Starring Robert Ryan

Starring Robert Ryan

9 Episodes

Robert Ryan burst on the scene after World War II, bringing raw emotional and physical power and subtle intelligence to some of the darkest and toughest films of the postwar era. A master of harrowing inner conflict and barely suppressed rage, Ryan created an indelible gallery of tightly wound bullies, brooding killers, and honorable but tormented heroes. Offscreen, the man known for his searing portraits of racists and bigots was a passionate progressive and a deeply private family man; his keen insight into the roots of prejudice made his performances a form of activism, as his friend (and his ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW costar) Harry Belafonte noted. An essential actor in film noir, Ryan embodied lonely and violent men with compassion and fearless honesty.

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Starring Robert Ryan
  • Starring Robert Ryan Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Imogen Sara Smith on Robert Ryan

    Episode 2

    This interview with critic Imogen Sara Smith was recorded in 2021.

  • Crossfire

    Episode 3

    Directed by Edward Dmytryk • 1947 • United States
    Starring Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan

    This gritty film noir made history as the first Hollywood film to confront antisemitism. Three of the era’s most celebrated Roberts—Young, Mitchum, and Ryan—star in the hard-hitting tale of a pol...

  • The Set-Up

    Episode 4

    Directed by Robert Wise • 1949 • United States
    Starring Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias

    In one of his defining performances, Robert Ryan stars as boxer Stoker Thompson, an over-the-hill heavyweight boxer who’s been in the game for twenty years and is sure he’s just one punch away from ...

  • On Dangerous Ground

    Episode 5

    Directed by Nicholas Ray • 1951 • United States
    Starring Robert Ryan, Ida Lupino, Ward Bond

    When hardened big-city police detective Jim Wilson (Robert Ryan) roughs up one too many suspects, he’s sent to the countryside to cool his heels and help search for the murderer of a small-town schoolg...

  • Clash By Night

    Episode 6

    Directed by Fritz Lang • 1952 • United States
    Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan

    Mae Doyle (Barbara Stanwyck) is a good-time girl, but now times are bad. Weary of too much booze and too many men, she returns to her girlhood home, the fishing town of Monterey, California. There ...

  • Bad Day at Black Rock

    Episode 7

    Directed by John Sturges • 1955 • United States
    Starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis

    Ace genre craftsman John Sturges directs Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan in this taut western noir. Tracy is the one-armed war veteran John J. Macreedy, who arrives in the remote desert outpost of Bla...

  • Men in War

    Episode 8

    Directed by Anthony Mann • 1957 • United States
    Starring Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Robert Keith

    Anthony Mann brings the stylistic punch and psychological complexity he honed in his celebrated noirs and westerns to the combat field in this gritty Korean War drama—one of Hollywood’s toughest and most...

  • Odds Against Tomorrow

    Episode 9

    Directed by Robert Wise • 1959 • United States
    Starring Harry Belafonte, Robert Ryan, Shelley Winters

    Star Harry Belafonte produced this gritty, New York–set noir, which doubles as both a tense heist thriller and an X-ray of 1950s racial tensions. In need of quick money, fallen former cop David ...