AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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I Walk Alone
Director: Byron Haskin (Dir)
Release Date:   16 Jan 1948
Production Date:   early Dec 1946--mid-Feb 1947
Duration (in mins):   97-98
Duration (in feet):   8,776
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Cast:   Burt Lancaster (Frankie Madison)  
    Lizabeth Scott (Kay Lawrence)  
    Kirk Douglas (Noll Turner [also known as "Dink"])  
    Wendell Corey (Dave)  
    Kristine Miller (Mrs. [Alexis] Richardson)  
    George Rigaud (Maurice)  
    Marc Lawrence (Nick Palestro)  
    Mike Mazurki (Dan)  
    Mickey Knox (Skinner)  
    Roger Neury (Felix)  
    Regency Three (Trio performing in dinner sequence)  
    John Bishop (Ben, bartender)  
    Bruce Lester (Charles)  
    Jean Del Val (Henri, chef)  
    Gino Corrado (George, assistant chef)  
    Freddie Steele (Tiger)  
    Dewey Robinson (Heinz)  
    Fred G. Somers (Butcher)  
    Charles D. Brown (Lt. Hollaran)  
    Walter Anthony Merrill (Schreiber)  
    Bobby Barber (Newsboy)  
    Jack Perrin (Policeman)  
    Bert Moorehouse (Policeman at toll gate)  
    Olin Howlin (Watchman)  
    James Davies (Masseur)  

Summary: Ex-bootlegger Frankie Madison is released from prison after fourteen years and is met in New York City by Dave, a member of his old gang. Frankie soon learns that Noll "Dink" Turner, who ran the bootlegging racket with Frankie but never visited him in jail, now runs the respectable and upscale Regent nightclub. Hoping to manipulate Frankie into believing that they are still best friends, Noll asks his girl friend, nightclub singer Kay Lawrence, to entertain Frankie for dinner, while Noll has a rendezvous in his office with wealthy society woman Mrs. Alexis Richardson. During dinner, Frankie and Kay begin to fall in love, and he tells her about himself: In 1933, while running a truckload of rye whiskey over the Canadian border, Frankie and Noll split up to escape the police, and Noll promises Frankie fifty percent of all their earnings if he is caught. Noll then escapes on foot while Frankie, who is driving the truck, is arrested. After dinner, Frankie overhears Noll thanking Kay for getting information out of Frankie, and he angrily confronts Noll, demanding his share of the nightclub. Dave shows Frankie a dissolution of partnership paper that Frankie na├»vely signed while in jail, and tells him that he is only owed $2,912. Frankie slugs Noll in the mouth and leaves to recruit men to fight him. Later, Noll tells Kay that he is going to marry Alexis, but loves Kay and wants their relationship to go unchanged. She quits and goes to apologize to Frankie, who is visited by an old gang member named Nick Palestro, who now runs a used car business. Accompanied by three henchmen, they arrive at the Regent to demand Frankie's half-ownership. Dave and Noll explain that it is owned by several corporations and that it would be impossible to give him a share without approval of the board of directors. Frankie blames Dave and threatens to kill him, then orders the henchmen to help him take over the club by force, but they refuse. Noll then has his bouncer, Dan, who also used to know Frankie, drag him into the alley in a choke-hold and beat him up. Dave later goes to the alley to tend to Frankie and apologize, promising to meet him later to discuss bringing down Noll. Kay takes Frankie to her apartment to nurse his wounds, while Dave tells Noll that he is going to ruin him by exposing his embezzlement of the nightclub's profits. Later, on Noll's orders, Dave is gunned down in the street by a henchman named Skinner and Frankie is wanted for the murder. He and Kay escape in a taxi provided by Nick to Noll's New Jersey home, where he is waiting for them with a gun. Frankie easily outwits Noll, gets the gun, and takes him at gunpoint to the Regent, where he demands his $2,912 and a written confession. After the police arrive, Frankie reveals only a fountain pen in his pocket, and Noll is arrested. On his way out of the bar, Noll disarms his two police escorts and takes aim at Frankie, but is shot dead by the police. After being cleared at the police station, Frankie and Kay walk out into the New York night to begin their future together. 

Production Company: Hal Wallis Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: A Hal B. Wallis Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Byron Haskin (Dir)
  Richard McWhorter (Asst dir)
  Joan Hathaway (Dial dir)
Producer: Hal Wallis (Exec prod)
Writer: Charles Schnee (Scr)
  Robert Smith (Adpt)
  John Bright (Adpt)
Photography: Leo Tover (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Franz Bachelin (Art dir)
Film Editor: Arthur Schmidt (Ed)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Patrick Delaney (Set dec)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
Music: Victor Young (Mus score)
Sound: Harry Lindgren (Sd rec)
  Walter Oberst (Sd rec)
Special Effects: Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
Country: United States

Music: "Isn't It Romantic" and "It's Easy to Remember," music by Richard Rodgers; "Two Sleepy People" and "Heart and Soul," music by Hoagy Carmichael; "With Every Breath I Take," music by Ralph Rainger; "You Leave Me Breathless," music by Burton Lane; "I'm Yours," music by John Green; "My Ideal," music by Richard A. Whiting and Newell Chase.
Songs: "Don't Call It Love," music by Allie Wrubel, lyrics by Ned Washington.
Composer: Hoagy Carmichael
  Newell Chase
  John Green
  Burton Lane
  Frank Loesser
  Ralph Rainger
  Richard Rodgers
  Ned Washington
  Richard A. Whiting
  Allie Wrubel
Source Text: Based on the play Beggars Are Coming to Town by Theodore Reeves as produced by Oscar Serlin (New York, 27 Oct 1945).
Authors: Oscar Serlin
  Theodore Reeves

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Hal Wallis Productions, Inc. 29/7/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP1116 Yes

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
 
Subjects (Major): Ex-convicts
  Friendship
  Murder
  Nightclub owners
  Racketeers
 
Subjects (Minor): Accountants
  Ambition
  Bootleggers
  Bouncers
  Confession (Law)
  Duplicity
  Embezzlement
  Escapes
  Gratitude
  Loyalty
  New Jersey
  New York City
  Nightclubs
  Partnership
  Police
  Proposals (Marital)
  Romantic rivalry
  Self-sacrifice
  Singers
  Socialites
  Taxicabs
  Transformation
  Used car salesmen

Note: Instrumental versions of "Isn't It Romantic?" "Heart and Soul" and a medley of six songs (listed above) were performed by the Regency Three trio for the dinner scene with Burt Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott. I Walk Alone was Byron Haskin's first film as a director since 1927. Until production began on this film, Haskin had been a prominent director of photography and special effects cameraman at Warner Bros. Following I Walk Alone , Haskins remained a director for the rest of his career. The picture also marked the first time that actors Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster were teamed. Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott reprised their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 24 May 1948. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   20 Dec 1947.   
Daily Variety   15 Dec 1947.   
Film Daily   18 Dec 1947.   
Hollywood Reporter   20 Dec 46   p. 34.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Feb 47   p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Dec 47   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 48   p. 6.
New York Times   22 Jan 48   p. 36.
Variety   17 Dec 47   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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