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Directed by Rudolph Maté.
Starring Edmond O'Brien, Pamela Britton and Luther Adler.
D.O.A. is a film noir mystery about a dying man searching for his own killer, and is rightly regarded as a classic example of the genre. The film's ingenious opening sees accountant Frank Bigelow (O'Brien) reporting his own murder to officers in a police station, the details of which are then examined in flashback form throughout the movie.
Vacationing in San Francisco much to the displeasure of his girlfriend Paula (Britton), O'Brien is enjoying a night on the town when his drink is swapped by a mysterious stranger. Feeling ill the next day, O'Brien visits a doctor who informs him that he has ingested a slow-acting but incurable toxin. With only days to live, O'Brien sets out to unravel the puzzle behind his murder and track down the killer before it is too late.
D.O.A. is the first directorial effort from Academy Award nominated cinematographer Rudolph Maté. Beginning his career as a camera operator in Europe, Maté developed his trade working for directors such as Carl Theodor Dreyer, before his transition to Hollywood as cinematographer on a number of notable films including Foreign Correspondent (1940), Sahara (1943), and Gilda (1946).
Maté’s skilled visual style led to five consecutive Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography, and is certainly evident in his directorial debut. With a strong cast and complex, twisting narrative D.O.A. is a gripping and original thriller, and infinitely superior to the 1988 remake of the same name starring Dennis Quaid.
Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.
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