D.O.A. (1950)

D.O.A. (1950)

Dead On Arrival. A terrific film I’m glad I saw thanks to a recommendation from a friend. Edmond O’Brien is a victim of a slow-acting poison who must track down his own killer! Directed by (five time Academy Award nominated cinematographer) Rudolph Maté and written by Russell Rouse & Clarence Greene. Added to the National Film Registry in 2004.

Within the first few minutes of the film O’Brien’s character enters a police station and reports "I want to report a murder" and then responds to the homicide detective’s inquiry "who was murdered?" with "I was"! We then learn that O’Brien’s character is a small businessman with seemingly no reason to be a victim of such a crime as he relates his story (told in flashback). He was poisoned with iridium which he found out after seeing a doctor when he woke up with more than a hangover feeling while on a well earned vacation. He finds out he has a week to live which he uses to meticulously find his own murderer! O’Brien who would later earn a Best Supporting Oscar for The Barefoot Contessa (1954) and another such nomination ten years later for Seven Days in May (1964) gives such an engaging performance in this film that one easily forgets the other actors in it.

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