Act of Violence

Synopsis: War veteran Frank Enley seems to be a happily married small-town citizen until he realises Joe Parkson is in town. It seems Parkson is out for revenge because of something that happened in a German POW camp, and when a frightened Enley suddenly leaves for a convention in L.A., Parkson is close behind.
Director(s): Fred Zinnemann
Production: MGM
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
82 min

A light breeze|is whipping the flags of state and nation...

...while a warm and bright sunshine|streams down.

Yes, it's typical California weather|here in Santa Lisa...

...for these solemn rites of Memorial Day.

- And following the parade...|- Yes, sir?

- You got a single room?|- I think so, sir.

I can give you a very nice single at 350.

How long will you be staying?

I don't know.

- Never mind that.|- Yes, sir.

Thank you.

And now, I wanna call on|a fellow veteran...

...who probably had more to do with|our finally getting this housing project...

...than anyone else in town.

I mean Frank Enley.

I guess you all know Frank and I'm sure|you know how hard he's worked.

So let's get him up here|and make our thanks official.

Come on up, Frank.

- Come on, speak, Frank.|- Go on, big shot.

- You heard what the man said.|- Come on, thattaboy.

On the double, captain.

First time I ever had a chance|to give orders to a captain.

- Nice work, Frank.|- Thanks.

You know, Frank didn't only help|to build this project.

He's worked with us day and night|from the very beginning.

He helped keep our spirits up.|Believe me, there were times...

...when, well, the flesh was willing|but the spirit was pretty low.

Go ahead, Frank, it's all yours.

Well, as you all know...

...I was just one of the contractors|on this project.

I had to attend those meetings|to keep my job.

Now, seriously,|what I want to say to you is this...

...that it was you fellas,|you and your families...

...that really put this thing over.

You stuck together|and you fought for what you wanted.

And if I gave you any help at all...

...well, believe me, I am very happy|and I'm very proud that I was able to.

- Thanks, Frank. Thanks.|- Thank you.

Edith. Edith.

- Yes?|- I can't find that other rod.

- It's in there.|- It's not in here.

- Back in the corner, behind the table leaves.|- I've looked back of the table...

- Oh.|- Honestly, sometimes I wonder.

Nights are cold there and you forget|your heavy jacket and your boots.

- I won't need them.|- If you think you're gonna...

Look, I was going fishing before you put on|your first pair of bobby socks.

I'm going out on a nice little lake|in a nice dry boat.

- And get a nice fat cold... Ow! Ooh!|- Be careful now. You get that...

You're getting fresh lately, aren't you.

Getting used to you, that's all.|You've lost your glamour.

Oh, I have, have I?

Certainly have.

- I've lost my glamour, huh?|- Uh-huh.

- Lost all my glamour, huh?|- Mm-hm.

Why don't you go out and tell Fred|that I had to go to the convention.

- You want to?|- You think he'd fall for that?


Oh, no. Oh, no, you wanted to go fishing.|You're going fishing.

He'll be right out, Fred.

Bye-bye, Georgie.|Take care of your mother now.

You be a good boy now, Georgie.|Mommy will be right back.

- Hello, youngster.|- Hi.

Finally, you let him out of your clutches.

- It was a battle, but I got away from her.|- Ha, ha.

Say, Edith, why don't you and I|go up to the lake?

- We'll leave him to do the housekeeping.|- You old goat. Aren't you ashamed?

Guess it's not a good idea.|I don't think I can trust Frank with Martha.

Listen to him.|- We'll be gone a couple of days.

- Be back tomorrow night.|- Don't hurry on my account.

- We're gonna paint the town, aren't we?|- Uh-huh.

Well, don't call us up to bail you out.|Ha-ha-ha.

Bye. Have fun.

Say, is that your phone or mine?

- Oh, it's mine. Bye.|- Bye.



Hello. Hello, who is it?

Wait here.

Just a minute.


- Is this where Frank Enley lives?|- Yes.

- Is there something I can do? I'm his wife.|- No, I wanna see him.

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Robert L. Richards

Robert L. Richards was a film screenwriter. Richards worked on a number of notable films of the 1940s and 1950s including Winchester '73, Johnny Stool Pigeon, and Act of Violence. His radio work included writing for the Suspense series which aired on the CBS network from 1942 until 1962. Among Richards' numerous Suspense offerings was his critically acclaimed neogothic horror thriller entitled The House in Cypress Canyon broadcast on December 5, 1946. Considered one of the tautest, most chilling dramas in the Suspense canon, the now classic show featured Robert Taylor, Cathy Lewis, Hans Conried, and Howard Duff in starring roles. Richards was blacklisted in Hollywood because of his left wing views. He wrote under various pseudonyms to get work, until he finally gave up and became a carpenter. He retired to Pátzcuaro, Mexico, where he died, still bitter about the career he had lost. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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