7.3/10
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51 user 43 critic

Crime Wave (1953)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 March 1954 (USA)
Reformed parolee Steve Lacey is caught in the middle when a wounded former cellmate seeks him out for shelter.

Director:

André De Toth

Writers:

Crane Wilbur (screen play), Bernard Gordon (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sterling Hayden ... Det. Lt. Sims
Gene Nelson ... Steve Lacey
Phyllis Kirk ... Ellen Lacey
Ted de Corsia ... 'Doc' Penny
Charles Bronson ... Ben Hastings (as Charles Buchinsky)
Jay Novello ... Dr. Otto Hessler
Nedrick Young ... Gat Morgan (as Ned Young)
James Bell ... Daniel O'Keefe
Dub Taylor ... Gus Snider (as Dubb Taylor)
Gayle Kellogg Gayle Kellogg ... Detective Kelly
Mack Chandler Mack Chandler ... Detective Sully
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Storyline

Three San Quentin escapees (Penny, Hastings and Morgan) kill a cop in a gas-station holdup. Wounded, Morgan flees through black-shadowed streets to the handiest refuge: with former cellmate Steve Lacey, who's paroled, with a new life and lovely wife, and can't afford to be caught associating with old cronies. But homicide detective Sims wants to use Steve to help him catch Penny and Hastings, who in turn extort his help in a bank job. Is there no way out for Steve? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every mugger-nest, creep-joint and dim-lit dive busts wide-open in the year's bullet-riddled cops vs. killers sensation! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Don't Cry, Baby See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Charles Buchinsky signed on as Crime Wave henchman Ben Hastings in 1952, he had never had a credited role in a movie. De Toth could be credited with discovering the man 20 years later Hollywood would know as one of it's biggest box office stars, Charles Bronson. See more »

Goofs

When Nedrick Young (as Gat Morgan) is first shot, he grabs his chest by the right pectoral. When he grabs his wound later, it has migrated to the lower center abdomen. See more »

Quotes

Det. Lt. Sims: You know, it isn't what a man wants to do, Lacey, but what he has to do. Now take me - I love to smoke cigarettes, but the doctors say I can't have them. So what do I do? I chew toothpicks, tons of them.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Decoy: A Map to Nowhere (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I May Be Wrong (but I Think You're Wonderful)
(uncredited)
Music by Henry Sullivan
Played at the diner
See more »

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User Reviews

Jack Webb Meets Stanley Kubrick
13 July 2012 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Aces all around. Too bad this crime drama came along in the twilight of B b&w because it's in the best tradition—fast, tough, and unsentimental. Director deToth is a perfect shaper with his cynical European style. So why do three city slickers stick-up a penny ante filling station, and kill a cop in the process. Because they're prison escapees, it turns out, and on their way to a big score in LA. But first, they have to conscript an ex-con as their flyboy getaway. Meanwhile, of course, the LAPD takes a dim view of such goings on.

Can't help thinking Kubrick caught this flick since so much of the cast, story and LA locations show up in his classic heister, The Killing (1956). Speaking of not getting their due, Hayden is one of the most unusual presences of the period. With his gaunt features, shambling gait, and world-weary air, he towers over movies of the period. Without saying a word, he's clearly not a cop to fool with. But, oddly, it's really Jay Novello who gets a rare chance to shine. A familiar milk-toast presence from a hundred different shows, he rifles the pockets of the dead here, a slimy character until he lovingly takes care of the sick doggie—too bad it's too late for both.

Then there's that combo out of some movie inferno— the real life lunatic Timothy Carey mugging it up mercilessly, along with real life hard case Charlie Bronson getting some practice in. The real life nightmare, however, is leaving your wife with a drooling nut case like Carey as happens here. Now what sane guy would do that. Speaking of girls, I'm wondering where I can find one like the sweater-wearing cutie, Phyllis Kirk. No wonder Carey is drooling.

Anyhow, it's a heckuva good little crime meller with all kinds of colorful touches. I'm just glad deToth held his ground against the studio. Putting stars like Bogart and Ava Gardner in this would have meant the star treatment and not the gritty little sleeper B-movie fans so treasure.


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