Cry Danger (1951) ** 3/4
Directed by Robert Parrish. Written by Jerome Cady & William Bowers. Producer, Sam Wiesenthal. Photography, Joseph Biroc. Art director, Richard Day. Music, Hugo Friedhofer et al. Cast: Dick Powell, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Erdman, William Conrad, Regis Toomey, et al. An RKO film. 79 minutes
Parrish’s first directorial effort is essentially a B movie. He was a Jack of all tradesin the business: a child actor, youth actor, an assistant editor, an editor, later a director, etc. This film is about a con (Powell) who had been framed, had served 5 years and now seeks stolen money and revenge.
A fast-shot and fast-moving feature that does its no-nonsense thing in 79 un-padded minutes fast-shot feature, just a short (an unpadded this no-nonsense pic of betrayals is quite colorful and most watchable.
My main interest in it is Dick Powell, who, overall, was a major movie player. For a long time he starred in musicals (including some classics of the genre) as a singing pretty-boy. In one of the hugest career changes –perhaps the most striking in Hollywood-- he became tough private eye Philip Marlowe in “Murder My Sweet.” He was such a hit that he went on to a totally new genre in first-rate films noirs –many of them classics-- also in auctioneers, several of them very good. He also made lighter movies and occasionally starred in TV’s “The Dick Powell Show.”
The transformation of a very popular, nice but pallid warbling, cute fellow to a tough-as-nails character is probably the biggest, most amazing change undergone by any Hollywood star. .