GenreCrime, Drama, Film-Noir ProducerEdwin H. Knopf CountryUnited States
Release dateJuly 23, 1942 (1942-07-23) (New York) Based onthe screenplay of the film Carrefour
by John H. Kafka WriterJohn H. Kafka (story), Howard Emmett Rogers (story), Guy Trosper (screenplay) CastWilliam Powell (David Talbot, aka Jean Pelletier), Hedy Lamarr (Lucienne Talbot), Claire Trevor (Michelle Allaine), Basil Rathbone (Henri Sarrou), Margaret Wycherly (Madame Pelletier), Felix Bressart (Dr. Andre Tessier) Similar moviesThe Last Witch Hunter, Jupiter Ascending, Knock Knock, Frozen, Pitch Perfect 2, The Avengers
TaglineWhere women wait to seal your fate!
Crossroads is a 1942 mystery film noir directed by Jack Conway and starring William Powell, Hedy Lamarr, Claire Trevor and Basil Rathbone. Powell plays a diplomat whose amnesia about his past comes back to trouble him.
In 1935, French Diplomat David Talbot (William Powell) and his bride Lucienne (Hedy Lamarr) are enjoying their third month of marriage in Paris when Talbot is confronted by extortionist Carlos Le Duc (Vladimir Sokoloff) who demands money in exchange for not turning him in to the police.
During a trial of the extortionist, whose defense is that he was seeking a repayment of debt by a former criminal comrade, Talbot is accused of being that notorious criminal. Henri Sarrou (Basil Rathbone) testifies that he is not. Talbot claims that amnesia prevents him from knowing the truth and his story is backed up by a psychologist, Dr. Tessier (Felix Bressart). Le Duc is convicted.
Sarrou then visits Talbot at his home where we learn that Sarrou deliberately testified falsely to set up his blackmail scheme. He demands a million francs, half the loot from an alleged scheme he and Talbot (in his forgotten criminal phase) carried out.
Talbot subsequently struggles to discover the truth about his past, while keeping Sarrou at bay and his wife in the dark.
William Powell as David Talbot
Hedy Lamarr as Lucienne Talbot
Claire Trevor as Michelle Allaine
Basil Rathbone as Henri Sarrou
Margaret Wycherly as Madame Pelletier
Felix Bressart as Dr. Andre Tessier
Sig Ruman as Dr. Alex Dubroc
H.B. Warner as the Prosecuting Attorney
Philip Merivale as the Commissaire
Vladimir Sokoloff as Carlos Le Duc
According to MGM records the film earned $1,523,000 in the US and Canada and $798,000 elsewhere, making the studio a profit of $739,000.
When the film was released, the staff at Variety magazine praised the film, writing "This is a Grade A whodunit, with a superlative cast. The novel story line, which would do credit to an Alfred Hitchcock thriller, has the added potency of Hedy Lamarr and William Powell ... It’s good, escapist drama, without a hint of the war despite its Parisian locale, circa 1935, and evidences excellent casting and good direction. The script likewise well turned out, though better pace would have put the film in the smash class. Its only fault is a perceptible slowness at times, although the running time is a reasonable 82 minutes, caused by a plenitude of talk."
The film was adapted for a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on March 29, 1943, starring Jean-Pierre Aumont and Lana Turner.