Edge of Doom (1950)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Drama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Edge of Doom is a surprisingly bleak film noir, and that's saying something. It's also a somewhat frustrating one, as it could have been a truly exceptional film but had to settle for being merely quite good. The main problem are the prologue and epilogue that bookend the film; these were written after the film was completed and released, and the tacked-on feeling they give to the piece is unmistakable. Between this beginning and this end, the screenplay makes some other mistakes, soft pedaling a little of the conflict and simplifying some characters and their motivations; but these would have been easier to overlook had the opening and closing segments not been forced on Doom. Even with these flaws, Doom is quite effective and in places remarkably powerful, especially when its social conscience meshes with its story and the two build up a good head of steam. Mark Robson directs the main body of the story with skill and precision, aided enormously by Harry Stradling's commanding and compelling cinematography. Doom would be even better if it had stronger performances from Farley Granger and Dana Andrews; they're both fine, but one wishes they had delved a little deeper into their roles. Fortunately, there's excellent support from Robert Keith and Paul Stewart to help make up for this defect. Doom may miss being an outstanding film, but it's got more than enough going for it to make it a must-see for noir fans.