The 3 Roberts: the father figure, the laconic tough guy, and the real tough guy. This is the breakout role for Robert Ryan. They changed the subject in the book from homosexuality to antisemitism for the movie. No small irony that Mitchum was a Holocaust denier, and Ryan was a liberal.
'47 best picture nominee told an early tale of American anti-Semitism through a tale of a murder investigation involving some soldiers recently returned home. Interesting that it beat 'Gentlemen's Agreement' to theatres by a number of months but is now mostly forgotten. Also strange that the novel it was adapted from was about homophobia not anti-Semitism showing what was considered safer material during that time.
As we all know (or at least should know), didactic movies don't make masterpieces. At best, they're entertaining. So is CROSSFIRE. Thanks to Gloria GRAHAME, to Paul Kelly's (The Man) scenes, to Robert Young and his more than weary attitude and to Robert Ryan, one of the most underrated American actors. Recommended.