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Detective Story (1951)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,140 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 27 critic

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

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Title: Detective Story (1951)

Detective Story (1951) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Horace McMahon ...
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Craig Hill ...
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Luis Van Rooten ...
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Storyline

Jim McLeod is a hard-nosed and cynical detective. He believes in a strict interpretation of the law and doesn't believe in turning the other cheek. The current object of his zealousness is Karl Schneider, an abortionist responsible for the death of several young women. Schneider's lawyer tells the precinct lieutenant that McLeod has his own personal reasons for going after his client. It turns out that his wife was a patient before they met, although Jim knew nothing of it. His world suddenly turned upside down, McLeod is too late in re-evaluating his priorities. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The love story of a man whose wife was more woman than angel!

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 May 1952 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

William Wyler's Production of Sidney Kingsley's Detective Story  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John F. Seitz shot the last three weeks of production, uncredited. See more »

Goofs

In some of the close-up shots of McLeod and Schneider in the back of the paddy wagon, McLeod's shadow can be faintly seen on the rear-projection screen showing the street behind them. (Other shadows can also be seen.) See more »

Quotes

Detective James McLeod: I built my whole life on hating my father. All the time he was inside me, laughing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grabs you and holds you tight
13 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a big fan of film noir from the 50s, and so I picked this for a Sunday evening watch. However, Detective Story does not really fall in that genre. This movie is much more than stylish - it has oodles of substance. The story unfolds largely within the confines of a police station and much of the action occurs within one large room. The pacing is brisk, and most of the characters are introduced fairly early. Kirk Douglas turns in an intense performance as Jim McLeod - a ruthless crime fighting cop who has a stark view of the world as made up of good guys and bad. He and prosecutes all crime, no matter how minor, with a brutal zeal. He does not believe in extenuating circumstances. The first half of the movie leads you to think that you are watching an entertaining crime drama where McLeod is the upright cop who, whilst chafing at the bounds of permissible legal conduct, seeks to bring an influential, wealthy, and well-lawyered crook to justice. In his mind, McLeod has convicted and damned the crook with a ferocious loathing. It is the sudden mid-story twist that brings this film into its own. McLeod's relentless persecution precipitates a personal crisis that will alter his own life forever. In the second half, the movie grapples with surprising emotional intensity with eternal questions - who are we to judge, in damning others do we damn ourselves, and how do we bring ourselves to forgive? I was so engrossed that I postponed my loo break until the very end. This is a fantastic movie - loved it.


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