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22 user 14 critic

A Cry in the Night (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 August 1956 (USA)
A deranged man kidnaps the nubile daughter of a police captain.

Director:

Frank Tuttle

Writers:

David Dortort (screenplay), Whit Masterson (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edmond O'Brien ... Capt. Dan Taggart
Brian Donlevy ... Capt. Ed Bates
Natalie Wood ... Elizabeth
Raymond Burr ... Harold Loftus
Richard Anderson ... Owen Clark
Irene Hervey ... Helen Taggart
Carol Veazie Carol Veazie ... Mrs. Mabel Loftus
Mary Lawrence Mary Lawrence ... Madge Taggart
Anthony Caruso ... Tony Chavez
George J. Lewis ... George Gerrity
Peter Hansen ... Dr. Frazee
Tina Carver ... Mrs. Marie Holzapple
Herb Vigran ... Jensen - Sergeant at Police Desk
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Storyline

Owen Marks, parked at Lovers' Loop with girlfriend Liz Taggart, surprises a peeping Tom, who knocks him out and kidnaps Liz. The police leap into action when they learn the victim is a cop's daughter. Kidnapper Harold Loftus, the unhinged product of a smothering mother, makes ineffectual advances toward Liz, who staves him off as the police close in, hindered as much as helped by her overprotective father Capt. Dan Taggart. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eighteen, nice girl, nice home - How did she fall this far?... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Cry in the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Produced by Jaguar Productions, owned by Alan Ladd - who was also Richard Anderson's father-in-law at the time. Anderson was borrowed from MGM for this film. See more »

Goofs

When Edmond O'Brien is getting ready to watch a movie on TV, he pours himself a glass of beer which is almost entirely foam. When he stands up to turn off the TV, the glass is suddenly full of beer. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Dan Taggart: I just wanna know what's bothering Madge.
Helen Taggart: She isn't married, that's what's bothering her. She's 37 years old and she isn't married.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting 1950s psycho/melodrama artifact
15 June 2010 | by fmlesterSee all my reviews

Edmond O'Brien gets to chew the scenery as a desperate police captain on the hunt for a blubbering, wallowing, cretinous pervert/Peeping Tom/kidnapper played by Raymond Burr, in one of his last roles before starting work on "Perry Mason." The kidnapper played by Burr has snatched O'Brien's daughter, played by Natalie Wood, from a tryst on Lover's Lane with a car salesman played by Richard Anderson, who was later to play Oscar Goldman in "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman." You can see the ending a million miles away, but the point isn't the plot as much as the B-movie feel and the often unintentionally hilarious line readings, characters, and themes. The film is a mediocre example of a kind of morality play that frequented American film-making in the 1950s, with a stern father with an explosive temper -- O'Brien -- ruling with an iron fist over a household that on the surface seems perfect but which of course has shadows lurking within, complete with a simpering wife and a dark (but not that dark) secret that gets revealed at the end, and with ham-handed references to sub-Freudian psychological motivations for the kidnapper's brutish behavior. Natalie Woods looks and acts every bit the part of a quivering, naive 18-year-old fifties débutante, in a role that would have had Elizabeth Taylor finding a way to scratch the kidnapper's eyes out. O'Brien is the prototypical cop who can't leave his work at home and spends most of the movie haranguing his hapless night supervisor and browbeating his daughter's boyfriend. Anderson doesn't really look the part of a young boyfriend, but then again, Natalie Wood was dating Raymond Burr behind the scenes while the film was being shot. The ending is abrupt and pat.


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