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DANA ANDREWS AND FARLEY GRANGER IN 'EDGE OF DOOM'

Title: EDGE OF DOOM aka STRONGER THAN FEAR Year: 1950 Rating: ***1/2

The idea of a Catholic Film Noir isn't so strange being that the "genre" and the religion are both full of guilt, and this above-average crime melodrama in the fashion of CRIME AND PUNISHMENT stars super-guilty-looking Farley Granger (equally as ashamed of his murdering-self in Alfred Hitchock's ROPE), who kills an old cranky priest that didn't give his long-dead father last rites because he'd committed suicide instead of — like Granger's beloved mother that he wants a lavish funeral for despite their shabby apartment-dwelling reality — dying more naturally, and with dignity...

Enter Dana Andrews... not as the doomed priest but the young, more open minded Father with the normally Jewish last name of Roth (Hollywood obviously wanted to please everyone): he's called in for Ma's last rites instead of the old man, dealing with his own pointless personal family issues...

Dana Andrews in EDGE OF DOOM

Andrews and Granger along with token cop Robert Keith also starred in director Mark Robson's anti-war I WANT YOU while Andrews and Keith appeared in his wartime romance MY FOOLISH HEART, making EDGE OF DOOM by far the best (and darkest given Mark's beginnings with horror producer Val Lewton): especially concerning the neat twist of two crimes occurring at the same time... one murder, the other a robbery... and Farley, along with bitter, existential neighbor Paul Stewart... are soon under equal suspicion...

Upping the ante of suspense from beginning to end, making the biggest flaws particular characters who simply have no active part in the story including pretty Joan Evans, sexy Adele Jergens and although Granger's best girl Mala Powers does fit, their actor's workshop-style scenes need trimming. As for first-billed Andrews, he's as natural and relaxing as ever, but Farely Granger — with that long-faced scowl twisted into full pursed lips while his sketchy, tortured motivation burns brightly on the sleeve — owns this ride completely.

Farley Granger in EDGE OF DOOM with Adele Jergens
EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
Joan Evans, Robert Keith in EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
Mala Powers in EDGE OF DOOM
EDGE OF DOOM with Farley Granger and Paul Stewart
EDGE OF DOOM with Farley Granger
Virginia Mayo lookalike Adele Jergens in EDGE OF DOOM
EDGE OF DOOM with Mala Powers and Farley Granger
EDGE OF DOOM original title STRONGER THAN FEAR
Dana Andrews and Robert Keith in EDGE OF DOOM
Dana Andrews and Farley Granger in EDGE OF DOOM
Dana Andrews and Ray Teal in EDGE OF DOOM
EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
EDGE OF DOOM with Dana Andrews
EDGE OF DOOM with Farley Granger

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