Seven Days in Noirvember #5: Deadline at Dawn

(This seven-part series focusing on film noir during what’s known as “Noirvember” will consist of 100-word pieces intended to be as punchy as any good noir screenplay.)

Deadline at Dawn (1946) – Directed by Harold Clurman

You can’t get more “film noir” than to be based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich and to have cinematography by Nicholas Musuraca (who shot Out of the Past the following year). In this frantic film set during one sweaty summer night Susan Hayward makes a lovely leading lady for Bill Williams, playing a dancehall girl and a sailor respectively, while excellent support is provided by Paul Lukas, Joseph Calleia, Lola Lane, Jerome Cowan and Marvin Miller. This was renowned theater director and critic Clurman’s only film; he was much better known for having cofounded the Group Theatre in 1931.


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