A mentally unbalanced young man kills a priest. One of the priest's colleagues sets out to find the killer.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Conroy
Detect. Lieutenant Mandel
Mr. Craig
Harold Vermilyea ...
Father Kirkman
John Ridgely ...
1st Detective
2nd Detective
Mabel Paige ...
Mrs. Pearson
Howland Chamberlain ...
Mr. Murray, the Funeral Director
Houseley Stevenson ...
Mr. Swanson, the Florist (as Houseley Stevenson Sr.)
Jean Inness ...
Mrs. Lally (as Jean Innes)
Mrs. Jeanette Moore


A poor and alienated young man (Farley Granger) who is driven to murder when a priest refuses to give is deceased mother an expensive funeral. The film explores the crippling poverty that has prevented the youth from marrying or providing his mother with enough comforts, and has led to his crime. Dana Andrews plays the compassionate assistant of the slain priest who brings about the tormented killer's repentance. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | based on novel | See All (2) »


DID A WOMAN'S SOFT, WARM ARMS LEAD HIM TO MURDER? (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | Film-Noir


See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf des Schicksals Schneide  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Granger gets caught in a mob gathering outside the Galaxy movie theater. The marquee shows it is playing "Our Very Own," which was the movie Farley Granger and Joan Evans made prior to this film. See more »


Ned Moore assaults the priest, Father Thomas Roth, in the rectory and as the priest falls to the floor, his Roman collar falls open and hangs loose. He stands up to continue the fight with his collar fully intact. See more »


Father Thomas Roth: You may have given up on God, but he won't give up on you.
See more »


Referenced in Watching the Detectives (2007) See more »


Back Alley Jump
Music by Paul Sprosty
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User Reviews

Way undervalued
3 April 2011 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

Excellent, truly depressing, forgotten noir starring Farley Granger. He plays a young man who's had an incredibly difficult life: he has grown up poor. His father, when he was a teenager, committed suicide after committing a robbery. The church denied providing any services for his father and basically told Granger and his mother that the guy was doomed to rot in Hell. Granger's mom was too religious to give it up, but Granger holds a powerful grudge for the church. The film opens with his mother dying, and Granger has to honor his mother's final wishes by going to the church to get her a funeral. A big one, he insists, because she never had anything good in life. Unfortunately, the priest his mother trusts (Dana Andrews) is out on a call, and he is forced to deal with the same priest (Harold Vermilyea) who denied his father a proper burial. This agitates Granger so much, he ends up committing a horrible crime. Andrews is quicker to understand the truth than the police, so he tries to get Granger to turn himself in before he gets himself in more trouble. Both Granger and Andrews are very good in their roles, and Mark Robson, who previously directed several horror films in the Val Lewton cycle, does an excellent job ratcheting up the suspense. This was kind of a bomb on its first release. It perhaps was too dark, even for the genre. Farley Granger didn't think it was very good, but he was wrong. He should have been proud of it. You can find this film right now on Netflix Instant. It was on VHS, but has never been on DVD.

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