A mystery writer accused of murdering his publisher sets out to discover the real killer.



(original story), (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
William Forrest ...
Henry Small
Sid Tomack ...
Mike Foster - Bartender
Elevator Operator
Detective - Applegate's Assistant


A down-and-nearly-out writer makes a drunken visit to the office of his publisher, who turns up dead shortly afterward, and the writer is unable to prove his innocence. But with the aid of the publisher's secretary, and a fellow-writer -- maybe or maybe not -- he finds the guilty person. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE SMILED AT MURDER! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


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Release Date:

6 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inside Story  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Chester Morris will go up for the murder of his publisher unless he finds the real murderer
7 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I do not regard Constance Dowling as a Veronica Lake lookalike, even if their hair styles resemble, not unless there is some evidence that Dowling imitated Lake. They were near contemporaries, had a popular hair style of the time (and any time), and received the Hollywood glamor treatment.

I almost mistook Constance for her younger sister, Doris, who makes such a strong impression in "The Blue Dahlia" as Alan Ladd's errant wife.

Constance plays a secretary to the publisher of Chester Morris's books. When the publisher is murdered and later a bartender is killed with her earring found nearby, Morris, who is attracted to her, also suspects her. This gives rise to a memorable scene between them in which his attraction and suspicion jostle one another closely.

He is very confused in the movie because he blacks out while drinking and he cannot remember whether or not he killed the publisher. That's his "Blind Spot".

I watched a 65 minute version of this film noir in a collector's copy, which means the print quality is just OK, like something you would have seen on an old TV show. I'm not complaining because this is a fun movie, although on the talky side, due to budget limitations probably. It has the look and feel of a true noir, and I love the dialog. One can get away with Chandler-esque lines if they are well-written. Morris is just the kind of tough guy, a drinker, unshaven, that the part calls for. And Dowling is just the kind of looker that might be a plus or a minus for him.

The story juggles several mysteries at once. Did Morris kill the publisher or not? Who killed the bartender? How was the locked room murder accomplished? How can Morris prevent his own arrest when so much evidence points to him? Is Dowling trustworthy or not?

This movie should be fixed up and released in its entirety on DVD. I think then it will be far more appreciated. As matters stand, it's one for those noir collectors who seek it out.

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