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Homicide Bureau (1939)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 5 January 1939 (USA)
After being criticized by the Citizens' League for his inability to cope with a crime wave, Police Captain Haines orders his men in the Homicide Bureau to clean up all their cases, but ... See full summary »


(as C.C. Coleman Jr.)


(original screen play)


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Complete credited cast:
J.G. Bliss
Chuck Brown
Captain Haines
Norman Willis ...
Lee Prather ...
Eddie Fetherston ...
Police Commissioner


After being criticized by the Citizens' League for his inability to cope with a crime wave, Police Captain Haines orders his men in the Homicide Bureau to clean up all their cases, but without violating the constitutional rights of any suspect. Detective Jim Logan is ordered to meet the incoming new-head of the Police Department lab and internal affairs, J.G. Bliss, and takes an instant dislike to her over her attitude toward criminal's rights. A murder case is turned over to Jim. Chuck Brown, the killer, informs his gang boss, Briggs, that their blackmailer has been killed and Briggs continues with his preparations to ship a cargo of scrap metal metal to foreign war lords to be used for munitions manufacture. Jim arrests Chuck, but if forced by Miss Bliss to release him on grounds of insufficient evidence. In an attempt to force a confession from Chuck, Jim goes to his apartment and, in a scuffle, causes him to fall through a window. The aroused Citizens' League, through its ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SCUTTLING A SHIP OF DEATH! MOWING DOWN THE MUNITIONS MOB! (original lobby card- all caps) See more »


Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Investigação Criminal  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rita Hayward played a laboratory expert for the police department in this very limited footage role. See more »

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User Reviews

Possibly the original Criminal Forensics movie
20 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

One thing that surprised me in this film was the amount of scientific documentation it exhibits. A female scientist is assigned to the police department in a forensics position. I was also surprised at how little controversy was shown about that fact. But during the course of the movie, comparison of materials (from a single source or not), ballistics evidence, weapon edge evidence and more are all showcased. Not quite a commercial for police as scientific marvels, seeing as how another part of the main story involves whether or not police ought to be able to rough up criminals or not, but considering how far before the Miranda ruling this movie was made, it now comes across as an interesting look at the state of forensics in the late 1930s. For true devotees of The New Detectives (and maybe CSI, though it has little to do with crime scenes per se), this is certainly an interesting title.

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