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Strange Bargain (1949)

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Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit ... See full summary »



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Title: Strange Bargain (1949)

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Complete credited cast:
Jeffrey Lynn ...
Lt. Richard Webb (as Henry Morgan)
Katherine Emery ...
Richard Gaines ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Timothy Hearne
Walter Sande ...
Hilda Wilson
Raymond Roe ...
Det. McTay


Sam Wilson is having a hard time making ends meet. When he asks his boss for a raise, he finds out that the company is closing down and he'll be out of a job. His boss decides to commit suicide so that his family can benefit from his insurance. He asks Sam to help make it look like murder. Sam thinks he has convinced the boss not to commit suicide. But the boss does it anyway, so Sam follows the instructions the boss had given him, to make it look like murder. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 November 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Bargain  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) was done as a direct sequel to this movie, with Jessica Fletcher trying to figure out if Malcolm Jarvis' death was suicide or murder. In the episode, Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott, and Harry Morgan reprised their roles from the earlier film, and original footage from the film was used as flashbacks to tell the story. See more »


Featured in Murder, She Wrote: The Days Dwindle Down (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Time travel to suburban L.A. circa 1949
2 September 2013 | by (colorado) – See all my reviews

Because it's only 68 minutes and has no Big stars or director, it's a B film, but it's better than many an A film that it shared billing with. The story, though lacking suspense, is engrossing, and Lynn, Scott, and Morgan are superb. The best part of the movie for me was seeing suburban family life in 1949. Lynn and Scott are happily married and have 2 happy children. Scott volunteers at church and Lynn says grace before meals. But their happy home is threatened because Lynn's salary is insufficient to support a wife and 2 school-age children. Scott tells Lynn to ask for a raise, after all, he's been with the company for 12 years (he didn't serve 4 years in WW2?) The option of Scott getting a job occurs to neither of them, but then, this was years before the feminist revolution.

The script is excellent. Dialogue supports characterization so that we 'know' all of these people. I liked Lynn. He's a decent man, one who on the spur of the moment makes the wrong choice. His mistake in judgment ensnares him in a tightening web of trouble. I liked Scott, who exemplifies the perfect mate. I liked Morgan, who always gets his man, but who makes sure that he gets the right one. The ending is a surprise, though once revealed, seems obvious. I liked the director's touch at the finish of having Morgan's cane disarm the murderer just in the nick of time. In fact, I liked everything about this little B film.

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