YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 24: D.O.A. (1949)

Today’s YouTube pick is one of noir’s best-known offerings: D.O.A. (1949).

It’s got a perfect noir premise, a perfect noir opening, a perfect noir end, and in between, a characteristically labryrinthine noir plot. D.O.A. also serves up a great cast that includes Edmond O’Brien, Luther Adler and, playing a sadistically psychopathic hood, Neville Brand.


It’s a very simple story: a man learns that he’s inadvertently ingested a fatal dose of poison, and spends what’s left of his life tracking down the people responsible for his impending death.


The director of the film was Rudolph Mate, whose other noirs included The Dark Past (1948) and Union Station (1950). He also helmed a first-rate western, The Violent Men (1955), which stars noir vets Glenn Ford, Edward G. Robinson, and Barbara Stanwyck.

Neville Brand played psychos like no other.

A featured role was played in the film by Lynne Baggett, who had a real-life story that would rival any noir. Read more about her rise and fall here.

The screenplay was written by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene, the writing team that was also responsible for one of my favorite low-budget noirs, Wicked Woman (1953).


Join me for my next YouTube recommendation on Day 25 of Noirvember!

~ by shadowsandsatin on November 24, 2020.

6 Responses to “YouTube Noir — Noirvember Day 24: D.O.A. (1949)”

  1. Such a simple yet great premise. As you say, it provides a riveting beginning and ending. Must watch it again. You keep reminding me of films I haven’t seen for a while!

  2. A unique and riveting tale. My heart always aches for Pamela Britton’s character. (I wanted to be Mrs. Brown on My Favorite Martian when I grew up.)

  3. Aesthetically, I prefer 1940’s film noir because the femme fatales are so slinky. Lauren Bacall with the long hair and form-fitting fashion is dangerously feminine.

    But for male protagonists, I prefer the 1950’s. They had such terrible problems! And very few situations can compete with Frank Bigelow’s dilemma in D.O.A. I’ve seen it many times, and I’m still not completely sure what happened.

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