Saturday, September 7, 2013

D.O.A. - "Nobody Dies For Free" (1950)

Time for the Saturday Night Film Noir Super Special, tonight featuring a clever little film from 1950 starring Edmond O'Brien, "D.O.A!"

Now I'm figuring it's safe to assume that everybody knows that "D.O.A" stands for Dead on Arrival! If not, well now you do!

"D.O.A." starts off with Edmond O'Brien as Frank Bigelow walking down a long hall, but it's really going to be a short haul, because Frank Bigelow has just found out that he's been poisoned!

Because of the nature of the poison that Frank has been poisoned with, and because there's no antidote after about 5 hours, when Frank finally gets to the Homicide Division, he is literally a walking, talking dead man!

So let's go back to the beginning, Frank has been called to go to San Francisco on some business, and he has to leave his secretary/lover behind to watch over the office! Frank's Girl Paula Gibson is played by Pamela Britton! Pamela doesn't have a lot of credits, but she has some good ones!! Pamela had the role of Dagwood's wife Blondie in 27 episodes of the awesome TV series "Blondie" that was based on the Sunday morning newspaper comic! Pamela was also Mrs. Lorelei Brown in 62 episodes of  "My Favorite Martian!" In 1974 Pamela started having headaches, so she went to see a doctor, two weeks later, she was dead at the age of 51, the victim of a brain tumor! Life's not fair kids!

You might wonder what those funny swizzle stick noises are in the little sound clip I've provided you with, it's just that whenever Frank sees a hot chick, that's the noise somebody decided to add to the sound track! It's so cartoonish, it really makes you wonder WTF!

So Frank is asked to go along with some party people he met at his hotel, and they head off into the night for some music and more libations! They end up at a club called "The Fisherman" and man, the joint is jumpin'!

The band is smokin' hot, and that's an understatement! The maniacal sax player is Van Streeter! Van led a group called Von Streeter and his Wig Poppers! He's joined on stage by Cake Witchard on drums, the amazing Shifty Henry on bass, Ray Laurie on the piano and Teddy (Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte) Buckner on trumpet! Believe it or don't, the raucous music they created wasn't even good enough for the producer who overdubbed another band led by Maxwell Davis! What a krazy world!!

Here's yet another far-out fact! That krazy kat digging the music in a small bit part was none other that Hugh (Wyatt Earp) O'Brian! "The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp" was just a small footnote in Hugh's career, but it went on for 227 episodes from 1955 to 1961!  Unfreakingbelievable!

So, how's it feel? You just got into town, you're getting drunk with a bunch of strangers, and one guy's wife is hanging onto you like a starfish on a pier! The air's starting to get a little thick!

Then some super mysterious mofo shows up, and slips something weird into your glass, unbeknownst to you!

Gee, this drinks tastes kinda funny! Hey, Bartender bring me another drink, and wash the glass this time!

Frank Bigelow wakes up the next morning feeling like shit, and he's got some kind of gut feeling that this isn't your run of the mill hangover!

Frank feels bad enough that he goes to see a doctor, and that's when he finds out he's been poisoned by some luminous toxin that has no cure after a certain length of time! His library card has essentially expired!

Now he's got nothing better to do than try and find out what it's all about, and why it happened to him! I love this shot!!

The game is on, and Frank ends up going to L.A. where he starts to put all the clues together!

"D.O.A." is filled to the brim, and overflowing with talent! Here's the great Neville Brand as psycho henchman Chester! What do you think? Does he look just a little bit crazy? Neville was so talented, he could be a tough guy killer in one movie, and warm and fuzzy in another one!  His roles ranged everywhere from this film to "That Darn Cat," with stops in "The Twilight Zone" in the episode called "The Encounter," to 56 episodes of "Laredo" as Reese Bennett, to George Fromley as "The Mad Bomber!"

Time for one last good-bye! He knows it's the end, but she doesn't!

So there you go, "D.O.A." is one movie I don't mind telling you the ending, because, nothing has changed since the beginning of the film! Frank Bigelow is still a dead man, and this is one movie that doesn't have a happy ending!

"D.O.A." is a classic piece of film noir! I got my dvd copy for a dollar from Target, you are even luckier, and can watch or download it for free from The Internet Archive, and that's exactly what I suggest that you do immediately, if not sooner, before your time runs out too!

No comments:

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??