Consummate Noir Artistry: A Scene from Anthony Mann’s Desperate (1947)

This scene from Anthony Mann’s 1947 noir, Desperate, never fails to send a shiver down my spine.  A wonderful example of collaborative artistry: a fusion of elements so elegant it ranks with the greatest scenes from any noir. Full credits are listed after the video.

Studio: RKO (73 min)
Directed by Anthony Mann
Writing credits: Harry Essex (screenplay), Martin Rackin (additional dialogue), Dorothy Atlas (story), and Anthony Mann (story)
Original Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography by George E. Diskant
Film Editing by Marston Fay
Art Direction by Albert S. D’Agostino and Walter E. Keller
Set Decoration by Darrell Silvera
Starring: Raymond Burr and Steve Brodie

6 thoughts on “Consummate Noir Artistry: A Scene from Anthony Mann’s Desperate (1947)”

  1. Hi! Tony…
    I have to agree with you 100% what a great scene…As a matter of fact, I’am about to donate two (L)obby cards from this film (Desperate 1947 to the (FNFA) Film Noir Foundation Archives.)
    By the way, I just retweeted this post in the most unlikely, of places.
    Thanks, for sharing!
    DeeDee ;-D


  2. Well Tony, it is absolutely one of the most celebrated scenes in film noir, and you of all people know this well. I watched it not less that 5 weeks ago on a big screen in the Anthony Mann Film Festival in Manhattan, and was dazzled (as I was again here looking on at this clip). It’s really a perfect orchestration of lighting, movement and dialogue, and it underlines the talent that Mann had already shown in this genre.

    Oh, and………

    Diskant + D’Agostino + Keller = greatness.

    I also liked a scene near the end when Burr accosts Steve Brodie in the office. But this is a riveting film all the way through, and composer Paul Sawtell made a fine contribution too.

    I know this is coming out (or just came out) on the Warner Film Noir Series 5 DVD set.


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