Pushover

1954

Crime / Drama / Film-Noir

185
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 2

Synopsis


Downloaded times
October 5, 2021

Director

Cast

E.G. Marshall as Police Lt. Carl Eckstrom
Mort Mills as Second Bartender
Paul Richards as Harry Wheeler
Philip Carey as Rick McAllister
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
806.1 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.46 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
88 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bmacv 8 / 10 / 10

Derivative, sure, but a surprisingly taut, claustrophobic entry from waning noir cycle

There were still a few surprises to come in the noir cycle (Kiss Me Deadly, The Big Combo, The Killing, Touch of Evil), but by 1954 just about every theme and plot point had already been used and recycled. Still, Pushover has its own distinctive cachet. Visually, it's a gloomy, almost Stygian piece of film, harking back to the lowest-budget releases of 1946 and 1947 like Fall Guy or The Guilty. And there's a mood of furtiveness – of voyeurism – that remains arresting. For openers, we witness a bank robbery where deaths result, but the mastermind (Paul Richards) eludes the law. Next, we watch Kim Novak (in her movie debut) exiting a cinema where It Should Happen to You and The Nebraskan constitute the double bill. Deftly, she circumvents an opened ladder, but still her car won't start. Luckily Fred MacMurray happens by to proffer his assistance. Soon they're enjoying cocktails in a cozy bar and later at his place ("Suprise me," she tells him) while waiting for her auto to be delivered from an all-night shop. Neither the pick-up nor the malfunction underneath the hood was, however, quite a matter of chance. MacMurray's a police detective, and Novak is Richards' moll. No fool she, Novak picks up on the truth but trumps his duplicity with her own: They can kill Richards and vamoose with the loot from the bank job. MacMurray, reprising the not-so-bright-as-he-thinks ladies' man from Double Indemnity, falls for the bait.... Pushover revels in its claustrophobia. Almost all the action takes place, at night, in the U-shaped apartment building where Novak lives. Across the way, the law stakes out a dark and abandoned suite where they spy on Novak through binoculars and monitor her phone calls. Another unwilling beneficiary of their surveillance, certainly without benefit of legal documents allowing it, is nurse Dorothy Malone, who's Novak's next-door neighbor and whose quest for more ice during a late-night party becomes a crucial juncture in the plot. The well-laid plans that MacMurray and Novak follow meet, inevitably, some snags, as a result of which one of his colleagues, an honest if alcoholic cop (Allen Nourse) looking forward to his pension check, gets not-so-accidentally killed. But MacMurray, his options folding one by one, slogs along, desperately trying to play both sides of his duplicitous game.... Derivative it may be (corrupt cop, duplicitous blonde), but Pushover exemplifies the swift, hard-edged and unsentimental turn that film noir had taken during the Eisenhower Administration; it's still one of the better titles from the dwindling days of the cycle.

Reviewed by Doylenf 8 / 10 / 10

Noteworthy for the film debut of Kim Novak...tight suspense...

PUSHOVER is an underrated, little known crime melodrama from the mid-'50s that introduced the blonde beauty of KIM NOVAK to audiences and gave FRED MacMURRAY another chance to play an authority figure seduced by the charms of a femme fatale. When the story begins, it turns out his accidental meeting with Novak was really a set-up, he being a cop assigned to keep track of her whereabouts after a bank hold-up results in the death of a police officer. He suspects that her mobster boyfriend pulled the job and at first resists when she tries to convince him they can use the bank money for themselves. But eventually, he weakens and before you know it he's informing her that her phone is wire tapped and the two of them are just one step ahead of the police for the rest of the film. PHIL CAREY, as a fellow officer and E.G. MARSHALL as the lead detective are excellent in supporting roles, as is DOROTHY MALONE in a pivotal role as a girl occupying the apartment next to Novak in a U-shaped building that enables MacMurray and Carey to keep an eye on both gals through binoculars (shades of REAR WINDOW). Conveniently, no one ever draws the blinds in these sort of thrillers and spying is made so easy for the sake of plotting, as the 24-hour surveillance occupies much of the story. The noir elements are present throughout, the dark rainy streets, the shadowy photography during car chases, the clipped delivery of lines, the murder scheme gone awry, the femme fatale angelic on the outside, bad within. But somehow it never becomes a major film noir, relegated to its place in obscurity over the years and not really a title that pops up when one speaks of film noir--but it does qualify as noir, on a minor scale, and it's given some taut direction and tight suspense by director Richard Quine. Kim is as easy as ever on the eyes although a bit robotic in her acting technique and never quite convincing as a mobster's moll. MacMurray has a less interesting, more one-dimensional role as a cop corrupted by beauty. All in all, definitely worth watching.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 8 / 10 / 10

Money isn't dirty. Just people.

Pushover is directed by Richard Quine and adapted to screenplay by Roy Huggins from stories written by Bill S. Ballinger and Thomas Walsh. It stars Fred MacMurray, Phillip Carey, Kim Novak, Dorothy Malone and E. G. Marshall. Music is scored by Arthur Morton and cinematography by Lester White. Straight cop Paul Sheridan (MacMurray) is on the trail of the loot stolen in a bank robbery where a guard was shot and killed. He is tasked with getting to know Lona McLane (Novak), the girlfriend of the chief suspect in the robbery. But once contact is made, and surveillance set up over the road from her apartment complex, Sheridan begins to fall in love and lust with the sultry femme. Comparisons with the superior Double Indemnity are fair enough, but really there is enough here, and considerable differences too, for the film to rightfully be judged on its own merits. Also of note to point out is that one or two critics have questioned if Pushover is actually a film noir piece? Bizarre! Given that character motives, destinies and thematics of plot are quintessential film noir. A good but weary guy is emotionally vulnerable and finds his life spun into a vortex of lust, greed and murder. Yet the femme fatale responsible, is not a rank and file manipulator, she too has big issues to deal with, a trophy girlfriend to a crook, she coarsely resents this fact. The cop who never smiles and the girl who has forgotten how too, is there hope there? Do they need the money that has weaved them together? What does that old devil called fate have in store for them? Classic noir traits do pulse from the plot. True, the trajectory the pic takes had been a well trodden formula in noir by the mid fifties, where noir as a strong force was on the wane, but this holds up very well. It isn't just a piece solely relying on two characters either, there's the concurrent tale of Sheridan's voyeuristic partner Rik McAllister (Carey), who has caught the eye of Lona's next door neighbour, Ann Stewart (Malone). Both these characters operate in a different world to the other two, yet the question remains if a relationship can be born out from such shady beginnings? The presentation of relationships here is delightfully perverse. The visual style wrung out by Quine (Drive a Crooked Road) and White (5 Against the House) is most assuredly noir, with 99% of the film set at night, with prominent shadows, damp streets lit by bulbous lamps and roof top scenes decorated sparsely by jutting aerials. The L.A. backdrop a moody observer to the unwrapping of damaged human goods. Cast are very good, all working well for their reliable director. Novak sizzles in what was her first credited starring role, she perfectly embodies a gal that someone like Paul Sheridan could lose his soul for. MacMurray is suitably weary, his lived in face telling of a life lacking in genuine moments of pleasure. Carey, square jawed, tall and handsome, he is the perfect foil to MacMurray's woe. Malone offers the potential ray of light trying to break out in this dark part of America, while Marshall as tough Lieutenant Eckstrom and Allen Nourse as a copper riding the noir train to sadness, score favourably too. It opens with a daylight bank robbery and closes in true noir style on a cold and wet night time street. Pushover, deserving to be viewed as one of the more interesting 1950s film noirs. 8/10

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