YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 7: Cry Vengeance (1954)

Many classic film fans have never heard of the star of my Day 7 recommendation, let alone the movie: It’s Cry Vengeance (1954), starring Mark Stevens. But I’m hoping to change all that.

Before I started working on today’s post, I’d only seen Cry Vengeance once, and that was nearly 20 years ago. But there was something about it that stuck with me; it wasn’t your ordinary, garden-variety noir. First off, its primary setting wasn’t New York or L.A. or Chicago, but a little-known town in Alaska called Ketchikan. And while the plot does feature a troubled anti-hero, you won’t find some of the other typical noir characteristics; no femme fatale, no flashback, no voiceover narration. And you won’t miss them.

There was something gripping and often moving about this film that made me remember it all these years – I didn’t necessarily remember the particulars of the plot, but I did remember how it made me feel.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Stevens plays Vic Barron, an embittered ex-cop who is bent on exacting revenge on Tino Morelli (Douglas Kennedy), the mobster he blames for framing him for bribery and planting a bomb that left him disfigured and killed his wife and daughter.

The film contains a number of noirish touches like this one.

Released from San Quentin after a three-year stretch, Barron tracks Morelli to Alaska, where he finds that the mobster has changed his name and is living a life of respectability with his young daughter. Barron is determined to make the man pay dearly for all that he has lost, but sometimes things aren’t exactly as they seem.

WHAT ELSE?

One of the film’s co-stars is Skip Homeier; I wasn’t familiar with him the first time I saw the movie, but I instantly recognize him now because of my recent obsession with westerns. He was featured in three first-rate examples (in my opinion, at least) from the western genre: The Gunfighter (1950), The Lone Gun (1954), and The Tall T (1957).

That’s Skip Homeier on the right.

The cast also includes Richard Deacon, best known as Mel Cooley in The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Cry Vengeance was Mark Stevens’s debut as a director. He went on to helm several other movies, as well as television series including Wagon Train, Studio 57, and The Loretta Young Show.

TOMORROW . . .

Join me for my next YouTube recommendation on Day 8 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 7, 2020.

6 Responses to “YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 7: Cry Vengeance (1954)”

  1. Once upon a time, my mom had a crush on Mark Stevens. You think you know a person!

  2. Yes! A cool film noir that I’ve never heard of! I’m excited to watch it. I know who Mark Stevens is! I liked him in “The Dark Corner” (1946). Thanks for this post which whets my appetite for a movie I’m unfamiliar with.

  3. Mark Stevens also directed the fine film noir Timetable (1956).

    • I just started watching that the other night, Janne! I didn’t get far (it was past my bedtime), but I loved the opening. I’m glad you mentioned it — I will have to go back and watch the rest.

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