CROSSFIRE starred three Roberts: Young, Mitchum, and Ryan in a crime drama about the search for a killer. Robert Young, years before Father Knows best, is Captain Finlay, the cop investigating the murder. Robert Mitchum is Sgt. Peter Keeley, army and Robert Ryan is Montgomery, part of a recently discharged army unit.
The murder victim is a Jew, Joseph Samuels(Sam Levene), beaten to death in a hotel room. The chief suspect is a young soldier, Cpl Arthur Mitchell(George Cooper), an artist that
the army in their infinite wisdom made a sign painter. He’s unhappy and mixed up.
The night it all goes down Keeley had sent for Mitchell’s wife to come down and cheer him up. With that in mind, he was determined to keep the young man sober. Things don’t go as planned and the murder happens.
Mitchell has disappeared and Finlay is looking for him. Keeley is certain his young friend didn’t do it and is working to prove that.
CROSSFIRE was the first B picture to be nominated for best picture, actually accruing five Oscar nominations, including Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame as best supporting actors. Grahame was a young woman that gave Mitchell a partial alibi, at least setting Finlay off in a different direction.
The film is about the dangers of hate for no reason, in this case a theme of anti-Semitism.
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