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Backlash (1947 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byEugene Forde
Screenplay byIrving Elman
Produced bySol M. Wurtzel
StarringJean Rogers
Richard Travis
Larry J. Blake
John Eldredge
CinematographyBenjamin H. Kline
Edited byWilliam F. Claxton
Music byDarrell Calker
Sol M. Wurtzel Productions
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 1, 1947 (1947-03-01) (United States)
Running time
66 minutes
CountryUnited States

Backlash is a 1947 American crime film noir directed by Eugene Forde. The drama features Jean Rogers, Larry J. Blake, John Eldredge and Richard Travis.[1]


Los Angeles police detective Jerry McMullen (Larry J. Blake) stops a car driven by lawyer John Morland (John Eldredge) to tell him of client Red Bailey's (Douglas Fowley) jail escape. Shortly thereafter, an armed Bailey flags down Morland's car, which police find wrecked, its driver's face beyond recognition.

McMullen breaks the news to the lawyer's wife, Catherine (Jean Rogers), who identifies a ring on the body as her husband's. She soon becomes a suspect. Morland's law partner O'Neil (Robert Shayne) believes that Catherine and district attorney Conroy (Richard Travis) have been having a secret affair, while his doctor says Morland once swallowed poison that his wife tried to give him.

Conroy is found at the Morlands' weekend getaway cabin, which is maintained by a caretaker named Willis (Leonard Strong). The evidence of an affair grows until Catherine is arrested and Conroy resigns as DA.

Bailey, meantime, resurfaces with Marian Gordon (Louise Currie), a girlfriend. McMullen has a phone tapped and follows them. He learns that Bailey was hidden by Morland at the cabin, but then they had a fight and Bailey knocked him cold.

Catherine is released. She finds O'Neil dead at the lodge. Her husband, Morland, is alive. He has been behind this all along, going so far as to fake being poisoned to frame his wife. The body in the car is the caretaker's. It is a diabolical plan, but McMullen's on the case.



When the film was released, The New York Times film critic, Thomas M. Pryor, panned the film, writing, "When a movie company lets two of its feature pictures be sold first-run for the price of one, you can bet your last dollar that even the studio has little faith in the product. With that in mind, we can move on to a fast appraisal of Backlash and Jewels of Brandenburg, the twin bill sponsored by Twentieth Century-Fox and now showing at the Rialto. Both are melodramas and, to get the unpleasantness over with as quickly as possible, they are the type which reflect absolutely no credit upon anyone connected with them, except, possibly, the studio cutter, who pared them down to a little over sixty minutes each."[2]


  1. ^ Backlash at IMDb.
  2. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. The New York Times, film review, May 24, 1947. Last accessed: February 26, 2011.
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Backlash (1947 film)
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