Pushover

  • 1954
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

This James M. Cain-style suspenser stars Fred MacMurray (10 years after his role as Walter Neff in the Cain-based DOUBLE INDEMNITY) as an aging policeman who falls under the spell of a beautiful woman and her money. An honest cop, MacMurray is assigned to track the movements of moll Novak in the hope that she will lead him to her gangster boy friend, Richards,...read more

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This James M. Cain-style suspenser stars Fred MacMurray (10 years after his role as Walter Neff in the Cain-based DOUBLE INDEMNITY) as an aging policeman who falls under the spell of a beautiful woman and her money. An honest cop, MacMurray is assigned to track the movements of moll

Novak in the hope that she will lead him to her gangster boy friend, Richards, and the $200,000 Richards has just lifted in a bank robbery. MacMurray and his partners (Carey and Nourse) voyeuristically monitor Novak's every move with the aid of binoculars and tape recorders, and, unknown to his

fellow officers, MacMurray becomes romantically involved with Novak. However, when she suggests that he kill Richards and that they escape together with the money, he angrily objects and leaves her. But after days of trailing her, he becomes increasingly obsessed; meanwhile, Carey gets involved

with Novak's neighbor (Malone) after peering in her window one evening. When MacMurray finally returns to Novak and agrees to her plan, she arranges a rendezvous with Richards. MacMurray kills the gangster when he arrives at Novak's place, but the act is witnessed by Nourse, and MacMurray is

forced to kill him too. By now Carey and lieutenant Marshall are trying to track down Richards, who is reported to be in the area. MacMurray takes Malone hostage, but before he can escape he is gunned down by Carey, his friend and fellow officer. Sharply directed by Quine, with an interesting

reprise by MacMurray of his DOUBLE INDEMNITY role, PUSHOVER is a compelling story of a man whose morals become twisted by a dangerous and somewhat naive femme fatale. In fact, what makes PUSHOVER a success, even more than the participation of Quine and MacMurray, is the image that newcomer Kim

Novak brings to the screen. She had previously appeared only in a bit part in the same year's THE FRENCH LINE, but was spotted by a talent agency, which then referred her to Columbia producer Harry Cohn. After signing the 21-year-old actress, Cohn tried to change her name from Marilyn Novak (her

given name) to Kit Marlowe. When the name Kim Novak was finally decided on, Cohn devoted himself to manufacturing her as a rival to Marilyn Monroe, replacing Columbia's previous box-office draw, Rita Hayworth. Novak was carefully primped by Cohn, who imposed numerous restraints on her personal

life to keep her under his control. Fortunately for Novak, Cohn, and Quine, PUSHOVER, while doing only moderate box-office business, garnered a number of favorable reviews for the starlet. Cohn's efforts paid off when Novak was named "the Best Discovery of 1954" by the New York Journal American,

and for the next few years she remained a top box-office draw.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This James M. Cain-style suspenser stars Fred MacMurray (10 years after his role as Walter Neff in the Cain-based DOUBLE INDEMNITY) as an aging policeman who falls under the spell of a beautiful woman and her money. An honest cop, MacMurray is assigned to… (more)

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