"I want to report a murder...mine." So begins D.O.A. Told in flashback, the story tells of how vacationing CPA Frank Bigelow (Edmond O'Brien) becomes the recipient of a deadly poison known as iridium. Told by a doctor that he hasn't long to live, Bigelow desperately retraces his movements of the previous 24 hours, trying to locate his murderer. Through the aid of his secretary Paula Gibson (Pamela Britton) (who doesn't know of her employer's imminent demise), Bigelow traces a shipment of iridium to a gang of criminals who've used the poison in the commission of a crime. But for much of the film, it remains unclear why Bigelow himself was targeted. Though we know from the outset that Bigelow isn't long for this world, the film builds up an incredible amount of suspense towards the end, when Bigelow is taken "for a ride" by a psychopath (Neville Brand). with a penchant for pummeling his victims in the belly. DOA was remade in 1988 with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan.
by Hal Erickson synopsis