To avoid the heat of a sweltering summer night a 9 year old Manhattan boy decides to sleep on the fire escape and witnesses a murder, no one will believe him.

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(screenplay), (based on a story by: "The Boy Cried Murder")
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Joe Kellerson
...
Mrs. Jean Kellerson
...
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Storyline

At the age of 9, Tommy Woodry has a reputation for telling tall tales -- the latest one being that his family is moving from Manhattan to a ranch out west. When the landlord interrupts the Woodrys at dinner to show their about to be vacated apartment, the Woodrys tell Tommy enough is enough. Then that hot summer night Tommy decides to sleep on the fire escape -- outside the Kellerson's apartment, since it is a story higher and gets more breeze. Tommy sees the Kellersons kill a man. Tommy's parents and the police won't believe his story. But the Kellersons want to silence him. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Daringly filmed on New York's Teeming East Side See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

21 July 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy Cried Murder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$210,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Richard Franklin wanted to do a "thriller for kids" in 1984 and intended to do a remake of "The Window," which Universal had acquired the rights to. However, the writers soon morphed the story into what became "Cloak and Dagger." See more »

Goofs

In the confrontation scene between Paul Stewart and Bobby Drisccoll in the apartment, the close-ups are clearly out of focus but were never re-shot. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Tommy Woodry: [as Tommy goes home in a police car] And that's all the truth.
policeman: That was some jump, son!
Tommy Woodry: I'm never gonna be a fireman. I don't like jumpin' in those nets.
Mr. Ed Woodry: I'm proud of you, Tommy, and from now on I'll believe you.
Tommy Woodry: I'm glad, Pop. From now on I promise I'll never make up another story.
Mrs. Mary Woodry: That'll make us all happy.
Mr. Ed Woodry: I'll bet when we all get down to the station all the guys are going to point to me and say ther goes Tommy Woodry's father.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

The roll of "Tommy" played by BOBBY DRISCOLL by special arrangement with WALT DISNEY See more »

Connections

Referenced in One Hour in Wonderland (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Exceptional little thriller of a child's worst nightmare...
14 May 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

The theme of a murder being witnessed by someone who no one believes, is based on the familiar concept of "cry wolf once too often and no one will believe you when you're telling the truth".

Here it's played to the nth degree by an excellent cast--Bobby Driscoll, Barbara Hale, Arthur Kennedy, Ruth Roman and Paul Stewart--and directed in realistic, gritty style by Ted Tetzlaff. The New York tenement setting is an absorbing environment for this chilling tale of a boy who is in danger when the murderers know they have been seen--and must come to grips with his situation without the aid of his parents or police. Based on a Cornell Woolrich story, it's so tight and suspenseful for the length of its running time that it effectively projects the dark, nightmare world where one's worst childhood fears can come true.

With the dark ambiance of lower East Side tenaments as its setting, danger and death seem to entrap the boy in every lurking shadow until his ultimate pursuit by the killers. This is a modest thriller that achieves a maximum of suspense thanks to the skillful performance by child star Bobby Driscoll and bears a resemblance to other Woolrich stories, as for example 'Rear Window'.

Barbara Hale and Arthur Kennedy register strongly as the parents. Ruth Roman and Paul Stewart are a chilly pair as the neighbors from hell.


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