A Bullet For Joey – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

MGM presents A Bullet For Joey. Written by Geoffrey Homes and A.I. Bezzerides. Original Story by James Benson Nablo. 87 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1955.

Directed By:

Lewis Allen


Edward G. Robinson……….Insp. Raoul Leduc
George Raft……….Joe Victor aka Steiner
Audrey Totter……….Joyce Geary
George Dolenz……….Dr. Carl Macklin

The Film:

A Bullet For Joey has all the elements to make a good Film Noir: Edward G. Robinson, a beautiful femme fatale and an intriguing plot filled with double crosses. Sadly, someone took all these great ingredients and baked a slow plodding by-the-book picture that is dull, lifeless and filled with outdated cold war hooey.

When a ploy to get the oh so vague “discoveries” of one Dr. Carl Macklin (Dolenz) ends with the murder of a constable, Inspector Raoul Leduc (Robinson) gets caught up in something bigger than he could imagine. Joe Victor (Raft) is a public enemy number one type who is hired to kill Macklin. He brings in all his boys on the job and his number one girl, Joyce (Totter). Joyce’s job is to seduce Macklin. And one of Joe’s other men is seducing Macklin’s secretary. All of this to find out more information about his aforementioned discoveries also referred to as “his little gadget.” The whole plot of the film is very convoluted and hard to follow mostly, I think, due to the complete lack of details in the film. Everything just seems to happen with little explanation as to why.

Which wouldn’t be so bad if the film wasn’t so boring. Even when someone is killed it’s so run of the mill that any semblance of suspense is completely null and void. The “discoveries” bring to mind Hitchcock’s favorite buzzword Macguffin which isn’t to try and make it more interesting, far from it. This film is dull from beginning to end. For example: the big climactic finish is a whole lot of talking. Sure there are a couple of gunshots thrown in, but at that point you just don’t care.

Edward G. Robinson is great in anything he does and the case is true here as well. However, he’s surrounded by a bunch of bush league amateurs and he�s given nothing of substance to work with. MGM has released a lot of great Film Noirs on DVD of late, A Bullet For Joey isn’t one of them.

The most interesting part of the film: The opening credits.

The DVD:

The Video:

The film is presented in full frame 1.33:1.This is a nice looking film but there’s nothing stand out about it. The transfer is pretty good, a few blemishes here and there.

The Audio:

The film is presented in Dolby Digital Mono. This movie sounds fine but there’s nothing special about it.


Once again, MGM fails to provide any special features for one of their “Film Noir” classics.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for A Bullet For Joey
(OUT OF 10)






The Inside Pulse
Coming from a guy who’s a big Noir fan let me say, this is not does not merit watching. Edward G. Robinson has been in plenty of other great films that more worth your time than this one.