Where the Sidewalk Ends

Dana Andrews stars as a corrupt cop in Otto Preminger’s gritty thriller shot on the rain-slicked streets of New York.

Dana Andrews stars as Mark Dixon, a corrupt cop, in this gritty thriller shot on the rain-slicked streets of New York. Already in trouble for his brutal methods, alienated from his colleagues, he pursues a gang leader with vindictive zeal and accidentally kills a possible murder suspect. Realising this will mean the end of his career, he disposes of the body, narrowly escaping discovery. His guilt deepens when he falls in love with the dead man’s beautiful wife, a fashion model (played by Gene Tierney), and her father, an innocent cab driver, finds himself accused of the murder.

The character of Dixon is a powerful conception: a man racked by inner demons, driven by violent resentments yet with a fierce desire for justice; a loner who finds love in the one place he cannot enjoy it, and whose own self-hatred brings him close to suicide. If the ending, which finds him redeemed by love, is conventional, it does not detract from the hysteria and despair to which Dixon has been reduced by fate and his own compulsions. Dana Andrews was fittingly cast as the cop with a chip on his shoulder and Andrews’s slightly stolid manner and commonplace appearance suggests the integrity that lies beneath his surly attitude to his superiors.

Although Where the Sidewalk Ends is as gritty as Laura (1944) and Whirlpool (1950) are glossy, Preminger once again casts Gene Tierney. As with Whirlpool, Ben Hecht is the scriptwriter, working from an adaptation of William L Stuart’s novel Night Cry.

Joseph LaShelle’s photography, with shards of light reflected off the wet sidewalks, lends a seedy noir glamour to the run-down lodging houses, cheap cafes and night-time exteriors.

Special features

  • Biography of Otto Preminger.
  • Biography of screenwriter Ben Hecht.
  • Original theatrical trailer.

Product information

    • Certificate

      12

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound

    • Running time

      91mins

    • Languages

      English

    • Subtitles

      English for the hearing impaired

    • Original aspect ratio

      1.33:1

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD613

Buying options

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