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D.O.A. (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 21 April 1950 (USA)
Frank Bigelow, told he's been poisoned and has only a few days to live, tries to find out who killed him and why.

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Writers:

Russell Rouse (story and screenplay), Clarence Greene (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edmond O'Brien ... Frank Bigelow
Pamela Britton ... Paula Gibson
Luther Adler ... Majak
Beverly Garland ... Miss Foster (as Beverly Campbell)
Lynn Baggett ... Mrs. Philips
William Ching ... Halliday
Henry Hart Henry Hart ... Stanley Philips
Neville Brand ... Chester
Laurette Luez ... Marla Rakubian
Jess Kirkpatrick ... Sam
Cay Forester ... Sue (as Cay Forrester)
Frank Jaquet ... Dr. Matson (as Fred Jaquet)
Lawrence Dobkin ... Dr. Schaefer (as Larry Dobkin)
Frank Gerstle ... Dr. MacDonald
Carol Hughes ... Kitty
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Storyline

Small-town accountant Frank Bigelow goes to San Francisco for a week's fun prior to settling down with fiancée Paula. After a night on the town, he wakes up with more than just a hangover; doctors tell him he's been given a "luminous toxin" with no antidote and has, at most, a week to live! Not knowing who did it or why, Bigelow embarks on a frantic odyssey to find his own murderer. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A picture as excitingly different as its title!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 April 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead on Arrival See more »

Company Credits

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

The initials "D.O.A." stand for "dead on arrival". See more »

Goofs

When Frank leaves the St. Francis and gets on the cable car, it is going Southbound towards the end of the line on Market Street, a few blocks away. But in the next scene, the cable car is going uphill (Northbound) in the opposite direction, and he gets off five blocks away at California Street. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Homicide Detective: Can I help you?
Frank Bigelow: I'd like to see the man in charge.
Homicide Detective: In here...
Frank Bigelow: I want to report a murder.
Homicide Captain: Sit down. Where was this murder committed?
Frank Bigelow: San Francisco, last night.
Homicide Captain: Who was murdered?
Frank Bigelow: I was.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits read "The medical facts in this motion picture are authentic. Luminous toxin is a descriptive term for an actual poison. Technical Adviser, Edward F. Dunne, M.D." See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Real Sherlock Holmes (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The definitive Film Noir....
13 October 2003 | by JOHN_REIDSee all my reviews

Frank Bigelow: "I want to report a murder." Homicide Captain: "Where was this murder committed?" Frank Bigelow: "San Francisco, last night." Homicide Captain: "Who was murdered?" Frank Bigelow: "I was."

It must be the dream of all directors to open a film with a scene or line which carries great impact and remains in the memory. The opening line in D.O.A must rank among the most dramatically effective and intriguing lines that has ever opened a movie. This is the quintessential film noir. Edmond O'Brien as the tough, hard drinking businessman who has grown tired of the normalcy of his life and the clinging Paula. His holiday in San Francisco is an opportunity to break the shackels. The premise that the hero has been given a slow poison for which there is no cure, and only a day or so to solve his own murder before he dies, is exceptional. We also have an array of sultry "bad girls", a seedy villain and a manic hitman. Rudoph Mate directs brilliantly, not missing a moment to twist and turn the action at a fast pace with no dull moments. Scenes of O'Brien running through city streets after he has learned his fate are superb with incredibly realistic wide shots. The fact that his direction is so effective makes one wonder how he could have allowed the lapses of ridiculous canned "wolf whistles" whenever the hero passed a good looking girl in the early scenes. Although these "wolf whistles" are really out of place and very annoying, the film is so effective that we can forgive the indiscretion. This is a classic example of a brilliant plot superbly told in a way that is still gripping 50 years after it was made. D.O.A. defines Film Noir.


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