Skip to main content

PUSHOVER

USA, 1954 (MIFF 1998, Kiss Me Deadly)

Director: Richard Quine

"Money isn't dirty, just people."

A low-rent Double Indemnity; cool blonde moll Kim Novak (in her first major screen role at Columbia) stirs up a sexual heat similar to that of Barbara Stanwyck in Wilder's noir thriller. She convinces a besotted police detective (MacMurray) - who seems willing to betray his beliefs for a blonde femme fatale - that killing her bank-robbing boyfriend and taking the stolen cash is all in the line of duty, even though it leads to inevitably disastrous consequences.

Pushover is probably the most under-rated of the numerous rogue-cop thrillers - including Rogue Cop, The Prowler, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Big Heat, Touch of Evil - that formed a key sub-genre within the 1950s film noir era.
- Paul Harris

"Initially Pushover resembles Double Indemnity with its plot of murder for money, in which a cool, beautiful blonde seduces a man into betraying his profession and his colleagues. The male protagonists in both films are similarly vulnerable, superficially clever but unwise men. They conceal their romantic disillusionment behind cynicism and must develop dual personalities simultaneously to engineer their crime and then begin a sham investigation of it." - Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward, Film Noir

See also...

KISS ME DEADLY

A night-time encounter with Cloris Leachman, clad only in a raincoat, leads Mike Hammer on a legality-be-damned search for a mysterious suitcase containing 'the Great What's-lt' in this stunning ... More »

THE LINE UP

"Psycho-killers Julian and Dancer (Keith and Wallach), are hired to recover a heroin haul. Among their professional touches is noting down their victim's last words ("Why be greedy?"). But they can ... More »

SCANDAL SHEET

Hard-nosed editor Crawford takes over an ailing newspaper and uses a double murder to boost his tabloid's circulation. He then discovers that his hero worshipping cub reporter-protege (Derek) has ... More »

FIVE AGAINST THE HOUSE

Five college students - Madison, Novak, Keith, Moore and Mathews - team up and joke about a robbery of Harold's Club in Reno. It starts off as an intellectual prank, but soon ends up the real thing ... More »

Paintings of the New World

Paintings of the New World captures on film their reflection of the life and spirit of the 19th Century America to bring to the screen an imaginatively conceived and informative capsule of the ... More »

The Making of the River

Tracing the formation of the river from its source waters, the film follows it to its termination at the sea. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director