A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when the skeletal remains of a pregnant prostitute turn up on a Massachusetts beach.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Grace Shanway
...
Dr. McAdoo
...
Mrs. Smerrling
...
Henry Shanway
...
Vivian Heldon
Edmon Ryan ...
James Joshua Harkley
...
Jackie Elcott
Wally Maher ...
Tim Sharkey
Ralph Dumke ...
A Tattooist
Willard Waterman ...
A Mortician
Walter Burke ...
An Ornithologist
Don Shelton ...
A District Attorney
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Storyline

Vivian, a B-girl working at "The Grass Skirt," is being brushed off by her rich, married boyfriend. To confront him, she hijacks drunken customer Henry Shanway and his car from Boston to Cape Cod, where she strands Henry...and is never seen again. Months later, a skeleton is found (sans clothes or clues) on a lonely Cape Cod beach. Using the macabre expertise of Harvard forensic specialist Dr. McAdoo, Lt. Pete Morales must work back from bones to the victim's identity, history, and killer. Will he succeed in time to save an innocent suspect? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Murder at Harvard  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The concept of a forensic procedural is common in the 21st century, but was brand new when this movie was made. To cap it off, the hero was played by a Hispanic actor, Ricardo Montalban, who was a big star in Mexico, but who had been mostly cast in Hollywood flicks as a Latin lover before this picture. See more »

Goofs

Length of the chain connecting phone book to wall phone in boarding house varies from scene to scene. See more »

Quotes

James Joshua Harkley: [taking offense when questioned] You know, I'm used to respect! People looking up to me!
Lieutenant Peter Morales: So am I Mr. Harkley, and my family hasn't been in this country for even one hundred years!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Leverage: The Frame-Up Job (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Love of My Life
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played by the band at the Grass Skirt
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User Reviews

An inventive, realistic murder story
16 February 1999 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

A simple, clear plot that doesn't interfere with the power of the personal stories within. In its day it would've been shocking for showing the murder, and the discovery of the body. Good acting from a young Montalban.


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Latino awareness ahead of its time? wgregh
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