“Desperate” (1947) / Z-View

Desperate (1947)

Director:  Anthony Mann

Screenplay by:  Harry EssexMartin Rackin (additional dialogue), Dorothy Atlas (story)

Starring:  Steve Brodie, Audrey Long and Raymond Burr

Tagline:  Desperate was their nightmare of FEAR!

The Overview:  Beware of spoilers

Steve (Brodie) and Anne Randall (Long) are ready to celebrate their wedding anniversary when Steve gets a call from a man named Walt Radak (Burr) about a trucking job.  Since they need the money, they decide to postpone the celebration until Steve gets back.

When Steve arrives at the warehouse, he learns that Radak and his crew are thieves who want him to haul stolen property.  Steve refuses, but is forced at gunpoint back into the truck.  As the crooks load the goods, Steve is able to signal a cop walking by.  A shootout ensues.  The cop is shot and killed as everyone scrambles to get away.  Only Radak’s brother is caught.

Steve returns home, gets his wife and they go on the run.  Steve needs to prove his innocence since the cops think he’s part of the cop killer gang.  Radak blames Steve for the bungled robbery and his brother’s capture.  Steve is on the run and desperate…

Desperate is the first and only feature film to star Steve Brodie (which is surprising).  It is also Raymond Burr’s first time playing the lead heavy.  Desperate is a good film noir and rates 3 of 5 stars.