Watch Now: CRIME WAVE
Adapted from a short story called Criminal Mark written by John and Ward Hawkins and originally published in The Saturday Evening Post in 1950, Crime Wave is a hard-boiled noir film directed by House of Wax’ Andre DeToth. With very convincing performances from Sterling Hayden, Gene Nelson, Phyllis Kirk and Charles Bronson, it follows a familiar story of an ex-con trying to live a straight life, with his past and former habits catching up with him. The plot might not be revolutionary, but thanks to its clever writing, dark atmosphere and great cinematography by Bert Glennon, it’s a crime thriller not easy to forget.
Andre DeToth enjoyed a reputation for being a filmmaker whose particular strength lay in his instinct for casting, but in this case he had to fight with the studio. According to one interview, Jack L. Warner hoped that Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner would star in the film, but DeToth didn’t even want to hear about it. He insisted on his own vision of Crime Wave, and Warner finally gave up and told him he could make the film any way he wanted as long as he finished in two weeks. DeToth finished shooting in just 13 days.