Download A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night
A police captain's emotions get in the way when his daughter is kidnapped.


John Chard
Don’t go walking down lovers loop, with anyone else but me. A Cry in the Night is directed by Frank Tuttle and adapted to screenplay by David Dortort from Whit Masterson’s novel All through the Night. It stars Edmond O’Brien, Brian Donlevy, Natalie Wood, Raymond Burr and Richard Anderson. Music is by David Buttolph and cinematography by John F. Seitz. Not a great deal to sing about here, which is a shame because the potential for an electric thriller is right there on the page. Burr plays a peeping tom type who is dominated by his mother, during one of his “sessions” up at Lovers Loop he gets caught and during the altercation he knocks out Anderson’s boyfriend and kidnaps Wood, who happens to be the daughter of O’Brien’s policeman. Film then relies on police procedural for its narrative thrust, stopping occasionally to tease us with serious parental issues on both sides of the fence, all while Burr acts on the edge of sanity whilst holding Wood captive in a remote old shack. Apricot Pie. The subject matter is a hot potato, but nothing ever rings true on account of cheap production values and uninspiring direction. Seitz does the best he can to create sweaty atmosphere via his camera lenses, and Buttolph’s score is at one with the melodramatics. Unfortunately the cast are poor, with O’Brien unusually wooden, Burr not convincing, Donlevy is going through the motions and Anderson is not only dull, he’s a bit old for the teen lover character he is playing. Wood comes out with credit and her scenes with Burr are the best parts of he film, while Carol Veazie as the domineering mother is a hoot. The back stories to the making of the film are far more interesting than the film itself! 5/10

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