Guilty Bystander


Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

IMDb Rating 6.1 10 512


Downloaded times
May 16, 2021



Faye Emerson as Georgia
John Marley as Richard Forst
Mary Boland as Smitty
Zachary Scott as Wade Evans
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
847.04 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
91 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.54 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
91 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 7 / 10 / 10

Alcoholic gumshoe scours New York's underbelly for son

This movie presents a curious case. It obviously was made on a rock-bottom budget (and looks it); its plot -- about a kidnapped boy -- is as hard to follow as The Big Sleep's, without any of that movie's big-studio glamour and high gloss; and prints of the movie in circulation, with poor sound and visuals, don't help its reputation either. Nonetheless, Guilty Bystander has a few very strong points in its favor. Chief among them is the old pro Mary Boland as Smitty, the proprietress of a fleabag hotel several notches below the threshold of respectability; she's a scheming old battleax who has more going on under her unkempt wisps of grey hair than she wants her cronies and go-fers to know. Next there's Zachary Scott, as Max Thursday, an ex-cop now sleeping off benders in the same fleabag, where he's kept on as the house dick; an underrated actor, he invests his loser's role with a painful intensity, stumbling and limping from skid row to waterfront to warehouse in pursuit for the son he hasn't seen in years. As his ex-wife and mother of the kidnapped boy, Faye Emerson (Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt to you), brings more than her fabled bone structure to the part. In fact, with better acting than you have any right to expect (plus an unrelentingly depressing milieu), Guilty Bystander is more than a curio; it's as if the cast knew what a lousy movie they signed up for and decided to go for broke anyway.

Reviewed by HEFILM 6 / 10 / 10

too talky but some good set pieces

This is beautifully photographed and features a score by Dimitri Tiomkin. Scott to me was always an uneven actor, there just doesn't seem to be much going on behind his eyes but he's pretty good in this film. The main character seems intent on remaining drunk and finding his son and for most of the movie he's more successful at finding drinks nearly everywhere he goes. There is a memorable chase/fight sequence in the New York subway, seemingly done for real on real locations, at another point there is a room full of corpses found post shoot out. And another scene on a darkened staircase that is well done on all levels. But what drags the movie down is the seemingly shapeless plot or lack of one, and long dialog scenes which I guess in some instances are supposed to be romantic but are just long and talky. Nevertheless there are memorable moments of noir photography and music. It may not ultimately work, but is not without scattered virtues of production and performance.

Reviewed by cheathamg 6 / 10 / 10

Noir ain't what it used to be.

I originally saw this movie on TV back in the fifties. I was in my teens and up until then my primary interest in films was for Disney and big budget Hollywood musicals, lots of flash and flair. After seeing Guilty Bystander I soon began to turn on to films like The Maltese Falcon, Woman in the Window and Angel Face. These films did not give me that happy feeling but rather kept me leaning forward in my chair. When they were over I didn't feel gratified and satisfied; I felt unsettled but mentally stimulated. Noir films are about people in trouble. The hero, or rather the protagonist, is deeply flawed. He is not a nice guy. However, he is kind of admirable. He overcomes his flaws and sets things to right. In Guilty Bystander the hero is an ex-cop named Max Thursday. He is an alcoholic who could not stand up to the demands of being a police officer and quit to become a private eye but couldn't handle that either. When his ex-wife informs him that their son has apparently been kidnapped, he is forced to come to grips with some very unpleasant truths about himself and people he thought he knew. The film checks a lot of the boxes to qualify as noir but it also has a number of failings. There are plots holes and much of the acting is clumsy. Scott as Thursday occasionally embarrasses himself but mostly projects well as a man trying hard to play a bad hand while not fully understanding the game. The film is based on the first of six novels featuring Thursday. The author was Wade Miller, a pseudonym for two guys who wrote a lot of noir crime fiction beside those six. They were probably as good as Raymond Chandler and his Phillip Marlowe character but never were as big a name, nor as well known today. I don't know if this film had anything to do with their lack of success in Hollywood or not but it's a pity that we don't have as much of Thursday as we do of Marlowe.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment