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.



(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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Complete credited cast:
Joe Kellerson
Mrs. Jean Kellerson


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This peril-thrilled adventure in suspense...the terrifically taut story of a boy of too much imagination who was the only witness to a murder...alone against the killers because nobody believed his story! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 July 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Boy Cried Murder  »

Box Office


$210,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the 1950 Academy Awards, Bobby Driscoll won the Oscar for the most outstanding juvenile actor of 1949, in response to his work in this film as well as Disney's tearjerker, So Dear to My Heart (1948). The award was not given every year, but only when exceptional acting was performed by a child. See more »


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 »


Joe Kellerson: Hello, Tommy. Now you be quiet if you don't wanna get hurt. What's the matter, have I ever done anything to you?
Tommy Woodry: [shakes his head]
Joe Kellerson: What are you runnin' around tellin' stories for?
Tommy Woodry: They're not stories!
Joe Kellerson: No? Well, maybe if you tell me what they are, I can explain. I don't want you thinkin' these terrible things. What is it you think I did?
Tommy Woodry: You know what you did!
Joe Kellerson: But I don't. I don't know what you're talkin' about. Now, c'mon, Tommy, let's be fair. You can't accuse me of something and not tell me ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Remade as The Boy Cried Murder (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Thrill a Minute! Film Noir at its' BEST!
9 March 2000 | by (Hudson, Florida) – See all my reviews

I first saw this film when I was ten. The same age as the terrified young star "Tommy" of the film. I sat on the edge of my seat, glued to the screen as every second of suspense ticked away. A masterpiece to rival even the best of the great Hitchcock Thrillers! I have never seen it released on video, but would be the first to run out and buy it. If it turns up on AMC, DON'T MISS IT!

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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