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Crime Wave
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Crime Wave

1954
Drama
Crime
1h 13m
After a gas station robbery results in the killing of a cop, reformed ex-convict Steve Lacey (Nelson) must play host to his former partners in crime while a hard nosed detective (Hayden) is on the case.
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Crime Wave

1954
Drama
Crime
1h 13m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 61.09% from 158 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(158)
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Rated 01 Feb 2012
53
41st
Crime was portrayed as very tame in that period of cinema history, but I sense that Crime Wave may have had a slight edge over other films. Young Charles Bronson and Timothy Carey are as tough and rugged as characters were allowed to be in 1950's Hollywood. Sterling Hayden's police detective is almost as convincing. But it's hard to ignore the film's general hokeyness.
Rated 25 Apr 2008
2
21st
After a great opening scene, stuff just falls apart. The structure of this movie is like an amorphous blob. Not that it's hard to follow or anything, but each new scene just doesn't flow smoothly after the last, and the whole thing feels pretty disjointed. The acting isn't all that great either, and even Sterling Hayden seems to be just shelling out lines from the script with little interest of his own. I did like seeing a young Charles Bronson though.
Rated 09 Aug 2012
85
59th
I liked it but hours later, it already feels forgotten. I really liked Sterling Hayden in it though, plus young Timothy Carey and an unrecognizably young Charles Bronson. It also felt really modern to me. It has some good characters, it moves quickly and it has a good leading man in Gene Nelson.
Rated 19 Apr 2023
68
35th
There's nothing necessarily wrong with this, but also very little clearly right. It feels totally generic but at barely over 70 minutes it's not a bad way to spend an hour and change. Bronson is solid, but the aspect that jumped out most to me was Johnny, who steals the limited scenes he's in as a tertiary (at best) villain. I wanted more. The other thing was a distractingly terrible line reading from Hank Worden (who has like three lines.) It's ok but I'll have forgotten it three days from now.
Rated 16 Jun 2022
75
77th
Noir by the book. And the noir bible is one of favorite books. Also, this has Sterling Hayden rocking a toothpick throughout the film.
Rated 13 Jan 2022
80
73rd
Rugged, plain and straightforward.
Rated 05 Apr 2020
80
68th
This is a gritty little crime flick shot on the cheap on real locations in less than 2 weeks by André De Toth. Nelson, who's previous film roles were all in musicals, is fantastic as the ex-con put in an impossible position. Charles Bronson, still credited as "Charles Buchinsky", absolutely shines as the more unstable of the 2 crooks. Jay Novello is great as the alcoholic doctor turned vet who almost treats young, and Dub Taylor turns up as the robbery victim at the film's start.
Rated 30 Mar 2020
90
79th
This 74 minutes of pure noir goodness races by too quickly. Probably one of the most straightforward noirs I've seen, Crime Wave does almost everything perfect to separate itself from other crime thrillers of the era. There are noirs with more to say and others are more original, but Crime Wave is probably the purest form of pulpy American film noir.
Rated 25 Mar 2020
85
78th
Em honra do centenário de Gene Nelson hoje. O assisti duas vezes seguidas, uma só o filme, a outra com os comentários de áudio de James Ellroy que torna o filme ainda mais interessante. Box Versátil Coleção Filme Noir Volume 5.
Rated 08 Aug 2018
80
76th
Checks all the boxes for this kinda flick. Great performances. Not as good as the 80's movie Crime Wave
Rated 28 Feb 2016
13
69th
Star Rating: ★★★1/2
Rated 17 Jul 2015
60
35th
Ham-fisted acting and completely predictable story.
Rated 13 Jul 2012
84
60th
An atmospheric noir, with a great beginning, a fine cast, and a rushed ending.
Rated 03 Feb 2012
88
90th
Nothing is stellar but it does everything very well and there's nothing to fault it for. The story's tight and incredibly compelling, the performances are a bit rough but set the right tone, the pacing is excellent. It's an interesting study on the concept of redemption that concentrates on the little things as opposed to large heroic acts. Nelson really sells the inner conflicts of his character and I loved the way he reacts to pretty much every turn of the plot. Hayden and Carey are cool too.
Rated 06 Aug 2011
60
52nd
A decent thriller, albeit one that's a bit formulaic and predictable. A fairly interesting cast of characters helped to keep me interested - the hard-nosed cop, the alcoholic dog doctor, the ex-con trying to stay on the straight and narrow, the deranged gang member... they all keep the film zipping along at a brisk pace, even though nothing remarkable ever happens. The bank job itself was quite exciting, though, and I thought the ending was very cleverly done.
Rated 28 Sep 2009
75
57th
Good story, deftly directed. Good cast as well, especially Nelson, Kirk and de Corsia; the only debit is Hayden's over-the-top villainish portrayal of the detective. Timothy Carey was also a hoot as the addle-brained, perpetually grinning Johnny; he was very nearly as bonkers as Neville Brand was in DOA.
Rated 07 Aug 2009
85
77th
Routine story heightened by strong performances, steady direction and unique noir photography. Some of the police station scenes are fantastically lensed, very 'fluorescent noir'.
Rated 26 Jul 2008
3
38th
I liked it well enough. It's a noir archetype (ex-con pulled back into one last job), but it's done well enough, and moves along quickly, and it's got a nice focus on character. And hey, Charlie Bronson!
Rated 06 Jun 2008
73
45th
The story is a noir staple (ex-con trying to go straight gets pulled back into crime) and de Toth doesn't really pack any surprises here, but it's fun to watch. I don't think I've ever come across a noir that I really hated. Interesting to see Tim Carey (in a very small but memorable role) and Sterling Hayden in a film noir together two years before The Killing. Also a young Charles Bronson.

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