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Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

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1:48 | Trailer
Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But Dixon's vicious nature will get the better of him.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screenplay), Victor Trivas (adaptation) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Det. Mark Dixon
Gene Tierney ... Morgan Taylor
Gary Merrill ... Tommy Scalise
Bert Freed ... Det. Paul Klein
Tom Tully ... Jiggs Taylor
Karl Malden ... Lt. Thomas
Ruth Donnelly ... Martha
Craig Stevens ... Ken Paine
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Storyline

Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon always wanted to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But for a good guy, he's awfully vicious. After several complaints over his roughing people up, his boss, Insp. Nicholas Foley, demotes him. Foley tells him he's a good man, but needs to get his head on straight and be more like Det. Lt. Thomas, who has just gotten a promotion. Meanwhile, Tommy Scalise has an illegal dice game going and is looking to make a sucker out of the rich Ted Morrison, who was brought in by Ken Paine and his beautiful wife Morgan. She figures out too late her husband is using her as a decoy. Paine strikes her when she refuses to play along. The chivalrous Morrison intervenes but Paine knocks him out cold. That seems to be the worst of it, but later it turns out the guy is dead; and Paine looks guilty. Soon Dixon has fallen in love with Morgan - but not before losing his temper again and committing a terrible deed that he tries to cover up. Morgan's father... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only a woman's heart could reach out for such a man!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Faustrecht der Großstadt See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,475,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tommy Scalise (Gary Merrill) was supposed to be a drug addict but the Production Code prohibited any use or mention of narcotics. See more »

Goofs

As Scalise and his gang are descending on the garage elevator, Dixon throws the switch stopping the elevator between floors four and five (according to the dial above the elevator). But in the next shot, inside the elevator, the inner door is marked "7", indicating that the car has stopped on the seventh floor. See more »

Quotes

Insp. Nicholas Foley: [to a beaten-up Dixon] Look at ya! You're all bummed up like a barrelhouse vag!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits start as chalk writing on a sidewalk, with someone walking over them. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Trip to Swadades (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Eine kleine Nachtmusik I. Allegro
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazingly well made
10 February 2006 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

At first glance, it would seem natural to compare Where the Sidewalk Ends with Laura. Both have noirish qualities, both were directed by Otto Preminger, and both star Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. But that's where most of the comparisons end. Laura dealt with posh, sophisticated people with means who just happen to find themselves mixed-up in a murder. Where the Sidewalk Ends is set in a completely different strata. These are people with barely two nickels to rub together who are more accustomed to seeing the underbelly of society than going to fancy dress parties. Where the Sidewalk ends is a gritty film filled with desperate people who solve their problems with their fists or some other weapon. Small-time hoods are a dime-a-dozen and cops routinely beat confessions out of the crooks. Getting caught-up in a murder investigation seems as natural as breathing.

While I haven't seen his entire body of work, based on what I have seen, Dana Andrews gives one of his best performances as the beat-down cop, Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon. He's the kind of cop who is used to roughing up the local hoods if it gets him information or a confession. One night, he goes too far and accidentally kills a man. He does his best to cover it up. But things get complicated when he falls for the dead man's wife, Morgan Taylor (Tierney), whose father becomes suspect number one in the murder case. As Morgan's father means the world to her, Dixon's got to do what he can to clear the old man without implicating himself.

Technically, Where the Sidewalk Ends is outstanding. Besides the terrific performance from Andrews, the movie features the always delightful Tierney. She has a quality that can make even the bleakest of moments seem brighter. The rest of the cast is just as solid with Tom Tully as the wrongly accused father being a real standout. Beyond the acting, the direction, sets, lighting, and cinematography are all top-notch. Overall, it's an amazingly well made film.

If I have one complaint (and admittedly it's a very, very minor quibble) it's that Tierney is almost too perfect for the role and her surroundings. It's a little difficult to believe that a woman like that could find herself mixed-up with some of these unsavory characters. It's not really her fault, it's just the way Tierney comes across. She seems a little too beautiful, polished, and delicate for the part. But, her gentle, kind, trusting nature add a sense of needed realism to her portrayal.


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