The Long Wait

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The Long Wait
The Long Wait.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Victor Saville
Screenplay by
Based onThe Long Wait
by Mickey Spillane
Produced byLesser Samuels
Cinematography Franz Planer
Edited by Ronald Sinclair
Music by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Parklane Pictures
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • May 26, 1954 (1954-05-26)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.5 million [1]

The Long Wait is a 1954 American crime drama film noir directed by Victor Saville starring Anthony Quinn, Charles Coburn, Gene Evans and Peggie Castle. The film is based on the 1951 novel of the same title by Mickey Spillane. It was an independent production distributed by United Artists.



Johnny McBride is badly hurt while hitch hiking and loses his memory when the car he is riding in crashes; he also has his fingerprints burned off. Two years later, a clue leads him to his old home town, where he finds he is a murder suspect. McBride tries to clear his name of the presumed murder charges. Thugs working for the local mob boss try to end his meddling.



The New York Times called it slow-paced, boring, and likely to disappoint fans of the novel. [2]

Noir analysis

Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style by Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward writes: "The inclusion of amnesia, giving the hero a sense of hopelessness compounded by the frustration of his loss of identity, instills a distinct existential bias into McBride's search. This attitude combines with a pervading sense of corruption and dehumanization to give The Long Wait a fatalistic noir ethos." [3]

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  1. "TMe: Box Office Tops from 1950-1959".
  2. T., H. H. (1954-07-03). "The Long Wait (1954)". The New York Times . Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  3. Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward (1992). Film Noir An Encyclopedic Reference to the American Style . The Overlook Press. ISBN   0-87951-479-5.

Further reading