Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon wants to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. Will Dixon's vicious nature get the better of him?


Otto Preminger


Ben Hecht (screen play), Victor Trivas (adaptation) | 3 more credits »





Complete credited cast:
Dana Andrews ... Det. Mark Dixon
Gene Tierney ... Morgan Taylor
Gary Merrill ... Tommy Scalise
Bert Freed ... Det. Paul Klein
Tom Tully ... Jiggs Taylor
Karl Malden ... Lt. Thomas
Ruth Donnelly ... Martha
Craig Stevens ... Ken Paine


Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon always wanted to be something his old man wasn't: a guy on the right side of the law. But for a good guy, he's awfully vicious. After several complaints over his roughing people up, his boss, Insp. Nicholas Foley, demotes him. Foley tells him he's a good man, but needs to get his head on straight and be more like Det. Lt. Thomas, who has just gotten a promotion. Meanwhile, Tommy Scalise has an illegal dice game going and is looking to make a sucker out of the rich Ted Morrison, who was brought in by Ken Paine and his beautiful wife Morgan. She figures out too late her husband is using her as a decoy. Paine strikes her when she refuses to play along. The chivalrous Morrison intervenes but Paine knocks him out cold. That seems to be the worst of it, but later it turns out the guy is dead; and Paine looks guilty. Soon Dixon has fallen in love with Morgan - but not before losing his temper again and committing a terrible deed that he tries to cover up. Morgan's father... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Only a woman's heart could reach out for such a man!


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This story was originally dramatized on radio in January 1949 for the series "Suspense", under the title "Night Cry", staring Ray Milland in the Dana Andrews role. See more »


Detective Dixon knocks down Ken Paine (Craig Stevens). Paine hits the ground and is dead. Dixon (Dana Andrews) gets on one knee and starts slapping Paine's face back and forth, and Paine's head rolls side to side with each slap. However, after Dixon stops slapping, Paine's head rolls back to the other side. Corpses don't do that. See more »


Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon: Where the devil am I? I keep coming and going.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits start as chalk writing on a sidewalk with someone walking over them. See more »


Referenced in Made in U.S.A (1966) See more »


Street Scene
Music by Alfred Newman
Whistled during opening credits
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User Reviews

Classic film noir
11 May 2012 | by dzuber32See all my reviews

I enjoyed this movie classic film noir movie. I was unaware what the movie was about when i started to watch. I was into the movie once i found out it was police scandal. It caught me off guard when Det. Dixon went to question Kenneth Paine about the murder of Mr. Morrison and when he hit Paine, Paine drops dead. From then on I was hooked. The plot was phenomenal, and the lighting was absolutely extraordinary. As it was a very dark thriller, the lighting played right into the story with dim streets and apartments. The lighting just added to the great thriller.I also enjoyed the punches thrown though some were really fake and the shouting and in your face Interaction of some characters.

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Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Cry See more »


Box Office


$1,475,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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