An alcoholic ex-cop, now the house detective at a scuzzy hotel in an even scuzzier part of town, stumbles through New York City's sleazy underworld searching for his kidnapped son.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Max Thursday
...
Georgia
...
Smitty
Sam Levene ...
Capt. Tonetti
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Varkas
Kay Medford ...
Angel
Jed Prouty ...
Dr. Elder
Harry Landers ...
Bert
Elliott Sullivan ...
Stitch
Ray Julian ...
Johnny
...
Mace (as Denns Harrison)
Garney Wilson ...
Harvey
Donald Novis ...
Johnson
Lou Herbert ...
Detectibe
...
Masher
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Storyline

An alcoholic ex-cop, now the house detective at a scuzzy hotel in an even scuzzier part of town, stumbles through New York City's sleazy underworld searching for his kidnapped son.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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How Innocent Can a Bystander Be? See more »

Genres:

Film-Noir | Drama

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Release Date:

21 April 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel der Verlorenen  »

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Sound Mix:

(Reeves Magicorder)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Alcoholic gumshoe scours New York's underbelly for son
10 September 2001 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

This movie presents a curious case. It obviously was made on a rock-bottom budget (and looks it); its plot -- about a kidnapped boy -- is as hard to follow as The Big Sleep's, without any of that movie's big-studio glamour and high gloss; and prints of the movie in circulation, with poor sound and visuals, don't help its reputation either. Nonetheless, Guilty Bystander has a few very strong points in its favor. Chief among them is the old pro Mary Boland as Smitty, the proprietress of a fleabag hotel several notches below the threshold of respectability; she's a scheming old battleax who has more going on under her unkempt wisps of grey hair than she wants her cronies and go-fers to know. Next there's Zachary Scott, as Max Thursday, an ex-cop now sleeping off benders in the same fleabag, where he's kept on as the house dick; an underrated actor, he invests his loser's role with a painful intensity, stumbling and limping from skid row to waterfront to warehouse in pursuit for the son he hasn't seen in years. As his ex-wife and mother of the kidnapped boy, Faye Emerson (Mrs. Elliott Roosevelt to you), brings more than her fabled bone structure to the part. In fact, with better acting than you have any right to expect (plus an unrelentingly depressing milieu), Guilty Bystander is more than a curio; it's as if the cast knew what a lousy movie they signed up for and decided to go for broke anyway.


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