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Act of Violence (MGM 1948, Van Heflin, Robert Ryan)



A taut, gritty drama about a WWII veteran who has miraculously-and suspiciously?survived a Nazi POW camp while the rest of his comrades, except one, have been murdered. That exception, now back in America as a physically crippled and mentally disturbed vet, embarks on a vengeful manhunt for the so-called honored hero who had actually betrayed his buddies in the camp. The “hero” wants to atone for his sins, but, in doing so, it may cost him his life.

Director Fred Zinnemann has said of Act of Violence: “It was the first time I felt confident that I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it … I like this picture very much; the theme is a permanent one.

production details
USA | MGM | 82 minutes | 1948

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Producer: William H. Wright
Original Story: Collier Young
Cinematography: Robert Surtees
Editor: Conrad A. Nervig
Music: Bronislau Kaper
Script: Robert L. Richards
Production Designer Cedric Gibbons

Van Heflin as Frank R. Enley
Robert Ryan as Joe Parkson
Janet Leigh as Edith Enley
Mary Astor as Pat
Phyllis Thaxter as Ann Sturges
Berry Kroeger as Johnny
Taylor Holmes as Gavery
Harry Antrim as Fred Finney
Connie Gilchrist as Martha Finney
Will Wright as Pop
Dick Elliott as Conventioneer Wearing Lampshade (uncredited)
Ralph Peters as Tim the Bartender (uncredited)