry Hart
Edmond O'Brien and Laurette Luez
Edmond O'Brien and Laurette Luez
Edmond O'Brien and Pamela Britton
Edmond O'Brien and Pamela Britton
Edmond O'Brien, Phillip Pine and Ivan Triesault
Edmond O'Brien, Phillip Pine and Ivan Triesault
Frank Gerstle and Edmond O'Brien
Frank Gerstle and Edmond O'Brien
Frank Gerstle
Frank Gerstle
Jess Kirkpatrick, Cay Forester and Edmond O'Brien
Jess Kirkpatrick, Cay Forester and Edmond O'Brien
Jess Kirkpatrick
Jess Kirkpatrick
Laurette Luez
Laurette Luez
Laurette Luez and Luther Adler
Laurette Luez and Luther Adler
Laurette Luez
Laurette Luez
Luther Adler and Edmond O'Brien
Luther Adler and Edmond O'Brien
Lynn Baggett
Lynn Baggett
Lynn Baggett
Lynn Baggett
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand, Michael Ross and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand, Michael Ross and Edmond O'Brien
Neville Brand
Neville Brand
Pamela Britton, Edmond O'Brien and Carol Hughes
Pamela Britton, Edmond O'Brien and Carol Hughes
Pamela Britton
Pamela Britton
Peter Leeds
Peter Leeds
Ray Laurie
Ray Laurie
Roy Engel
Roy Engel
Virginia Lee and Edmond O'Brien
Virginia Lee and Edmond O'Brien
Virginia Lee and Edmond O'Brien
Virginia Lee and Edmond O'Brien
Virginia Lee
Virginia Lee
William Ching
William Ching