×

Act of Violence

The grim melodrama implied by its title is fully displayed in Actors of Violence. It is strong meat for the heavy drama addicts, tellingly produced and played to develop tight excitement.

With:
Van Heflin Robert Ryan Janet Leigh Phyllis Thaxter Mary Astor Berry Kroeger

The grim melodrama implied by its title is fully displayed in Actors of Violence. It is strong meat for the heavy drama addicts, tellingly produced and played to develop tight excitement.

Story concerns two vets. Van Heflin has come out of the war with honors while his comrades, all but one, were killed in a Nazi prison camp. Robert Ryan, crippled and vengeful, pursues Heflin to make him answer for betraying his buddies.

The playing and direction catch plot aims and the characterizations are all topflight thesping. Heflin and Ryan deliver punchy performances that give substance to the menacing terror of the Robert L. Richards script, taken from a story by Collier Young.

It’s grim business, unrelieved by lightness, and the players belt over their assignments under Zinnemann’s knowing direction. Janet Leigh points up her role as Heflin’s worried but courageous wife, while Phyllis Thaxter does well by a smaller part as Ryan’s girl. A standout is the brassy, blowzy femme created by Mary Astor – a woman of the streets who gives Heflin shelter during his wild flight from fate.

Popular on Variety

Act of Violence

Production: M-G-M. Director Fred Zinnemann; Producer William H. Wright; Writer Robert L. Richards; Camera Robert Surtees Editor Conrad A. Nervig; Music Bronislau Kaper Art Cedric Gibbons, Hans Peters

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 82 MIN.

With: Van Heflin Robert Ryan Janet Leigh Phyllis Thaxter Mary Astor Berry Kroeger

More Film

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

  • Adam Brody'Ready or Not' film premiere,

    Adam Brody to Executive Produce, Star in 'The Kid Detective'

    “Ready or Not’s” Adam Brody has signed on to star in “The Kid Detective.” Sophie Nelisse will co-star in the dramedy from writer-director Evan Morgan. Brody will star as a once-celebrated kid detective, now 31, who continues to solve the same trivial mysteries between hangovers and bouts of self-pity until a 16-year-old client (Nelisse) brings [...]

  • Alita: Battle Angel VFX

    How Previsualization Helps Create Pitches for Projects Like 'Alita: Battle Angel'

    Filmmakers are increasingly using previsualization, a now-standard technique for planning highly technical shots and sequences, as a tool for pitching a project to production companies, investors and studio executives — before a single full scene has actually been shot. More creatives are relying on the technique, dubbed “pitchvis,” to fashion a compelling and engaging presentation [...]

  • Theo Von arrives at the Global

    Chris Pratt's 'Ghost Draft' Adds Comedian Theo Von

    Comedian Theo Von has boarded the sci-fi thriller “Ghost Draft” starring Chris Pratt. “Lego Batman” filmmaker Chris McKay is directing Skydance and Paramount’s upcoming film, which stars “Handmaid’s Tale” star Yvonne Strahovski alongside Pratt. J.K. Simmons and “GLOW’s” Betty Gilpin are also in talks to join the pic. Written by Zach Dean and Bill Dubuque, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content