IMDb > Mystery Street (1950)
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Mystery Street (1950) More at IMDbPro »


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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sydney Boehm (screenplay) and
Richard Brooks (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Mystery Street on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 July 1950 (USA) See more »
A small town policeman is assisted by a Harvard professor when the skeletal remains of a pregnant prostitute turn up on a Massachusetts beach. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Don't miss the chance to see this great noir on TV! See more (43 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ricardo Montalban ... Peter Moralas
Sally Forrest ... Grace Shanway

Bruce Bennett ... Dr. McAdoo

Elsa Lanchester ... Mrs. Smerrling

Marshall Thompson ... Henry Shanway

Jan Sterling ... Vivian Heldon
Edmon Ryan ... James Joshua Harkley

Betsy Blair ... Jackie Elcott
Wally Maher ... Tim Sharkey
Ralph Dumke ... A Tattooist
Willard Waterman ... A Mortician
Walter Burke ... An Ornithologist
Don Shelton ... A District Attorney
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elsie Baker ... Elderly Lady (uncredited)
George Brand ... Man in Bedroom (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Reporter (uncredited)
Douglas Carter ... Counterman at The Dunes (uncredited)
Mack Chandler ... Doorman (uncredited)
George Cooper ... Reporter (uncredited)
John Crawford ... Reporter (uncredited)
Lucille Curtis ... Mrs. Harkley (uncredited)
Bert Davidson ... Dr. Thorpe (uncredited)
King Donovan ... Reporter at Beach House (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ... Porter (uncredited)
Robert Foulk ... Detective O'Hara (uncredited)
Jim Frasher ... High School Boy (uncredited)

Ned Glass ... Dr. Ben Levy, McAdoo's asst. (uncredited)
Eula Guy ... Mrs. Fischer (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Car Insurance Clerk (uncredited)
Bradford Hatton ... Al - Grass Skirt Cafe Bartender (uncredited)
Jim Hayward ... Constable Fischer (uncredited)
Perry Ivins ... Alienist (uncredited)
William F. Leicester ... Doctor (uncredited)
Arthur M. Loew Jr. ... Sailor (uncredited)
Louise Lorimer ... Mrs. Shanway (uncredited)
John Maxwell ... Detective Kilrain (uncredited)

May McAvoy ... Nurse (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Detective Garrity (uncredited)
Ernesto Molinari ... Portuguese Fisherman (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Waiter (uncredited)
Matt Moore ... Dr. Rockton (uncredited)
Melvin H. Moore ... Oyster Shucker (uncredited)
Virginia Mullen ... Neighbor (uncredited)
Allen O'Locklin ... Photographer (uncredited)

Frank Overton ... Guard (uncredited)
Juanita Quigley ... Daughter (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Bar Girl at Grass Skirt Cafe (uncredited)
Maurice Samuels ... Tailor (uncredited)
Fred Santley ... Pawnbroker (uncredited)
Jack Shea ... Policeman (uncredited)
Fred Sherman ... Photographer (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... Reporter (uncredited)
Mary Jane Smith ... Daughter (uncredited)
Robert Strong ... Policeman (uncredited)
Peter M. Thompson ... Law Student (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Baggage Clerk (uncredited)
Napoleon Whiting ... Red Cap (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sturges 
Writing credits
Sydney Boehm (screenplay) and
Richard Brooks (screenplay)

Leonard Spigelgass (story)

Produced by
Frank E. Taylor .... producer
Original Music by
Rudolph G. Kopp 
Cinematography by
John Alton (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ferris Webster 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Gabriel Scognamillo 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup creator
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair styles designer
Ethel Neejus .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Sam Palo .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Charles J. Hunt .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sid Sidman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ralph S. Hurst .... associate set decorator
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording supervisor
Joe Edmondson .... sound (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Joe DeAce .... grip (uncredited)
Otto Dyar .... still photographer (uncredited)
A. Lindsley Lane .... camera operator (uncredited)
Wes Shanks .... gaffer (uncredited)
Harry Stradling Jr. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Don McDougall .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #14285)

Did You Know?

Frank E. Taylor's first production credit after a career as a literary editor at Random House.See more »
Continuity: Length of the chain connecting phone book to wall phone in boarding house varies from scene to scene.See more »
Jim Black, tattooist:Know her? Sure, I knew her. I was never close enough to smell her perfume, but I knew her!See more »
Movie Connections:
The Johnson RagSee more »


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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Don't miss the chance to see this great noir on TV!, 18 December 2006
Author: yardbirdsraveup from Connecticut

That's right! If you're a film noir fanatic as I am, you'll appreciate this obscure film! It has all of the ingredients of a noir; sex, greed, blackmail, murder - it's all here! Plus, there are also many additional surprises; pre-DNA forensic science and one of the first movies to show a skeleton used of non-horror purposes; something unheard of for it's time. The cinematography is second to none for the crime-drama films made during this era. Plus, that's not all! this movie is filmed largely on location in Boston and Cambridge. There are some great views of the city from 1950 which cannot be missed.

And the plot is pure noir too. Henry Shanway (Marshall Thompson) is a victim of circumstances when he is falsely accused of murdering Vivian Heldon (Jan Sterling), a "hostess" from the seedy "Grass Skirt" cocktail lounge. This is only the top of the iceberg. As the movie progresses, Shanway, distraught over his wife's miscarriage, is drowning his sorrows at the "Grass Skirt" which is just across the street from the hospital his wife is in. Heldon is also pregnant, not by choice, from a tryst she is having with "blue blood" James Joshua Hartley (Edmon Ryan) a businessman from the lower part of Cape Cod. Heldon's attempts to see Hartley in order to confront him about her pregnancy are fruitless; Hartley is definitely giving her the brush off. Shanway is the perfect stooge for Heldon as she takes advantage of his sorrow by giving him too much to drink and then offering to drive him home in his own car.

Things don't work out that way as she takes him for an unexpected ride to the Cape in order to read Hartley the riot act. Later that night, they arrive at a hamburger stand near Hartley's home. She dumps Shanway at the hamburger stop and continues up the Cape where she encounters Hartley, who, in turn, kills her, buries her in the sand dunes and dumps Shanway's car in a bog.

Later on in the late fall, an ornithologist (played by a young "elfish" Walter Burke) discovers a skeleton in the sand and the investigation begins. Ricardo Montalbon and Bruce Bennett both play great roles in their attempts to find the murderer. The skeleton is brought to Harvard Medical School and the forensics begin. All this time, Elsa Lanchester, the victim's landlady gets into the act and attempts to black mail Hartley after finding his phone number scrawled by the hall phone in her home. She adds one plus one, and visits Hartley with the attempt to extort money from him. In one scene, in his office, she musters up the courage to look through his desk and finds a gun which she gingerly puts in her handbag. This plot is finely woven, moves quickly and gives the viewer an exciting experience throughout the film.

My advice: see this film! It is a fine example of the noir that was so popular during this special era of film making. What puzzles me is that there is so much "junk" available on the market; low budget horror pics, dumb "girlie" movies, idiotic "bathroom humor" flicks - all available on DVD or VHS. However, a superb movie like Mystery Street remains unavailable. Why?

Was the above review useful to you?
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Latino awareness ahead of its time? wgregh
Fate of the Landlady irvberg2002
Train station location wmm575
No beginning title/credits for Mystery Street....? otrnepodahl
Travel Restrictions in 1950 still??? waldenpond88
Botched Forensics georgegauthier
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