CROSSFIRE (1947) 24680

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RKO Italian Two Foglio Poster. 39x55 Fine Plus Condition. Art by Rinaldo Geleng.

CROSSFIRE was adapted for the screen from a novel by Richard Brooks called "The Brick Foxhole." (Brooks would go on to become a top Hollywood director, making successful films like CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and IN COLD BLOOD.) The movie stars three Roberts - Young, Mitchum and Ryan. The film is a hybrid of suspense, noir, and social consciousness. Fox had decided to broach the subject of anti-semitism with film audiences by making GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT. RKO in fact beat them to the punch by making CROSSFIRE. Three American G.I.s are about to be mustered out of the service at the end of World War II. One of them, played by Robert Ryan is a sadistic bully/bigot, who in a drunken rage and in the presence of two other soldiers, murders a Jewish G.I. Robert Young plays the introspective police detective trying to solve the case and Robert Mitchum, in one of the more interesting roles of his career, plays a soldier who is out to help the police. The film, which was wildly successful for RKO, was masterfully directed by Edward Dmytryk. After the release of CROSSFIRE, Dmytryk was viewed as THE hot director on the RKO lot. But, CROSSFIRE would be the last film that Dmytryk and his longtime producer Adrian Scott would make at RKO as both men soon became entangled with the communist witch-hunt that would emerge from the House Un-American Activities Committee. In Richard Brook's novel, the victim of the attack in the story was a gay soldier, but gay issues were taboo in Hollywood and so the producers changed the focus to antisemetism. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Edward Dmytryk was nominated for Best Director. And Robert Ryan portrayal of the vicious and sadistic murderer was nominated for Best Actor. Ryan's performance was so riveting that it threatened to typecast him for the rest of his career. It is said that Ryan came to regret the part because it was so effective in limiting what producers wanted from him. He rarely talked about the role and would prefer to discuss his role in THE SET UP, also a great performance. At Cannes, in 1947, the film would win Best Social Film (Prix du meilleur film social) and the National Board of Review would hold the film in its top ten films of the year. There are some issues with this poster, and we recommend linen-backing for it. There are some tears, some enlarged pinholes and some distress to the border area. But the wonderful art by Rinaldo Geleng underscores the the angst of the movie perfectly. Ask us about poster restoration services. We can recommend experts in this area.

Robert Mitchum - Actor
Robert Young - Actor
Robert Ryan - Actor

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