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Where the Sidewalk Ends (TCF 1950, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews)



Otto Preminger’s tough thriller stars Dana Andrews as Mark Dixon, a New York cop with a penchant for roughing up suspects. But one night, he goes too far and his suspect dies. He tries to frame gangster Tommy Scalise (Gary Merrill) but the official investigation leads to Tod Benson (Phil Tully), the victim’s father-in-law.

As Dixon is drawn into the case, he meets and begins to fall in love with the murder victim’s estranged wife, Morgan Taylor (Gene Tierney). Rather than let his love’s father be sent to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, Dixon concocts a scheme to confront Scalise and his gang in the hope that Scalise will be killed and Benson will be cleared. But his plan goes dreadfully wrong when the gang surrenders and Dixon is left with no way out of his murderous situation.

Andrews negotiates Ben Hecht’s script admirably, portraying the inner psychological tempest of a man who rides the line between officer and criminal, and between loyalty to justice and loyalty to love.

After he accused the British government of backing a 1948 political assassination of a UN mediator, Ben Hecht’s name was banned from films screened in Britain for two-and-a-half years. When released in England Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) was credited as having been written by the name of Hecht’s chauffeur.

Halliwell called it a ‘gloomy policier with curious moral values.’

production details
USA | Twentieth Century Fox | 95 minutes | 1950

Producer and Director: Otto Preminger
Script: Rex Conner (Ben Hecht), Victor Trivas, Frank P. Rosenberg, Robert E. Kent, from the novel Night Cry by William L. Stuart
Cinematography: Joseph LaShelle
Editor: Louls-Loeffler
Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, J. Russell Spencer
Composer: Cyril Mockndge
Musical Direction: Lionel Newman

Ruth Donnelly as Martha
Gene Tierney as Morgan Taylor
Dana Andrews as Det. Sgt. Mark Dixon
Karl Malden as Det. Lt. Thomas
Bert Freed as Det. Sgt. Paul Klein
Gary Merrill as Tommy Scalise
Craig Stevens as Ken Paine
Tom Tully as Jiggs Taylor
Charles Tannen as Police Radio Dispatcher #79 (voice) (uncredited)
Clarence Straight as Detective (uncredited)
Ray Spiker as Policeman (uncredited)
John Close as Hanson (uncredited)
John McGuire as Detective Gertessen (uncredited)
Ian MacDonald as Detective Casey (uncredited)
David Wolfe as Sid Kramer, Scalise Hood (uncredited)
Clancy Cooper as Police Desk Sergeant Murphy (uncredited)
Eddie Borden as Pool Hall Patron (uncredited)
Fred Aldrich as Detective at Staff Meeting (uncredited)
Tom Coleman as Detective at Staff Meeting (uncredited)
Robert Williams as Detective (uncredited)
Phil Tully as Det. Ted Benson, 16th Precinct (uncredited)
Don Appell as Willie Bender (uncredited)
Tony Barr as Hoodlum (uncredited)
Robert Foulk as Fenney (uncredited)
Bert Stevens as Passerby (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing as Man at Dice Table / Passerby (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton as Detective at Staff Meeting (uncredited)
David McMahon as Harrington (uncredited)
John Daheim as Scalise Hoodlum (uncredited)
Neville Brand as Steve, Scalise Hood (uncredited)
Herbert Lytton as Joe, Scalise Hood (uncredited)
Lou Nova as Ernie, Scalise Hood (uncredited)
‘Snub’ Pollard as Pool Hall Patron (uncredited)
Barry Brooks as Thug (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks as Railroad Baggage Clerk (uncredited)
Oleg Cassini as Oleg the Fashion Designer (uncredited)
Charles Flynn as Policeman Schwartz (uncredited)
Bob Evans as Sweatshirt (uncredited)
Joseph Granby as Fat Man (uncredited)
Kathleen Hughes as Secretary (uncredited)
Lou Krugman as Mike Williams (uncredited)
Louise Lorimer as Mrs. Jackson (uncredited)
Eda Reiss Merin as Mrs. Shirley Klein (uncredited)
Grayce Mills as Mrs. Tribaum, Paine’s Landlady (uncredited)
Harry von Zell as Mr. Morrison (uncredited)
Peggy O’Connor as Model (uncredited)
Shirley Tegge as Model (uncredited)
Robert Patten as Medical Examiner (uncredited)
Stephen Roberts as Gilruth (uncredited)
Lester Sharpe as Friedman, Morgan’s Employer (uncredited)
Robert F. Simon as Insp. Nicholas Foley (uncredited)
Larry Thompson as Riley (uncredited)
Chili Williams as Teddy (uncredited)
Mack Williams as Jerry Morris, Attorney (uncredited)
Anthony George as Scalise Hoodlum (uncredited)