Finding Himself On The “Edge of Doom”

Granted, it doesn’t have much of a title, but Edge of Doom (1950) is a smashing movie in which a man (Farley Granger) harbors some confusing thoughts about what he should do for his newly dead mother. He hates the (Catholic) Church because he thinks it failed and exploited his mother, and demands that Father Kirkman, his mother’s priest, pay for a lavish funeral for the woman. He ends up killing Kirkman and then runs away. Another priest, Father Roth (Dana Andrews), begins to suspect the man of the murder and kindly talks with him.

Adapted from a novel, director Mark Robson‘s film is a crime story, a noir product, partly about religion; about men in religious vocations and those with antipathy toward religion, not to mention “religious” actions. Robson, who made Von Ryan’s Express and Valley of the Dolls, knows how to keep things humming; he wants to engage an audience. His shots in Doom, like those in Valley of the Dolls, are never overripe or pretentious. His actors here—good news—are more skillful than some of those in Dolls. The result is a smart and gripping dime picture.

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