Movie Diary 2/23/2021

Edge of Doom (Mark Robson, 1950). Hard-luck youth Farley Granger kills an unsympathetic priest in a fit of despair; another priest (Dana Andrews) looks into the matter. Philip Yordan’s script is like a throwback to an earlier era of social-concern pictures (and a bit of Knock on Any Door, which came out the year before), full of jerky bosses and unfeeling bank managers and a society that does wrong by the poor. Robson gives it a strong, fluid noir style, with especially compelling choreography in the murder scene where Granger faces down the older, complacent priest. Andrews must have owed Samuel Goldwyn a movie on his contract, because his role is strictly by the numbers. Lots of real locations used. I thought a little about The Diary of a Country Priest, even though the two films are completely different in mode; maybe they share a bleakness about the world as it is (despite a wraparound story here that was apparently added to lend a slightly upbeat spiritual flourish to a bummer of a story).

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