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Scene of the Crime (1949)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Film-Noir, Drama  |  28 July 1949 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 490 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 6 critic

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are ... See full summary »

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Title: Scene of the Crime (1949)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Lili
Tom Drake ...
Det. 'C.C.' Gordon
...
Capt. A.C. Forster
...
Det. Fred Piper
Donald Woods ...
Bob Herkimer
...
Sleeper
Jerome Cowan ...
Arthur Webson
Tom Powers ...
Umpire Menafoe
Richard Benedict ...
Turk Kingby
...
Tony Rutzo
Robert Gist ...
P.J. Pontiac
Romo Vincent ...
Hippo
...
Norrie Lorfield
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Storyline

Homicide detective Mike Conovan investigates the shooting of fellow detective Monigan...who apparrently was moonlighting as guard for a bookie. He finds that all the bookies in town are being robbed, most upsetting to the racket bosses who can't get normal police protection. Mike encounters blind alleys and double crosses, and is distracted by his wife's growing disenchantment. Lots of police slang. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Be there when it happens! (Posters).

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 July 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Cena do Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

P.J. Pontiac: I'm no Humphrey Bogart. He gets slugged and he's ready for action; I get slugged and I'm ready for pickling.
See more »


Soundtracks

I CALL MYSELF A LADY
(uncredited)
Music by André Previn
Lyrics by William Katz
Sung (with reverse striptease) by Gloria DeHaven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Routine cop drama...and which came first?
20 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Did, as some people think, "Scene of the Crime" invent the cop drama clichés that have been a mainstay of television and film for so long? Or were they already established and just copied by this film? Not being an expert in the genre, I don't know. I do know that despite attempts by some people to elevate this movie to film noir status, it's not that great. Dore Schary put this into production when he took over MGM. I guess he wanted MGM to be more like Warner Brothers. It stars Van Johnson, Arlene Dahl, John McIntyre, Leon Ames, and Gloria DeHaven.

When a cop is killed with a roll of dough found on him, his fellow officers set out to investigate the crime and clear the man's name.

"Scene of the Crime" is similar in its way to "Dragnet" - it shows the daily grind of detectives as they put together a case. There are a couple of very good scenes, including one in which Mike (Van Johnson) arrests a suspect, and shooting starts when they get outside of the apartment building. Still handcuffed to Mike, the perp jumps into a building stairwell. There's also a good car chase.

For some reason, Van Johnson did these baby-faced tough guys well - perhaps it was his New York accent, but he pulls off the role of the dedicated Mike. He was set to be Elliot Ness in the TV "Untouchables" when his wife Evie called Desi Arnaz the night before and held him up for more money. Arnaz called Robert Stack and told him to report to the set the next day. A friend of mine who has lived in LA for over 50 years and socialized with many stars said that Arlene Dahl was the most beautiful woman of everyone he had met. Seeing her in this, you can believe it. She is a spectacular beauty if her acting in some spots isn't the best. Gloria De Haven, usually a vibrant ingenue, plays against type as a tramp, which makes it interesting.

"Scene of the Crime" is gritty-looking enough but suffers from being slow in spots and loaded with clichés. There isn't anything to make it truly special. That could be because by now, we've seen it all before. Perhaps in 1949, it was fresh. But I have my doubts that even back then, it broke any new ground.


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