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Blind Spot (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 February 1947 (USA)
A mystery writer accused of murdering his publisher sets out to discover the real killer.

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(original story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Det. Lt. Fred Applegate
...
Henry Small
Sid Tomack ...
Mike Foster - Bartender
...
Elevator Operator
...
Detective - Applegate's Assistant
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Storyline

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>

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ON THE SPOT---FOR MURDER! (original print ad-all caps) See more »


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Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

6 February 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inside Story  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Locked-room murder mystery retooled for the noir era
27 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

A hoary locked-room murder mystery retooled in full noir trim for the post-war era, Blind Spot sports the grungy, wrong-side-of-the tracks look of early, low-budget entries in the noir cycle, like Suspense and Fall Guy and The Guilty. It compensates (or overcompensates) with hopped-up performances and some particularly gaudy patter (`a 45-caliber toothache').

A clutch of his books is the only mark of achievement in mystery-writer Chester Morris' squalid basement apartment; he's on the losing end of an extortionate contract drawn up by his publisher (William Forrest). Before heading uptown to confront him, Morris swigs some false courage from the heel of a bottle, telling himself `It isn't easy to beg money from a man you'd rather kick in the teeth.' Nor is it such a good idea to ask for favors reeking of booze and with a couple days worth of beard stubble, but he charges ahead anyway.

Morris muscles past the Veronica-Lake-ish secretary (Constance Dowling) to barge into Forrest's office, where the publisher is playing carpet golf with one of his successful authors (Steven Geray). Barely coherent, Morris claims that even drunk he can dream up a top-notch plot, and begins to pitch his locked-room mystery before he's shown the door. Down in the ground-floor bar, he continues recounting his story idea to the heard-it-all bartender (Sid Tomack), when he's joined by a suddenly fascinated Dowling.

Next morning, the police arrest Morris for the murder of Forrest, who was found dead in his office, bolted from within. Of course, he's lost the whole evening in a blackout. Curiously, two unlikely advocates rally to his side – Geray, who praises the psychological realism of Morris' writing, and Dowling, whose motives remain murkier (gal pal or femme fatale?). Circumstances take an even darker turn when the bartender, too, is found murdered in his bed....

Blind Spot feels a lot like a Cornell Woolrich knockoff (writers, blackouts, homicides), yet it's not quite cheesy. (The script reveals itself to be a keen student of the not-yet-identified noir cycle, with a couple of Hollywood in-jokes, including a veiled reference to The Lost Weekend.) Morris made the movie as a break from the ‘40s programmers which are his chief claim to fame, the Boston Blackie series, after which his career swiftly petered out. His biography includes one arresting detail, however: `In 1951, Morris received the deathbed confession of his friend Roland West for the murder of actress Thelma Todd in 1935.' Sounds like the beginning of another Boston Blackie script.


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