Cry Vengeance

1954

Crime / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.5

Synopsis


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1.57G
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English
/
82 min
P/S 62 / 73
1.00G
Normal
English
/
82 min
P/S 28 / 32

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 6

Cry Vengeance owes a debt to the previous year&#39;s Fritz Lang film The Big Heat. It too tells the tale of an honest cop whose family was killed in a mob-engineered explosion and who sets out as a crazed vigilante seeking redress. But while The Big Heat sizzles, Cry Vengeance stays tepid, perhaps owing to its sub-Arctic setting.<br/><br/>The star of earlier noirs The Dark Corner and The Street with No Name, Mark Stevens directs himself as the hate-twisted protagonist, just out of prison after being framed and losing his wife and daughter. (Stevens has aged visibly, and it&#39;s not just the scarred-face makeup his character sports.) Strong-arm tactics with plenty of karate chops elicit the information that the man he holds responsible has assumed a new identity in Ketchikam, Alaska. But not only is Steven&#39;s arrival expected, he&#39;s followed by a platinum-haired gunsel who&#39;s the real killer (Skip Homeier, who bears a resemblance to Lee Marvin, The Big Heat&#39;s sadistic torpedo).<br/><br/>Cry Vengeance matches its predecessor in brutality but comes up short everywhere else. Muddy photography wastes the scenic north, while the bland dialogue lacks the epigrammatic edge that&#39;s one of the joys of film noir (no &quot;sisters under the mink&quot; insinuation here as in Lang&#39;s film). The plot, with its double-crosses, needs a more baroque approach to sell itself.<br/><br/>On the whole, Cry Vengeance falls victim to the fatigue that, by 1954, was beginning to beset the entire noir cycle. Plots and characters amount, basically, to retreads. Joan Vohs, as Homeier&#39;s sozzled moll, couldn&#39;t have given this performance without Gloria Grahame&#39;s the year before in The Big Heat. With Stevens looking tired, too, it doesn&#39;t augur well for Cry Vengeance. But it holds distinction as the only film noir set in the Alaskan Territory, as Hell&#39;s Half Acre of the same year was the only one set in the Hawaiian (it wasn&#39;t until 1959 that statehood was conferred on both territories).

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Reviewed by MartinTeller 8

What do you do when you get framed for bribery, your face is disfigured and your wife and child are killed? You seek revenge, even if it takes you to Ketchikan, Alaska. Mark Stevens (THE DARK CORNER, THE STREET WITH NO NAME) both stars and makes his directorial debut with a cheapie BIG HEAT knockoff, but it&#39;s a tasty little morsel. Stevens gives the best performance I&#39;ve seen from him, cold and intense, and leads a mighty fine cast of B-roster supporting players. The characters are so engaging that the deaths are tangibly felt by the viewer. Pretty much everyone in this movie is fun to watch, especially Skip Homeier as the suave, menacing gangster and Joan Vohs as his conflicted moll. Even the little girl is good. The film has a terrific rough-and-tumble attitude, with biting dialogue, dark morality, smoky jazz in nightclubs and cheap dives, and lots of fist fights. There&#39;s some good exploration of ethical grey area. It could use a little more directorial finesse, but for a first effort it&#39;s not too bad and sports a couple of well-shot sequences. Maybe not one of the greats, but it packs a good noir punch.

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Reviewed by secondtake 4

Cry Vengeance (1954)<br/><br/>Leading man Mark Stevens falls something short of a cult figure. He is director and first actor in four movies from 1954 (this one, his first) to 1963. He plays his roles as if he is in control, which he is, literally, from the director&#39;s chair. He&#39;s the hardened type, and here he is bitter bitter bitter, to the point that he is not quite a fully developed character and it&#39;s hard to get absorbed in his problem.<br/><br/>The rest of the movie is functional. It doesn&#39;t lack interest--for one thing, it&#39;s shot in Alaska, mostly (the exterior shots)--and the supporting cast is middling to good, filling roles we&#39;ve seen before from pretty girl befriending the unlikely hero to chatty bartenders to a sweet kid who turns the man around through her innocence. And the filming (William Sickner, a routine cameraman with nearly two hundred B-movies to his credit) and editing, likewise, are workaday...the job gets done, but it lacks some kind of richness or aura or plain old drama. <br/><br/>Then to make it a little more disappointing, a couple of the main themes are taken a little too directly from earlier noirs, namely &quot;The Big Heat&quot; which came out the year before. The theme, established right away, is a cop who is out for vengeance against whoever killed his wife and child in a car bomb meant for him. Stevens plays this part with cold certitude. It&#39;s an interesting film in some ways, but a clunker in many others. Take it for what it was, and what it is.

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