Deadline at Dawn represented not only the sole film directorial effort of Broadway's Harold Clurman, but also the only cinematic collaboration between Clurman and his former Group Theatre associate, screenwriter Clifford Odets. While on shore leave in New York, sailor Alex (Bill Williams) is slipped a doped-up drink by B-girl Edna (Lola Lane). When he awakens, Alex discovers that she has been murdered. Though he believes that he's the killer, our hero is talked into locating the actual miscreant by philosophical cab driver gus (Paul Lukas) and nightclub dancer June (Susan Hayward). Adapted from a novel by Cornell Woolrich, Deadline at Dawn leans towards pretentiousness at times, but is redeemed by the no-nonsense performance by Susan Hayward.
by Hal Erickson synopsis