AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Cry Vengeance
Alternate Title: Ketchikan
Director: Mark Stevens (Dir)
Release Date:   21 Nov 1954
Production Date:   began early Sep 1954 at KTTV Studios
Duration (in mins):   83
Duration (in feet):   7,470
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Cast:   Mark Stevens (Vic Barron)  
    Martha Hyer (Peggy Harding)  
    Skip Homeier (Roxey)  
    Joan Vohs (Lily Arnold)  
    Douglas Kennedy (Tino Morelli, also known as Al Corey)  
    Don Haggerty (Lt. Pat Ryan)  
    Cheryl Callaway (Marie Morelli)  
    Warren Douglas (Mike Walters)  
    Mort Mills (Johnny Blue-eyes)  
    John Doucette (Red Miller)  
    Lewis Martin (Nick Buda)  
    Dorothy Kennedy (Emily Miller)  
    Rankin Mansfield (Rusty)  
    Richard Deacon (Bartender)  
    Sam Hearn (Pawnbroker)  
    Jeanne Gerson (Ella)  
    Charles Wagenheim (Man in bar)  
    Dorothy Crider (Woman in bar)  

Summary: Former police detective Vic Barron is released from San Quentin after serving three years for a crime for which he was framed. Prior to his sentencing, Vic’s wife and young daughter were killed in a car bombing in which he was facially disfigured. Vic is obsessed with tracking down the man he believes was responsible for both the bombings and his incarceration, San Francisco mobster Tino Morelli. Although friends on the police force attempt to dissuade him from pursuing Morelli, Vic goes to the nightclub run by Morelli’s partner, Nick Buda. However, Buda and his sadistic gunman Roxey claim not to know where Morelli can be found. Vic then visits his former sweetheart, Lily Arnold, who is now Roxey’s moll, and when Roxey finds them together, Vic knocks him out. Lily then tells Vic that Morelli and his little girl are living in Ketchikan, Alaska. After Vic leaves by plane for Alaska, Roxey finds out that Lily has revealed Morelli’s location and sends a cable advising Morelli that Vic is on his way there. Buda then orders Roxey, the actual bomber, to go to Alaska with Lily to kill Morelli and frame Vic for the crime. Buda also tells Roxey to make sure that Lily “remains” in Alaska. When Vic reaches Ketchikan, he goes to a bar and asks about Morelli. Peggy Harding, the bar’s owner, realizes that Morelli is posing as Al Corey, the man with whom she is having a relationship, but says nothing. Johnny Blue-eyes, Morelli’s henchman, follows Vic to his hotel room and tells him that Morelli had nothing to do with the bombing or the frame up, but is willing to pay Vic off, even though he is innocent. Vic is unconvinced, and when he and Morelli encounter each other by chance in Peggy’s bar, they talk, but resolve nothing. Peggy then invites Vic to join her on her small boat and they visit Indian ceremonial grounds. When Peggy tells Vic that Morelli is a good father and is trying to change his life, Vic informs her that her friend was “The Big Man” in San Francisco rackets and that he murdered Vic's family. Peggy feels sympathy for Vic and they embrace. Later, Peggy goes to see Ketchikan police officer Mike Walters and explains the situation to him. After Vic befriends Marie, Morelli’s young daughter, he removes a bullet from his revolver and asks her to give it to her father as an indication that he could have harmed her. Furious at Vic's implied threat, Morelli arms himself and drives off to find Vic. Roxey, who has been hiding in the car’s backseat, forces Morelli at gunpoint to drive to a remote area, where he tells Morelli that he was responsible for the death’s of Vic’s family and that Buda has now ordered his death. Roxey then shoots and kills Morelli. Lily goes to Peggy’s bar looking for Vic to warn him about Roxey, but before she can do so, Mike enters and demands that Vic hand over his gun. After slugging Mike, Vic runs out to Morelli’s house and is about to kidnap Marie when her trust and innocence touch him and he returns her to her bed. Roxey returns to his hotel room and, using a cushion as a silencer, shoots Lily. When Peggy finds Vic, he tells her he intends to go back to San Francisco, but she asks him to stay. Vic then receives a phone call from the dying Lily who informs him that Roxey bombed Vic’s car, killed Morelli and shot her. Before she dies, Lily tells Vic she has left a letter for him. Peggy and Vic drive to the airport to stop Roxey from leaving, but he shoots at them and drives off. Vic chases after him in a stolen cab while Peggy and Mike follow in Mike’s patrol car. Mike tells Peggy that they have found Lily’s letter, which clears Vic. When the road ends at a mill with a large dam, the pursuit continues on foot until Vic catches Roxey on top of the dam. Roxey tries to trick Vic, but Vic shoots him and he falls to his death in the dam. Later, as he prepares to return to San Francisco, Vic, now in love with Peggy and captivated by Marie, embraces them and they assume that he will return to them before long.
 

Production Company: Allied Artists Pictures Corp.  
Brand Name: A Lindsley Parsons Production

Distribution Company: Allied Artists Pictures Corp.  
Director: Mark Stevens (Dir)
  Elmer Decker (Asst dir)
  Warren Douglas (Dial dir)
Producer: Lindsley Parsons (Prod)
  John H. Burrows (Assoc prod)
Writer: Warren Douglas (Wrt)
  George Bricker (Wrt)
Photography: William Sickner (Photog)
  Lloyd L. Garnell (Lighting eff)
Art Direction: David Milton (Art dir)
Film Editor: Ace Herman (Supv film ed)
  Elmo Veron (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Robert Bradfield (Set dec)
Music: Paul Dunlap (Mus comp and cond)
Sound: Tom Lambert (Rec)
Production Misc: Rex Bailey (Prod mgr)
  Fred H. Messenger (Casting dir)
  Bobbie Sierks (Set cont)
Country: United States
Language: English

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Allied Artists Pictures Corp. 21/11/1954 dd/mm/yyyy LP4152

PCA NO: 17181
Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
 
Subjects (Major): Children
  Fathers and daughters
  Gangsters
  Ketchikan ( AK)
  Molls
  Murder
  Obsession
  Police detectives
  Revenge
 
Subjects (Minor): Bars
  Chases
  Dams
  Disfiguration
  Falls from heights
  False accusations
  Hired killers
  Romance
  Sadism
  San Francisco (CA)

Note: This film's working titles were Danger Point and Ketchikan . Location filming took place in Ketchikan, AK and San Francisco, CA. Interiors were shot at KTTV studios in Los Angeles. A 1 Sep 1954 news item noted that production on the film had been postponed to allow the film's announced star, Richard Conte, to complete his work on The Big Combo (see above). The reason why Conte did not appear in Cry Vengeance ^ has not been determined. IHR news item HR news items in Jul and Aug 1954 add the following actors to the cast: Susan Ridgeway, Paul Dubov, Paul Stader, Dick Rich, Elizabeth Root, Edward Clark, Joe Romantini and Louise De Carlo, but their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed. Cry Vengeance was actor Mark Stevens' first film as a director. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   27 Nov 1954.   
Daily Variety   19 Nov 1954   p. 3.
Film Daily   26 Nov 1954   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jul 1954   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   30 Jul 1954   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Aug 1954   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Aug 1954   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Aug 1954   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Aug 1954   p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Aug 1954   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   1 Sep 1954   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Nov 1954   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   4 Dec 1954   p. 233.
New York Times   19 Feb 1955   p. 18.
Variety   24 Nov 1954   p. 6.

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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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