Deadline at Dawn

Synopsis: Alex, a radio-specialist sailor on leave, recovers from a drink-induced blackout with a large sum of money belonging to Edna Bartelli, a B-girl who invited him home to fix her radio. He tries to return the money with the reluctant aid of June Goffe, a sweet but oh-so-tired dance hall girl. They find Edna murdered. Not quite sure he didn't do it himself, Alex and June have four hours in the dead of night to find the real killer before his leave ends. Their quest brings them into contact with a sleazy kaleidoscope of minor characters as the clues get more and more tangled.
Production: RKO Pictures
  1 nomination.
83 min

Why, Sleepy Parsons.

Aren't you dead yet?

Here's to nothing.

Still on your 20 cigars a day?

Can your heart take it, Sleepy?

You drunk again?


Took you a long time to answer the door.

It's a great relief being divorced

from you, Sleepy dear.

Give me the money and I'll go.

Do you think it'll rain and cool off?

Give me my money, Edna,

and don't kid around.

What are you gonna do with all that cash?

Take out a chorus girl?

It's gone.

Don't fool around. I'm not in the mood.

It must be that kid.

You owe me $1400 and I need it bad.

You said you'd have

the money here tonight.

A sailor took it.

I brought it home from the restaurant.

Money's gone and that's it.

He took all my cash and my checks.

- But all you think is maybe he kissed me too.

- No, don't flatter yourself.

All I think is I want my money.

I remember you, Edna,

as you used to be before.

Long ago.

Now, give me the money and I'll go.

You'll get your money when the police pick

up the sailor boy. That's all. Good night.

You'll never change, Edna. You're bad.

I loved you very much.

But you're bad.

Oh, no, don't sit down. Get out.

You're pulling some sort of trick.

But I'm just too tired to think.

You'll be the sorriest man

if you don't get out.

- Do you hear me?

- Yes, I heard you.

You're a pest. And I'd like it if you

never put your snout in my door again.

- Do you hear that?

- I hear it.

Otherwise, I'll send my brother.

And I don't think your heart

can take another beating.


I hear you.

I hear you.

I hear you.

Phew. This heat is bad.

Yes. I'm sweating like a river.

Yeah, it gets bad in August.

But nature takes care of it.

Did you ever realize, everybody's

got an air conditioning plant in his nose?

Well, no, I didn't realize that.

A sound in my ears like a seashell.

- Better try some more of this hot coffee.

- No, thanks.

It's very kind of you to let me sit here

a few minutes and all.

My advice is don't drink that stuff

in this heat.

It's made a million widows, booze has.

No jokes.

You know what I think maybe I'll do?

Walk down the street

and cool off down there.

I got seven hours until my bus leaves.

- What's this?

- Money and you dropped it.

- Money?

- Take it. It won't bite.

- Did I drop this?

- It came out with the handkerchief.

Hello, Ray.

Hello, Tom.

Well, so long, Ray.

It was nice to have met you.

So long.


Don't forget this.

Gee, it shows you

how unconcentrated you can get.

Non compos mentis, that's me.

No jokes.

Hello, mister.

I sell you cheap.

- Ten bananas will cost you 30 cents.

- Uh, no, thanks.

If I can sell you my last bananas,

I can go home.

Why you no buy?

Oh, you wanna go home?

I like to go home, yes.

How much for the whole bunch?

Two dollars.

Don't struggle, sailor.

Just let them carry you along like a mother.

Where's everybody going?

To the dogs. Ha-ha-ha!

- Easy.

Whoa, wait.

Upstairs, that's the place

where the girls are.

Upstairs, The Jungle.

Dance to the haunting strings

of the rumba bumba.

Fifty twirling girls. Upstairs. Forty...

A minute.

Ex-servicemen in uniform

are half price, brother.

All right. Upstairs, folks.

What are you waiting for?

What's a half a dollar in your life?

Upstairs, folks.

And dance with 40 beautiful

dancing partners. Forty lovely...

I'm sorry, but you'll have to get

another partner. I'm tired.

I don't think you understand.

Meaning no disrespect.

- It's late and I'm tired.

- Some refreshments?

Meaning no disrespect.


After all, you see, l...

Don't misunderstand.

What's wrong here?

She tells me to find another partner.

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Clifford Odets

Clifford Odets (July 18, 1906 – August 14, 1963) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. Odets was widely seen as a successor to Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill as O'Neill began to retire from Broadway's commercial pressures and increasing critical backlash in the mid-1930s. From early 1935 on, Odets' socially relevant dramas proved extremely influential, particularly for the remainder of the Great Depression. Odets' works inspired the next several generations of playwrights, including Arthur Miller, Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon, David Mamet, and Jon Robin Baitz. After the production of his play Clash by Night in the 1941–1942 season, Odets focused his energies on film projects, remaining in Hollywood for the next seven years. He began to be eclipsed by such playwrights as Miller, Tennessee Williams and, in 1950, William Inge. Except for his adaptation of Konstantin Simonov's play The Russian People in the 1942–1943 season, Odets did not return to Broadway until 1949, with the premiere of The Big Knife, an allegorical play about Hollywood. At the time of his death in 1963, Odets was serving as both script writer and script supervisor on The Richard Boone Show, born of a plan for televised repertory theater. Though many obituaries lamented his work in Hollywood and considered him someone who had not lived up to his promise, director Elia Kazan understood it differently. "The tragedy of our times in the theatre is the tragedy of Clifford Odets," Kazan began, before defending his late friend against the accusations of failure that had appeared in his obituaries. "His plan, he said, was to . . . come back to New York and get [some new] plays on. They’d be, he assured me, the best plays of his life. . . .Cliff wasn't 'shot.' . . . The mind and talent were alive in the man." more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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